Another great day out playing on bikes today, this time heading down to Normanville, which is about 80km South of Adelaide, for a spot of lunch. This turned in to about a 215km ride for me, averaging 27.4km/h, which was ok given all of the massive hills on the way down there!

The ride was promoted via the Adelaide Cyclists website, and we had 12 starters on the ride. The way it was set up, I think left little doubt in people’s minds that this was going to be a tough ride, and a certain level of cycling ability was expected.

It was a good mixed group, some riders I have ridden with previously, who I know to be exceptionally strong, especially climbing those hills I hate so much, and a couple of riders I haven’t ridden with before.

Heading down the Veloway, you know that there will be some bumps in the road, but when we took some turn offs heading around the Myponga dam, and the last climb in to Normanville, we knew then that we had found some hills! Now don’t get me wrong, the only part of hills I am not all that keen on is the climb, i am a big fan of the descent! The last descent in to Normanville was a ripper, hitting about 76km/h before having to start hitting the anchors. Whether it was the cross breeze, or I just pulled too hard on the bars, but I started to get the death wobbles again, so decided much safer & better for my skin to ease the speed back.

We cruised straight to the small cafe on the beach at Normanville, but that wasn’t really to my liking, being fried foods, some sort of burger etc, so I rode back in to the main part of town, and dropped in to the bakery. Yes, I do love bakeries, and yes, this one is a ripper! It was also about an hour faster than the meals at the cafe!

The return journey was a bit of an event. The group decided to return the same way we came, which meant a massive climb up out of Normanville, at a much slower rate than the speed we descended it! This turned out to be too much for one of the riders, who had to call their partner to come collect them. It was a bit of a leg stinger! The easier way back would have been via South rd, but for some reason, some riders are a little scared of South Rd? There are a few sections where it can get tight, but this is really more towards Edwardstown.

Returning via the Veloway, one of the riders & I had pulled up to allow a car through on the road, and another rider missed that we had stopped, and did not hear the call of car or stopping. When he looked up & saw us stopped, he ended up doing a “bus stop”, or a clip stack. Yep, he could not get his foot out in time to prevent him falling over. He went down with a bit of a thud, and gave himself quite a knock, including bloodying up a hand somewhat. At the same time, the other rider who had pulled up with me then somehow managed to get a puncture!

Knowing that it would take a while to fix the puncture, and for the fallen rider to regain his composure, I had to break away from the group, and start my dash for home. None of us had lights on our bikes, and the stops for photos, and the extra long lunch break had really eaten in to the day. I had to crank it up, as unlike some of the others, I still had 40+ km to ride, and no sag wagon to come out & either collect me, or drop lights off to me!

All in all though, it was a pretty good ride, with a strong group. There were a few of them I would like to ride with again, and would love to get some paceline riding going with them, I think we could really have had it cranking if we worked it!

The Leggera at the Myponga Dam