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Training Log Archive: Yak

In the 7 days ending Oct 3:

activity # timemileskm+m
  mt bike4 18:46:00 184.55(6:06) 297.0(3:47) 2209
  lawn mowing1 1:00:00
  walk1 30:00
  Total5 20:16:00 184.55 297.0 2209

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Saturday Oct 3 #

mt bike 6:44:00 [3] 109.0 km (3:42 / km) +1170m 3:31 / km

day 3 Clare - Eudunda
We headed off at 8am directly onto the Riesling trail swept along by tailwind northerlies for a change…what fun…until I failed to comprehend Jo’s quiet suggestion of taking a turn-off to Watervale, which I had failed to see…so we did an extra 4kms, including 2kms back into the headwind, when I eventually realised my mistake. The Watervale café was very welcome, for the girls having coffee; browsing the old homewares & us all gathering takeaway lunch etc. 12kms later we cruised into Mintaro, did a quick lap of the historical town and then headed on, with a slight detour to visit historic Martindale Hall. Soon after, whilst gazing at a ruin I nearly ran over a big brown snake, the first live one we had seen, after 3 smaller dead ones.
Heading into the shop & pub less Manoora we were surprised to see a “Community Event Ahead” sign & immediately put the brakes on. There was a big community market (only happens twice a year) in the hall & a multitude of food options outside. So, we had another longish break, buying fantastic organic beef/lamb burgers from Wira Lea Farm. The diversion loop off the main rd. just outside Manoora wasn’t appreciated, and we flew downhill past Carlsruhe church & manse with hardly a glance and through Waterloo, the home of Tom Kruse, the famous outback mailman.
Onward with 3 climbs still to come. We met a guy walking the Lavender trail section by section & also chatted to a farmer, who was rueing the scarcity of rain. Jo thought that Quin & Webb Gaps meant there shouldn’t be a climb & was sadly disappointed. Quin’s gap has the impressive Waterloo wind farm turbines along the Tothill Ridge. Stacey was rapt to “conquer” her namesake Gap. Across & up Webb Gap, steeper still than Quin, with a Heysen trail tank and a conservation area on top. The eastern Webb Gap descent had been much improved since being rutty & rocky in July, although was still steep at 22%. An annual gathering of conservation folk camped at the bottom, with Ted’s memorial there also. Uncool member who died this year.
We got up to the Scenic Rd ridge next to Inspiration Point easily but there were still some uphill sections before the highest point so legs were feeling a bit tired. A pity that it was quite overcast and the getting a little dark, as the views were a bit muted. Still heading south certainly is the easiest way to do the ridge & we were soon on the bitumen rd. This dragged on, especially after Hampden, the former railway village. Dropped into Eudunda, (home of author Colin Thiele) & were in rooms of Top Pub by 6pm. Another good meal, joined later by bike packing newbies Rachel & Tracey, who looked more tired than us – but had started later & were tenting. Pub was a bit strange, in that it stopped meal orders at 7.30pm & closed at 8.30pm..on a Saturday night!

Friday Oct 2 #

mt bike 5:04:00 [3] 77.0 km (3:57 / km) +632m 3:48 / km

Owen to Clare
Planned 8.30am departure came & went with no sign of the other two! Had they gone for a walk / died in their beds / ? They eventually staggered out after 9, having not set an alarm & been fooled by total darkness in their room, so we left at 10am. We meandered the 25kms into Balaklava ignoring the bitumen road & made a bee line for “Wendys” the recommended café/ coffee shop for an early lunch. I had arranged to meet with Glenda Shepherd (nee Traeger), an old friend from teachers college days & she & husband Dave came and met us there. Amazingly I also ran into 2 members of the “Uncool cycling club” at the café – Elaine Davies was working in the area, whilst Peter Werner was heading home to Whyalla.
After a long stop we headed off from Balak to Halbury on the Shamus Liptrot rail trail, named after a local junior cyclist who was severely injured in a track accident in Tasmania & subsequently died. Sadly Halbury, like many railway towns, is almost a ghost town now. Our next landmark was Hoyleton, where I found the railway sheds had been graffitied even more since my last trip. The pub still hadn’t been sold ($220k) & the local resident who topped up my water said the last few years the pub had attracted rough types who partied into the night & were troublesome, so she hoped it would be sold as a residence. I can’t see a pub being a going concern here either, as few houses remain. Glenda had given us delicious choc chip muffins which were gladly devoured under the pub verandah.
It had been pretty boring on the wide, white, flat dirt rds. and everyone had been keen to get some undulating country. Mt George Rd certainly met this criteria but to my horror it had been recently graded with blue metal & there were no flattened car tracks, so all of us had to do a bit of hike-a-bike because back wheels were slipping even at 8%. Did I mention it was 32 degrees & again we were struggling into strong northerly winds again! Being a bit allergic to the monotonous Riesling trail I had altered our plans slightly to take Upper Skilly, Hughes Park & Gillentown rds. that ran parallel to it. Had been recommended as it went up a gully, was picturesque & had several adjacent wineries. Mitchell winery had a nice setting. This was indeed scenic, though Stacey remembers it for losing her thongs somewhere in this section. We turned R on Spring Gully Rd, emerging at the caravan park, from which there is a small bike path on that side heading into town. S & J stayed at Clare Hotel Motel, while I climbed up Kingfisher Dr to stay with the Northeast’s.

Thursday Oct 1 #

mt bike 3:45:00 [3] 61.0 km (3:41 / km) +222m 3:37 / km

Day 1 - Gawler – Owen
While S & J commenced in Adelaide & came via Mawson lakes and the SOG (Stuart O’Grady) bike path, I started in Gawler, as had a morning appointment. Parked car at Whissons in Second St.
I rode to the Gawler end of SOG and a few kms along until where Stacey’s route intercepted it and went off on Wingate rd. into the Gawler Plains. I presumed they were ahead of me so after 10kms or so I was pleasantly surprised when they came upon me trying to work out how to escape the busy Redmans rd. that I had been routed on for some kms. So, we headed off together largely through very boring flat rds. with the added pain of very strong (30-40kph) headwinds.
I was glad to see that I slotted in nicely riding wise with the other two, having never ridden with them before. Jo was on a gravel bike, so rolled faster than Stacey and I, who were both on mtb dualies. Also, that they didn’t mind my propensity for photo taking. Interesting Stacey had let Strava plan our route to Clare and seemingly it doesn’t pick up minor tracks or road reserves. Think I prefer doing my own.
We got into Owen before dark, so I took time for a ride around town. It had a really nice 4-5km trail going around the outskirts, through the golf course, small wetlands & a bush area featuring a bush chapel. A small ride through the streets showed well kept, tidy houses & a primary school with a good community feel. No general store but a post office that sells a few basic necessities, as does the Owen Arms Hotel. Also, a historical emporium come op shop. The silo has a “farmer to soldier themed” artwork designed by famous Riverton artist Robert Hannaford planned for installation in March.
The Owen pub was a highlight in many ways. Firstly, we were greeted by a 5-year-old camel! Publican Ian had jokingly told a friend who culled camels that he wouldn’t mind one as a pet and was given a baby one, which has subsequently grown. Luckily there is a good-sized paddock adjacent to the hotel. Rooms upstairs were clean & upgraded, as was the bathroom, and we had self-serve toast & cereal provided for brecki. Meals were ginormous. Entertainment was provided by watching Port beat Geelong in a AFL semi-final with a few locals. Stacey’s phone had died, perhaps from moisture as stored in her leggings, so that spent the evening in rice in the freezer. (And did come back to life!)

Monday Sep 28 #

walk 30:00 [3]

river walk

lawn mowing 1:00:00 [3]

Long grass mowing job

Sunday Sep 27 #

mt bike 3:13:00 [3] 50.0 km (3:52 / km) +185m 3:47 / km

Started at Old Noarlunga & went across the new bridge but had to walk quite a bit of single tk there due to tk overgrown with weeds. Bridge & nearest river crossing both said "no bikes", so only legal way across is via the ford we used in Amuse Bouche & the non existent Church track.
Then went and rode all tracks on south side of Onka river in the reserve & most on the north before the sun set.

Meant to be doing the state xc champs today but, like quite a few others, I decided that riding the cliff faces of Eagle quarry wasnt safe enough for me.
Very annoyed that they made the course so elitist. Injuries that happened supported my decision.

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