day 13: Wellington – Adelaide

The Hills


8th Jan 10; 6:10am(start)/9:55am(finish)
12:30pm(start)/2:30pm(finish)
108.2 km (dist); 5h 3m (saddle);
21.4 kph (av); 56.3 kph (max);
998 m (climb); 940 m (descent);
1071.3 km (tot)

The sky was big and empty
My chest filled to explode
I yelled my insides out at the sun
At the wide open road
it’s a wide open road, it’s a wide open road
….” -triffids

No getting round that this was going to be a hot day. We powered along early making good progress. We are in part of the Fleurieu region now, lots of vineyards. Here the Big Sky and a vineyard are seen to sucked the life out of a tree:

Arrive at Langhorne Creek (2nd Breakfast) where our luck at finding good coffee runs out.

Further on we pass an almond farm. Very sophisticated anti-bird defences. Set off electronic sensors as we passed. Three different tones/noises (no AC/DC). It stopped us dead in our tracks as we search for whose mobile phone is ringing. Then loud bangs started going off and we quickly move on. James (who has local knowledge) says the farmers employ 12 year olds with shot guns.

Then more Big Sky:

And we are going up; a slow, gradual, continous, long, unrelenting up. Hammerring for an hour we are suddenly at Mt Barker, where we have booked part of the local oval as the caravan park overflow (I guess from TDU).

Its hard to finish the day before 10am when Adelaide is only 40 km away. So after (1st) lunch, James,Wendy & I press on to Adelaide, Scott/Dianne continue tomorrow.

At first all is good following the Mt Barker road, until at Stirling the road dumps you in a (bike forbidden) expressway. Luckily at that very point there is a newsagent where, if you ask, a man will provide you with a detailed hand-drawn map of the complicated directions to connect with the Crafers bikeway.

Briefly, at the roundabout just before the freeway entrance, take the small dirt track which goes beside the church, up a steep hill for a kilometer parallel to the freeway:

This end in road, continue for a short distance, then turn right again on a steep dirt walking track of another 1km, continue on road after this, at top of hill take pedestrian bridge over freeway.

Turn right, go through Crafers, into the park & ride, onto the right-hand-side pedestrian path, which then becomes the Crafers bikeway:

Or do like us, go into the newagents at Stirling and ask for the map guy. Heres a Bikely map of the Stirling-Crafers bike connection:

Once you’re on this, the bikeway is a wonder to behold. High speed for long times is fun. Only hand cramp can stop us now!

Good to end with solid ride, with a epic 1 km total climb for the day. We make a beeline to the city, where we immediately go to sign up for the Tour. Alas the tent is closed:


Todays sign: If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow don’t be alarmed now

more pics
more pics2

day 12 | aftermath

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6 Responses to day 13: Wellington – Adelaide

  1. 888riley says:

    Chris Fotis is suggesting somewhere south of Perth … Perth-Albany would be fantastic but only 400k … could make it a loop though, going further east to Fitzgerald National Park (and the rabbit proof fence) then north. Great counrty

    • Mark says:

      That’s actually not a bad idea.
      The Perth-Albany-Perth is the iconic ride of the Audux in Australia. Like the famous Paris-Brest-Paris, its 1200km. In Aust. the PAP is held every 4 years. Next time just happens to be 5-8th Oct. 2010!

      Yes thats right: the 5th – 8th, thats 4 days. 1200 km. You do the maths. You have to be especially crazy for this. Have a look at the site:

      http://audax.org.au/public/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=386&Itemid=343

      The site has a link to a bikely map of route (its a loop).

      an excerpt of the description of the 1st day:
      “After a hearty meal at Margaret River, it is only a short ride down to the farming community of Alexander Bridge (332km). Here you can then choose between continuing straight on or staying for a nap or longer sleep.”

  2. Wendy says:

    Thanks for your thanks Mark. The pleasure was all mine and I would do it again any day! The bike trip was amazing and thoroughly enjoyable. The organisation was very impressive and we improved daily! Woke each morning to see shadowy figures up already, coffee pot on the stove. (I think more should be made of that icon….see picture 0317b). I am sending you all my photos. Make of them what you will! Loved your Santa series!

  3. 123leah says:

    It was brilliant! I was really sorry to leave early. The scenery, the roads, the company… even the hot, windy stretch outside Port Fairy and the crank set falling off on Day 2. All part of the adventure.

    Possily no XmasEpic (at least not one organised by Mark) in 2010 because we’re heading overseas (probably) but send him a suggestion for 2011.

    (The new bike is magic and I’m itching to get back on again. Tomorrow we ride.)

  4. Really great that you did this. I am envious. How did you go Leah?

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