The final day of the 2012 TDU and I get up at 5am to go on a long easy coast ride. I now feel those two terms are contradictory, long and easy! Actually setting off down the road at 5:28am with the temperature already a 22C in the dark of the night. I felt this would be my penance ride for not riding the TDU BUPA Challenge along with my other newly acquired cycling friends. I have been avoiding entering events as I am afraid it will fuel my building obsession with riding and I want to keep it under some sort of control. Needing to clock over 100km to satisfy my goal I headed South first to Moana. Sunday morning, or is that very late Saturday night, the roads are very quiet so I rode the roads instead of bike paths until I reached the Southern Expressway on Beach road Noarlunga. I headed South along the expressway bike path until it reached the Coast to Vines bike path where I headed South to the exit on Seaford Road. This is the scene of some confusion to visiting cyclists because the redirection for cyclists is extremely poor if existent. The redirection is necessary due to the earth works for the Seaford rail extension from Noarlunga. I followed Seaford road West to Commercial road where I headed further South to Moana. Having completed 19km, 40 mins into my ride, I was facing the sea and took this photo of the Moana Surf Life Saving Club and Deep Blue Cafe as light was appearing well before the sun rose over the Adelaide hills.
Now time to head North! Following the esplanade through Seaford, Port Noarlunga South and down into Port Noarlunga over the river. Following the short climb up to Dyson road i was able to continue on to Hallett Cove where the Coast to Vines bike path crosses Lonsdale Highway. Reaching this corner, where Remini’s Cafe is, the meeting location of the Southern Suberbs Road Cyclists for their “Muddies” ride every alternate Saturday morning, I took the bike path to return to the coast through Hallett Cove & Marino, at Seacliff some 42km and 1h42 mins into the ride. At Seacliff I paused to take this photo of the sun just managing to reach the sands just a short while after sunrise.
This was the last peaceful photo I took on this ride, before most other riders were out and about. It was now a little after 7am and I was starting to see runners, walkers and other bikes around on a beautiful morning when the temperature had just gone past 23C.
I followed the regular cycling route to Glenelg South where I joined the shared walking bike path. There were a growing numbers of people here, running, walking dogs, riding bikes or just simply walking, it was incredibly busy for 7:30am although the temperature had reached 25C now, it is going to be a hot day. The sea was calm as there was very little breeze to talk of.
I exited the shared bike/walking paths to the end of Anzac Highway turning left at the Buffalo, the sailing ship restaurant to follow the Pattawalonga before crossing over the bridge to Military Rd, well a road that turns into Military Road a little further North. I take West Beach road back down to the seafront. One of the big attractions to this ride is the amount of beach and seafront you get to see, its beautiful and scenic and you cant get much fresher air! Once you pass the Henley Boat club you can no longer see the sea and you shortly pass over the Torrens river and its linear park bike/walk path that reaches all the way up, past the city of Adelaide, to Athelstone. This section always seems to have lots of parked cars leaving the roadway a little narrow in the busy parts of the day.
Turning right at Fort St I head East and back on to Military Rd to head North past West Lakes. I could see a group of 6 riders ahead of me riding at about the same pace. They were held up by West lakes Boulevard traffic lights allowing me to get a little closer, close enough to see one of them had on a “Killer Penguin” jersey. I stayed with them, about 3 bike lengths behind as they were riding at a comfortable pace, for me right now, of around 32 kph. The roads were now very busy with cyclists in all sized groups from 2 to maybe 80 riders deep. While following this small group we passed maybe a dozen single riders and a few small groups while we were in turn passed by several small groups of between 2 and 8 riders. Reaching the roundabout at Outer Harbour the group I was following stopped for a break while I decided to head up towards Port Adelaide. 74km down and 2h51m of riding down, my backside was sore, as I have not become that comfortable with my new seat, and I was feeling tired, hot and sweaty. It was around 8:30am and I felt like I had already done a day of riding. The temperature had just reached 27C. I stopped long enough to hydrate a little more and put on my sunsleves, not that easy when your arms are already sweaty!
I continued to head towards Port Adelaide and the Burkenhead bridge but turn right just before reaching it up Heath St. I knew there were public toilets at the end of this street and was contemplating if I needed to use them. I didn’t so exited the end via the foot path to Semaphore Road heading back down through Semaphore itself, back to the beachfront and Esplanade to head South towards home. I was feeling very tired now. 84 km down after 3 hours and 15 mins of riding. Its now around 9am and the temperature is sitting around 29C with 40% humidity. I thought to myself that 3 days ago I was almost home after an 88km ride to Outer Harbour and back. I was slowing now, sore behind, tired and hot as a large group of riders pass me of around 30 people. With a little effort I was able to stay with them only a couple of bike lengths behind. I felt like I was getting a little bit of a tow from such a large group which gave me a chance to recover a little. It was a little disappointing that they were not a particularly well behaved group. They sprawled out across the road and appeared to have no regard for other road users. I saw a couple of hand signals used warning of debris on the road but not once did I hear a car back call or any other warning of cars behind. I was able to follow them until they turned East towards the city up Henley Beach road. This had given me a 10km recovery period as the group were riding at around 34kph requiring only a small amount of effort for me to maintain this speed.
Although I was a little rested my speed dropped down to around 28 kph as I was now feeling the slight headwind without a group to protect me from it! I followed the normal route back to Glenelg where I hit the 100km marker. I tried to take a photo of my Garmin with my bike and the Patawalonga in the background, unfortunately you can not read the Garmin, it read 100km/3h49s.
From here I followed the normal bike route back to Seacliff. Great beach views and a breeze to help keep a little cooler on the way. Arriving at Whetland St I was really spent but as I turned onto it I noticed a cyclist part way up on a mountain bike standing up to peddle and could not help but to power up past him averaging 22.1kph on the “wheatland – waratah ” Strava segment, somewhat slower than my best of 36kph, but flying past quick enough to put a smirk on my face! It took a lot not to turn and look at him as I passed as I am sure he would have been cursing me! Passing Waratah I had to drop to my small ring gear and about 3rd on the back as I was really spent now! I was just peddling to get home now! Following the Coast to Vines bike path all the way to the Southern Expressway and exiting to Panalatinga Rd I then took Reynell Rd home. I still managed to power up my own street, Strava segment “Pinto Court ” averaging 21.0kph, also somewhat slower than my best of 35.4kph. It was indeed a long hard ride for me.
- Start Time:- 5:28 am
- Distance:- 122.37 km
- Riding Time:- 4h56m54s
- Av Pace:- 2m26s / km
- Av Speed:- 24.7 kph
- Av/Max HR:- 122/160 bpm
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