So here we are for the 8th year of SuperCycle, with some old faces and some eager new recruits who are about to find out exactly what they signed up for.
(Before I go any further, a shout out to Max and Madge of Taralgon, and Judith of Gawler, who have been avid supporters of Supercycle for many years, and who keenly await each day’s report).
A big thank you to ABC Adelaide for providing our starting point today. If you were up early enough you could have heard Dawn spruiking Mercer SuperCycle on Adelaide radio.
Day 1 is 150kms to Wirrina Cove via Hahndorf. Alarm goes off at 445 (though some were up before that). Ditzy’s lovely breakfast was a bowl of cold oats that she soaked the night before. (We all carry a plastic bowl and spoon for this purpose). We all make sure that the essentials like sunscreen, a rain jacket and booties are in our day pack, and then the interstate riders head downstairs to have their bags loaded in the support car by 5.30am. Many people saw the rain and put on go booties (which for some reason have been renamed boobies – thanks spell check!) and the raincoat. Of course – it always rains on day 1.
Having made sure the bike is in good working order the day before, the interstate riders set off for the ABC where everyone is due to assemble by 6am.
Enjoying lunch thanks to Myponga Country Picnic Bakery
It was a bit moist while we were setting up and during the speeches. Paul Flynn from the Hospital Research Foundation reminded us why we were there and what it meant to the families who use the Under Our Roof houses. Jim (who is do a sterling job as Ride Director this year) reminded us that our job today was to get to the end of the ride safely.
The volunteers arrange everyone into their pelotons, and all bags get re-packed so that your bag is with your peloton’s support car. We stand around cold in the car park and try and keep warm during the speeches, Finally its time to line up – listen to last minute instructions from our our Marshalls, and we’re off at 7am sharp!
A quiet run through pre-dawn Adelaide dimness, though peloton 1 had quite the run of red lights given that there were only about 7 sets of lights before we got out of town. But no major events as we climbed up Gorge Rd along one of the loveliest rides within 10kms of an Australian city CBD.
First stop at the Kangaroo Creek dam (the extension is nearly finished, now we just need some rain) for a quick regroup after the first big climb, first food of the day at Cudlee Creek (love that Vili”s fruit cake) (where we had the first fall of the ride, luckily with no damage) and then another testing hill up to Lobethal. We then hit the traffic along Onkaparinga Valley Rd before the turn off for the historic town of Hahndorf, with coffee and cake to greet us provided by Kitchen 2C.
By this stage the rain had gone away, but we had turned into the wind which was slowing things down a little bit. But both pelotons were looking strong and going ok, with the usual first day teething issues as everyone got used to riding with each other.
(For new followers of Supercycle, a peloton is a group of bike riders. This year’s Supercycle has two pelotons. Peloton 2 contains the Mercer team. Everyone else is in peloton 1.)
On the home stretch of Day 1, taking in the sights of the Fleurieu Peninsula, known for its local produce and wine regions!
The road flattened out for the next run to Meadows, but we were still heading into a stiff southwesterly which kept everyone at the front honest. After another food stop in Meadows (yes, we do spend the week eating, drinking and riding our bikes) (and why not?) we kept riding south west towards the top of Willunga Hill for another quick stop and the end of the first 100kms for the day. There was a little reshuffling of pelotons when the 100 club riders finished their ride, and we headed off (still into that headwind) to Myponga and lunch from the Myponga Country Picnic Bakery. Pies, pasties and sausage rolls so good that even the lack of sauce didn’t detract from them.
With less than 50kms to go, we set off after lunch up one of the steeper hills of the day towards Myponga dam. We stopped for a groupie (Dawn’s word, not mine) at the dam, and then descended to Normanville and onto Wirrina for the first night’s stay.
Currently sitting overlooking the golf course (with attendant roos) while waiting for wine tasting and dinner. Looking forward to a tail wind tomorrow as we head off for 160kms to Murray Bridge.