Mercer SuperCycle is a great week of getting away from things with a few people who will quickly become close friends and riding your bike. As a side benefit you can eat what you like and drink what you like and know that you should be doing this. But there is always something special about the anticipation on the last day of getting home and knowing that you don’t have to get up in the morning and get on the bike again.
A beautiful morning of riding out of Meningie on Day 7.
The evening at Meningie was great. A nice warm and still night at the football club included some fabulous food from the guys at the CaroClub food truck (nothing like a perfectly done burger and the best chips we’ve seen for many a year) and the odd hops based recovery drink or two.
The camping was a great way to keep everyone together on the last night in a town with limited accommodation. As always on camp, sleep can be interrupted, though many people reported a great night’s sleep. However, there was quite a crowd up checking phones and getting packed when the clubrooms opened up for breakfast.
We set off in the three pelotons into a lovely still morning with a light southerly (yay) and headed north along the eastern side of Lakes Albert and Alexandrina. A quick drink stop at Poltalloch Rd, and then we were soon at the ferry at Wellington. The crossing of the Murray was very still, and the ferry operator was quite amused by the number of bikes and riders (apparently we were to be entered into his traffic count as “pedestrians”).
The Statewide Super Food Van kept us fed and watered throughout the week!
Coffee stop for the day was at the Wellington Courthouse cafe, overlooking the river and the ferry. We then set off into the wine district of Langhorne Creek. The road continued flat, and the vineyards became more numerous as we hit the town of Langhorne Creek. After a brief stop, the road began to rise as we headed through Strathalbyn.
The climb from Strath to Macclesfield was tough. The wind had swung westerly, the day had got warmer, and some 8% pinches made the riding tough work on tired legs. But we got through it, and the BLTs for lunch at Macclesfield (along with a cold drink) were very welcome.
After Macclesfield, the climb continued but was a bit easier. All three pelotons pushed on and enjoyed the lovely ride up Aldgate Valley Road, one of the nicest rides in the Adelaide Hills. With a final push up Ayers Hill Road (the final hill on today’s rider), all the riders gathered at Crafers for the descent down into Adelaide and the welcome home.
As usual, this last descent, and the police escort along Portrush Rd, was a big buzz for the riders. It was an even bigger buzz to see all the people who’d turned up for the welcome home at Kensington Gardens Reserve. The welcome was fabulous, and the number of people prepared to give a hug to smelly riders dripping with sweat was quite amazing. Thank you all for coming out and making us feel special.
The food and drink put on by THRF Ambassador Alex and her helpers was delicious, and the speeches were lovely and concise. After a lot of photos, more hugs, and finding of bags, the group drifted back to their normal lives.
Another Mercer SuperCycle was over. The experienced riders that I spoke to were almost unanimous that this was the hardest one. The long days and the weather together made things tough, and it’s a credit to everyone that we got through it with no major injuries and a great sense of personal triumph. We’ve raised a great total that will go to a good cause, and we’ve had fun and made friends along the way. Thanks everyone who was involved, or supported those who were involved, and thank you to the fans of the blog, who I heard many stories about over the week. Now it’s time to take a deep breath before we think about next year.
A police escort and green traffic lights all the way on the final leg of Mercer SuperCycle 2018 to a cheering crowd of friends and family to welcome us home!