Big ride today, the 100km Amy’s Ride, including 18km ride to the start, and a 48 km ride home from McLaren Vale for a total of 166km (shows up as slightly less on the map because a few corners are cut).
Was lots of fun. I think my previous longest was about 80km, so it was quite a step up. Also my first go at an organised ride, everything seemed to run well to plan.
Riding down the Southern Expressway was an obvious highlight, such a great idea using it for a bike ride. I started a bit too far back in the pack so I was going a bit slower than I would have liked on much of it though. At the end of the expressway the ride down into Old Noarlunga was very nice, I’m not sure that I’ve been there before. From there it was over to the coast, it’s ages since I last went down Commercial Road so I’d forgotten that there’s some pretty steep hills, gave me a chance to really push it after my training on the likes of Corkscrew Rd and Mt Osmond. Then there were great views as we came into Port Willunga, then back inland, and it started to heat up a bit (but never to the point of being uncomfortable).
Next challenge was Willunga Hill, famous from the Tour Down Under, which I’d never been up before. Given my recently discovered love of climbing, it was obviously a highlight for me. Never terribly steep but it just keeps going on in a long grind. By that point I’d already done about 75km for the day but had no trouble getting to the top. Then there was a fairly flat ride through some picturesque farmland before a slightly dicey descent down Wickhams Hill.
With under 20km to go to McLaren Vale I was expecting perhaps a gentle descent the rest of the way, but the last section was all rolling hills with some fairly nasty inclines at times.
I returned along the Coast to Vines trail, and then the veloway. The Coast to Vines was a nice easy ride – mostly it follows where a railway line used to be so it’s fairly flat. Some of the old railway cuttings it goes through a quite spectacular. The veloway into Darlington gives great views of Flinders Uni and up to the city.