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5 rides in 4 seasons, with lunch and tea/coffee included
Want to learn how to ride a bike ? Or perhaps you already have a bike, but you want to challenge yourself to some bigger rides ? If you are either of these, then Bike SA's annual Grand Slam Challenge may be the series of events for you.
Between February and October there are five Grand Slam Challenge rides throughout the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and Fleurieu Peninsula as part of the Grand Slam Challenge Series. Riders can ride in one, two, three, four or all five of the series rides. Each ride combines two different loops of between 40km and 100km each, all starting and finishing in the one location. There is also a Mini Slam for those looking for something a little less challenging, in which riders only need complete only and either one of the two loops.
Build up your fitness throughout the year to complete the ultimate 200km end of season challenge at Mt Pleasant, or just join for one or two rides during the year. Meet new people, or meet up with old buddies, the Grand Slam Challenge rides are as much about the challenge as they are about the people you meet.
All rides are fully signposted and supported by Bike SA, with delicious fruit cake served en-route, as well as water and juices, and in some cases there is also tea, coffee and soup on the boil. And at the completion of each ride, there is a lunch available for everyone with more hot and cold beverages.
Grand Slam #1 - Mt Torrens - 40/80 km - 22 February
The first ride in the series starts off at Mt Torrens Oval. Two flattish loops of around 40km are an easy way for riders to learn how to ride in groups and realise reasonable distances. One loop heads north towards Birdwood, Forreston and Gumeracha, while the second loop heads through Lobethal, Woodside and Charleston.
Grand Slam #1 normally attracts in excess of 500 riders of all ages, gender and experience, and is a great fun day on this last official weekend of summer.
Grand Slam #2 gives riders the opportunity to experience the large parts of the penultimate stage of the annual Tour Down Under. Riders have two loops of around 50km each, one which takes them seaside through Sellicks, Aldinga and Port Willunga, while the second loop incorporates the infamous Willunga Hill.
The last day of Autumn sees riders venture from Meadows Oval in two loops of around 60km each. The traditional loops around Strathalbyn, Macclesfield and Mt Barker usually provide an increase in intensity and hills for riders, with the soup being very much appreciated at the end of the rides.
Grand Slam #4 - Williamstown - 75/150 km - 23 August
The most northern of the Grand Slams starts from Williamstown Oval and incorporates the townships of Mt Pleasant, Angaston, Tanunda, Lyndoch, Gawler, Kersbrook. With plenty of cellar doors to pass, this is sure to test some riders on each of the 75km loops.
Grand Slam #5 - Mt Pleasant - 100/200 km - 18 October
The final ride for the series is the big one - two loops of 100km from Mt Pleasant Oval. Rider numbers tend to decrease a little by the time this spring ride comes around, with numbers closer to the 300 mark. These two large loops incorporate most of the roads in the northeastern Adelaide Hills area, and usually include a sojourn on to the Murray Plains towards Sedan.
Entry fees per day are $35 for members or $50 for non-members, with a series entrance fee offering one free ride. In addition, riders can purchase a special edition grand slam jersey to motivate them towards the challenge or to celebrate their achievement afterwards.