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It's time to get out and ride
You've seen plenty of cyclists around Adelaide, perhaps watched parts of the Tour Down Under, and you've probably heard about the 6,000 recreational cyclists who took part in the People's Ride from Norwood to Victor Harbor. Perhaps your interest is piqued, or just perhaps you may have picked up the cycling bug, but not quite sure where to start. Well BikeSA and their 2016 season of great rides has something just for you.
Grand Slam (21 February, 17 April, 15 May, 21 August, 16 October)
Anchoring the recreational cycling series is the Grand Slam series. Now in its 30th season, the Grand Slam comprises 5 rides in 4 seasons in the Adelaide Hills and the Fleurieu Peninsula and provides an opportunity for cyclists of all skills and standards to take part. Each ride consists of two loops with a stop halfway for refreshments and food, and each ride gradually gets longer as the season extends culminating in the final ride of 2x 100km loops from Echunga.
The Easter Cycle is the ideal long weekend of relaxed fun for family and friends, and this year it is at Waikerie. From long day-trips chasing the horizon for committed roadies, to little loops for tackers on trainer-wheels as well as the famous Night Ride, the Easter Cycle has plenty in the schedule to keep the entire family occupied all long weekend. As well as all the bike rides of varying distances, the schedule includes bird watching, kayaking, cliff top walks along the river banks and also spending some time at the world famous Banrock Station Wine and Wetland Centre.
After a long break, Adelaide's legendary cycling event, Coast to Coast, is back with a great ride to Victor Harbor via the soft sloping roads of the Adelaide Hills. For those looking for a first time challenge, then the start at Meadows means a predominantly flattish 65km ride, while those looking for a little more can start at Crafers for a total of 95km. And for those looking to complete the grand distance, then the 120km from Glenelg may be just for you.
Most of BikeSA's events cater for those with the thinner wheels with the exception of one. The Dirty Weekend in late April is the chance for all of those with those fatter mountain bike wheels to get them out of the shed, and head up to Cudlee Creek for 6, 12 or 24 hours of fun through the single tracks and the forest, with and without lights, as individuals or as teams.
South Australia is well known for its gorgeous vineyards, great seafood and strong cycling culture and for the second year running BikeSA will bring all of this together in the Wine, Wheels & Whiting bike ride, where riders can pedal from the Clare Valley to the Copper Coast, and be entertained by a weekend of festivities put on by the locals. The ride features 3 distances to choose from as riders make their way across to Wallaroo on the Copper Coast.
Wine, Wheels and Whiting
Annual Tour (24 September - 2 October)
From the Vineyards at Clare to the Outback near Quorn, the 2016 Annual Tour is going to be special. Riders will kick off their holidays with delicious food and wine, gorgeous countryside, open skies, rounded hills, and wind rippling over wheat fields as they slowly pedal further north into pioneer country partly finding and following Goyder's Line. Vineyards will give way to agricultural land as they eventually find themselves venturing into the South Australian Outback.
Sitting in the middle of October is the Ride2Work Day, a national initiative designed to encourage and support all riders to take those first steps towards riding to work. From 7am for 2 hours, Victoria Square (and some regional centres) becomes a sea of bikes as riders gather for numerous learnings and free giveaways including coffee, scrolls and BikeSA safety equipment.
Organised in conjunction with the Amy Gillett Foundation, Amy's Ride SA finishes amongst the beautiful vineyards of McLaren Vale. But to get there, a choice is required - perhaps the shorter 35km from O'Halloran Hill, or maybe the 60km from Flinders University or perhaps the 100/120km from Flinders University via Adelaide's own Willunga Hill. Irrespective of the distance you choose, a ride on the closed Southern Expressway is a must for everyone at some time in their life, and why not give it as try this year ?
The year culminates in Adelaide's only ladies event where ladies of all ages are encouraged to get on a bike and ride along the river, to the beach or to the hills. Gear Up Girl is now in its 5th year, and is aiming to break the 1,000 entrants mark this year in this friendly and hugely popular fun ride.
Every BikeSA event has a team of volunteers helping organise everything so all you have to do is ride. Food, drinks, signage, recovery vehicles and cameras are provided, while a glass of wine at the end of a day's ride has been occasionally spotted. Entry details and prices are all available from the above links or from the BikeSA website or their facebook page. Let's get riding !