Every tour needs one of those days to remind fellow riders how tough and competent they were. Well … the final day of the Southern Yorke Peninsula was going to deliver. After all thus far we had pretty good weather, some amazing tailwinds, and even the corrugations were manageable.
Today an Antarctic wind was blowing – good news was we rode with it behind us most of the way – bad news it brought with it random showers and some light hail!
I ended up riding with two pairs of pants on (the water repellent variety and the wet weather pants) and two jackets on (my regular rain jacket and a spray jacket). Without my think thermal I am sure I would have frozen to near death. I can also vouch for the fact that walking into light hail is not a pleasant experience.
On this day, I put in practice lessons from M & D about riding into gravel. Go fast and don’t thing about steering – I reckon thats what they said and that what I did. I seemed to skim over the tops of the corrugations. I am not sure all the parts of my bike are still on it – but enough to get home were!.
There is not too much accomodation available on the South Western part of the Yorke Peninsula so it’s difficult to have a reasonable length ride and go through the national park. That’s why we chose to have the national park on ride on the rest day and take the sealed (but only since 2002) Marion Bay road most of the way.
We left early (8:00am) to avoid traffic – although it was hard to imagine too many people leaving Marion Bay that early on a Saturday. The road itself is quite wide with pretty good sight lines most of the time. It also helps that there was wind behind us and not in our faces. We flew up that road!
Our route couldn’t just be direct there had to be a scenic bit thrown in! We achieved this by following West Coast Road to Corny Point past Gravel Bay and Berry Bay. Unfortunately the turn gave us a big head wine and dirt road. But it was worth it with lunch overlooking Berry Bay South with the added benefits of toilets. (hey YP council why not proper shelter?)
Corny Point lighthouse was a highlight of the day. It looks good from so many angles.
Every organised bike ride plans for a rest day. Sometimes people ride more on the rest day than they do on a normal day.
This ride was no different! But to make sure we actually scheduled in a short 15km ride from Hillocks Drive to Marion Bay and then offered a option to riding into Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park.
There we so many options – we explored Hillocks Drive (by car). We also cycled to Meehan Hill Lookout before even getting to Marion Bay!
We arrived at Marion Bay in time for lunch, but all we wanted was Golden North Icecream! No photo from me because I ate it too quickly. Everyone was keen to take up the optional ride – a nice easy trail through the National Park to Stenhouse Bay and then a doodle back on the bitumen to Marion Bay. If you’re lucky Helen will share her Emu photographs with you.
The GPX route gets you to Marion Bay and beyond. But I can’t say that has all been ridden and proven today. Give it a go, but with you risk assessment brain on. Day 5 – Hillocks Drive to Marion Bay
This was a new adventure for us – we hadn’t checked out this part of the ride. It was pretty simple however, follow a couple of dirt roads (Greenhill Road and then South Coast Road) for around 46 km along some of the least populated areas of the Yorke Peninsula.
Perhaps because of its isolation the ride was quite pleasant with next to no traffic and fewer corrugations compared with the previous day. It was not enough to save our companion from having a tyre blowout. Without the support vehicle it would have been another 20 or so kilometres of walking. There wasn’t much chance of getting that going.
A word of wisdom, just because Google doesn’t show a bike shop on the Yorke Peninsula doesn’t mean you can’t get tyres. Your friendly sports store in Minlaton might have some? Perhaps the hardware store? Or even a Hardware store. In any case, the support vehicle managed to buy tyres and bakery goods and meet us again before the end. Amazing eh?
There are NO shops along this route, so you need to plan. There are only a few shelters so you need to plan to stop at them!
This is where cosmopolitan Yorke Peninsula ends and the rugged south starts. There were two public toilets en-route – but under construction much to the dismay of my fellow cyclists.
We planned to deviate from the Walk the Yorke cycle route at a couple of spots because despite the intentions of the Yorke Peninsula Council for all intents and purposes these sections are unpassable for most cyclists. The path from Sultana Point to Heel Road and the path along “Diamond Lake Road”. We took road route alternatives, which are on our GPX files.
Having said all that, we even deviated from our own GPX so we could check out the wind farm visitor centre.
This is one of my favourite parts of the tour. It is very exposed and very beautiful coastline supervised by the modern 1980 brick Troubridge Point lighthouse. Along this segment we met Brian who rode with us for while – even though his extra electric horse power meant he had to cycle very slowly to keep up with us.
Not only are there no toilets but there are no places to eat lunch. So we brought our own supplies of snacks and had lunch at a delightful shelter between Troubridge Lighthouse and Port Moorowie as recommended by Brian. Vivienne’s Anzac biscuits are the best.
Hopefully Helen can find a photo of our lunch spot and post it tonight!!
Tomorrow will be a big adventure – roughly 45 kilometres along a route we have never ridden or driven. What could go wrong. Today’s GPX can be downloaded from Strava – Day 4 – Port Moorowie to Hillocks Drive
This tour is planned as a weeklong tour from Port Vincent to Point Turton on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. While we have ridden Brompton’s on the Yorke Peninsula this time we opted for bikes more suited to corrugated gravel.
The first day is a “transition day”. We left Adelaide at 9:00am and enjoyed the North-South Motorway – especially the bit between the T2T and the “Superway”.
The first ride was the prologue – not really part of the tour, but fun nonetheless partly because it starts at Tiddy Widdy Beach and ends at Rogues Point and partly because Ardrossan is a nice part of the world. It was only around 15km.
Given the short prologue, we were meant to do a second ride in the afternoon from Port Vincent – a loop ride through the golf course! But it was wet, so instead we just tootled around town. Luckily getting to see some sea-lions (or seals?) at the marina.
Tonight we are staying at Port Vincent and have just eaten garfish and chips at the famous Port Vincent Kiosk. We were hoping for the world’s best pineapple fritters – but circumstances conspired against us – like many things these days – there appears to be a shortage of slice pineapple rings!