What a great day for a bike ride!
After the wintery weather leading up to the weekend and more rain overnight, the sky cleared, the wind dropped and the sun shone for Kangaroo Island Bicycle Users Group on Sunday, June 16.
Eleven hardy riders and a support driver rolled up to the American River foreshore for our final BUG outing before the winter recess.
Despite the sunshine it certainly wasn't a heat wave, so most of us rugged up against the cool air. However, two hardy souls did the whole ride in shorts and tee-shirts. Brrr!
Our route was a familiar bitumen and dirt road loop around American River, with the added twist of a very smooth and fast out-and-back section on the recently resurfaced Three Chain Road.
The hill up from American River to Hog Bay Road got some riders on standard mountain bikes and road bikes huffing and puffing, while the e-bike crew sailed up easily.
At the end of American River Road the fast riders had a pleasant break in the sun, waiting for the slower riders to recover and re-group before all crossing Hog Bay Road to cruise 4km down Three Chain Road to our turn-around.
Back up to Hog Bay Road, we crossed again and pedaled along Boundary Road and Redbanks Road towards the exhilarating, scenic downhill ride into American River.
The lush green of farm paddocks was almost blinding in intensity and the native vegetation looked fresh and clean again.
Road surfaces had mostly dried by the time we hit dirt, leaving only soft edges, a few puddles, some small rocks and spongy sections to negotiate.
Nothing out of the ordinary for KI cyclists and everyone got through without any bike problems or wet bottoms.
One regular rider tried out her flash new recumbent three-wheel e-bike. It handled the bitumen and re-surfaced dirt road really well, so I'm sure we will see a lot more of this laid-back rider around KI.
As tail-end riders whizzed downhill to the American River foreshore the first ones back had already cranked up the barbie ready for a sociable lunch together.
In the end the ride was a bit short, coming in at just under 32km, although one rider got carried away and rode up the Redbanks Road hill, making his total an admirable 37km.
Throughout the ride our support driver brought up the rear, driving slowly with hazard lights flashing and a bright sign warning of "Cyclists Ahead".
Thanks to all the motorists who passed us with great care, we really appreciate your patience and courteous driving.
In the end our support driver didn't want miss out on a ride in the sunshine, so he borrowed a bike one size too small and cycled home.
Next KI BUG ride is in September, details to be confirmed in 'KI Happenings'. All welcome, hope we see you some time in the 2019/20 ride season.
Meanwhile, why not warm up and blow away the winter cobwebs by getting out on your bike? Check the six KI Cycling pamphlets for ideas.