We decided to make the Adelaide Central Markets the end point of the tour. That way we could celebrate with a Singapore Noodles in the Market’s Food Court.
To start with I drove to the point the last ride finished. Got out the trike and cycled to the exact point the Veloway meets Main South Road. I now had a map which showed the bike path link to the Sturt River Linear Park bike path.
I sat with the map and worked out where to go. Start by crossing Main South Road. This took a while as it needed the use of 3 controlled crossings to get across. I started to pedal .. bugger .. it’s the wrong way! 180 degrees out you clot. Back across Main South Road using another set of 3 controlled crossings. A lot of cars over the road and I was heading in the right direction at last.
The trail began in a lumpy form but soon changed to a smooth tarmac surface. It was quiet. The tyres made a hummmmming noise, deep when running slow and moving to a higher pitch as the speed rose. Cycling mainly on chipseal surfaces these humming sounds are fun. Especially when backed by chortling Magpies as they were today.
Quite a few cyclists on the path this morning. Mostly less energetic older persons like myself. Add kids, walkers, dogs, lovers and family groups it was an interesting ride. There were regular crossings of main roads. Most were handled by a quick dive to the central “refuge”, wait for a gap and head for the far side. The “refuges” don’t seem quite long enough to fit the trike in and it did feel a bit exposed out there in the middle as vehicles flashed past. Some crossings were light controlled. They were better.
A bit further on and the trail crossed a major road and then it seemed the trail had been dug up on the other side. I started down a side street in the hope it would give access to the trail after the deconstruction works. It wasn’t going well when 2 lads came along on their bikes. I asked them what the story was and they led me through a maze of streets to eventually get back onto the trail. My thanks to two polite and smart boys for their help.
Just after the lads had me back on track it was time to leave the Sturt River trail and join the Westside Bikeway. The link was soon found and I roamed along the new trail as it wended it’s way through the suburbs via what appeared to be a narrow strip of gardens interspersed with small playground areas. Many little roads were crossed during this section and at each crossing cars stopped immediately I was sighted. How polite.
This trail took me up the western side of the Adelaide CBD crossing the Sir Donald Bradman Drive. I guess given that name the road has to be a Drive! (For non-cricket fans ignore the last sentence). Anyway, I turned to cycle along the Drive on it’s narrow cycle lane. We climbed up and over two sets of railway tracks, past serious looking athletic centres and through the green belt surrounding the city.
Off the end of the Drive and into Grote Street and along to the entry to the Adelaide Central Markets. A good cycle lane along Grote but one that had you riding between cars and buses on both sides more than was comfortable.
At Last – the Markets. Job Done. I had made it !!!
BUT then the day took a turn. As we parted at the start of today’s ride, Sue realised she had left her phone back at Milang. Our plan was for her to find a call box and let me know what she was doing once she was in Adelaide. This didn’t work – no phone boxes any more. So, resorting to borrowing a stranger’s phone, Sue had called arranging that we would meet at the Grote Street market entrance. After I had been there some time Sue borrowed another person’s phone and called again. We worked out she was at another entrance on another street. A street she thought was Grote Street. That solved, we then had to get the trike into the car – which was in the Adelaide Central Markets car park. I rode up the steep entry ramp, held up cars coming up the ramp behind me, bypassed the entry control boom gate, explained my actions to a uniformed car park officer and waited, not realising the ramp took me up to Level 2. Sue had gone to try and find the car, on Level 1. A lot of stuffing around later and another phone borrowed, I had to ride the trike through the rambling, large car park, down a ramp to Level 1 and then round and round until I found the car. A dark, tight car park full to bursting, lots of cars manoeuvring, a lot of hot and bothered drivers – it was not nice. I was quite hot and bothered at the end.
It was a bit of a hassle getting the trike in and in our haste we left the right hand passenger door open!
Imagine our surprise to find the car door open! No damage done. Nothing taken. Just two red faces lighting up the car park.
What next. Well, I suspect there won’t be much riding for a week or three as we spend another week at Milang and then start to work our way back to Tassie via Broken Hill. I am hoping to get a ride in around Broken Hill and, maybe, get the local bike shop there to replace the rear gear cable which has begun to fray and two strands regularly stick in my fingers!! I had those fingers crossed that the cable would hang together for the end of the ride and it did.
Until next time …..