IP Day 23 – Clare to Tanunda

Wednesday 13th April, 2022

101.7km, +755m
Moving 4:46, Elapsed 8:57
Avg 21.3kph, Max 55 kph

6.45am start, and breakfast only 5k down the road at a bakery. Whatever I got, my only memory now is that it was underwhelming. Being in ‘wine country’ doesn’t necessarily mean the food is any better than roadhouse fare!

We were starting our day in the Clare Valley, and would be finishing in the Barossa Valley, with the farmland of the Gilbert Valley in between.  As per yesterday, we were experiencing a huge change from most of the trip so far, passing through towns only 10 to (at the most) 20km apart, and we took advantage of that.   Most of them were kind of cute, with heritage buildings.

At Auburn, at the southern edge of the Clare Valley (loo stop, and only an hour on from breakfast) we turned off to the east, leaving ‘Horrocks Highway’, and cut across to Saddleworth, on the Barrier Highway. I don’t even know why the route does that, because Horrocks Highway merges with the Barrier Highway about 20km further south anyway.

We had a second breakfast at a little cafe in Saddleworth, and, outside, got talking to a couple of ladies who were out painting murals on the stobie poles.

Quick loo stop down the road at the park, then on through Riverton. Another loo-stop at Tarlee, just under 6k south of where Horrocks and Barrier merge, and another turn-off to the east, leaving the Barrier Highway, and taking a more minor road up and over a hill to Kapunda.  The route was taking us a more circuitous way down to Adelaide, so that, tomorrow, we would be riding in to the city from the north-east.

It crossed my mind, as I wrote this (and then did some quick maths and google maps direction searches) that if we headed east from Clare (or Melrose, or even Port Augusta), instead of down to Adelaide, it would be around 1200 fewer kilometres to Sydney than via this IPWR route. Just sayin’! 

Lunch at a little cafe/florist in Kapunda, and then it was only about 26km to Tanunda.

At only 15km down the road, we stopped for a break in a park at Greenock.  Because, why not?  It was quite pleasant in the shade of the rotunda, amongst a bit of a rose garden.

Barely 3km further on we spotted some painted words on the road, and a figure, with a bike nearby, standing there by the side of the road.  It was (very patient and dedicated) dot-watcher, Scott, who turned out to be the DW responsible for the IPWR HALF WAY artwork on the road.   Photo time, of course.

That means we’ve ridden 2735km.

Scott was, I think, from Adelaide, but he’d left his car somewhere a bit closer, and timed his ride to be able to catch us here.  Poor bloke, who knows how long he was waiting while we faffed around with all our stops – and especially that last one only a few k’s back.  It’s the lot of a dot-watcher I guess, but we were throwing them some extra curveballs by taking it all a lot more slowly than everyone else.

Scott rode with us into Tanunda, and we rocketed along, alternating the lead according to the tandem vs single ‘friendliness’ of each stretch. It made those last few k’s fly by.

In Tanunda we chatted in a little park for a while – and were joined by another DW, John.  He had ridden up from Adelaide, and had been sitting in a cafe, dot watching and waiting for us. I think he was expecting us to ride with us into Adelaide today, not counting on us pulling up for the night, 80km short.  I guess people still hadn’t quite figured us out, despite us having broken down our daily distances significantly since Ceduna.  We tried harder, after this, to signal our intentions in the DW Facebook group, but some nights (like last night) it’s the last thing on your mind.

Scott and John headed off, and, with our motel about 1.5km back up the other side of the town centre, we figured we probably should first get some end-of-ride sustenance to get us through till dinner. Cue a 100km-tiredness-induced dummy spit with each other over where to get an ice cream, and the merits of crossing the traffic (ride or walk the bike?) to go into Foodland to get it.

We can laugh about it now.

The motel had a laundry, so I threw on today’s clothes (knowing that we were going to be short on time in Adelaide tomorrow afternoon.)

For dinner we walked the 1.5km downtown. One establishment looked like it might be ok. Hardly anyone in there.  “No tables available, sorry.”  We couldn’t quite shake the feeling that we’d been appraised, and weren’t really dressed for it. We were, after all,  in the Barossa Valley now. (lah-de-dah.)

We made do with where we clearly belonged – the pub.

FB post:  Tomorrow Adelaide! We’re staying overnight at the Comfort Inn Sombrero and getting a few jobs done at 99Bikes Prospect by the very helpful Daniel. Then riding on, on Friday. That being the case we plan NOT to ride into the city centre but leave the course tomorrow around lunch time at about 2814km. Any intel on the best way to get from the course to the motel (and back) will be highly valued.

Friday night for us, Tailem Bend.

We heard back from Kay, an Adelaidian DW stalwart, who offered to meet us and guide us through the streets to the motel.  She would ride up to meet us somewhere towards the bottom of Gorge Rd.  Sweet.

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