Wednesday, January 27, 2010

SA - Tour Down Under

After having spent a wonderful couple of weeks at home in Newcastle for Christmas, we flew back to Adelaide, picked up our caravan and were ready to head west. We decided to spend the first night back on the road in Clare (one of our favourite places). We discovered that the Tour Down Under was beginning from Clare in a few days so we spent the next 4 days enjoying the festivities of the area waiting for the beginning of the race.
While here, we had several bike rides on the Riesling trail which is a walking and bike track that winds its way over thirty kilometres through this picturesque valley passing by many wineries on the way.
On Sunday there was a 60 kilometre road ride from Clare to Tarlee which would be the first part of the “Tour” beginning on Tuesday. Mike joined the group of over 100 riders and rode the hardest ride he has ever done. The wind was unforgiving but he hung in there and I picked up an exhausted but elated man three hours after he had left Clare. It certainly makes you appreciate the fitness of all the professionals on the tour. There was a street party in Clare the night before the race and the roads downtown had been closed and set up ready for the race start. There were several bands, food and wine stalls and we had a fun night celebrating with the locals.
Tuesday morning was buzzing with excitement. We rode our bikes into town, had breakfast and watched the riders and the “circus” arrive from Adelaide. We then rode the bikes back to the caravan park and watched the tour from beside the road.
The Tour brings a lot of excitement to the area and we enjoyed being part of it. We would definitely consider returning another year and following the Tour around the area.

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