Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Cycling The Barossa Trail in Sth Australia

Location - South Australia
Ride -  The Barossa Trail.
Distance -  9 km of rail trail from Angaston to Nurioopta then 7 km to Tanunda.
Terrain - Rail trail from Angaston to Nuriootpa then separated path to Tanunda.
Difficulty - Flat and easy.
Highlights - The thousands of roses next to the path from Nurioopta to Tanunda.
Cycle Map -  http://www.railtrails.org.au/index.php?option=com_railtrails&view=trail&id=212&Itemid=18





I have been very slack about keeping up this blog lately. My original intention was to share all the great cycles we do. We do a lot of cycles!  But the problem with blogging about cycling is that cycling is exhausting. It's one thing to have great intentions of coming home each evening and tossing out something witty, entertaining, informative or just plain clever about the day's ride, it's another thing to actually do it - especially when it's so much easier just to collapse into a well deserved spa bath. If this blog is going to survive at all, I need to change tactics. Forget cleverness, wit and entertainment - think instead - a bit of basic information, a quick description of the ride and lots of pretty pictures.

Here goes:  The Barossa Trail starts at Angaston in the Barossa Valley, Sth Australia. The first part of the trail follows the route of an old railway line into Nurioopta. Like all rail trails it is flat and easy to ride, although starting at the Angaston end means a slight uphill gradient on the way home - not always a good idea when exhaustion starts to set in.

The old Angaston Railway Station


The Barossa Valley is wine country with the trail winding through some very pretty vineyards. At the right time of year though the highlight has to be the roses. Traditionally roses are grown in vineyards to act as an early warning system for pests and diseases but it's pretty clear in the Barossa that the locals just like flowers.  The section of trail from Nurioopta to Tanunda has literally thousands of roses growing for kilometre after kilometre beside the path.  Come in early November to catch the blooms.

Roses beside the trail.


At present the trail finishes just before Tanunda but work is almost complete on a new section from Tanunda to Kalbeeba giving a total trail length of 37km.

The cows are cute in this part of the world!


With only about 16 kms of trail open to date you would think that we would have had a pretty easy day of it. A 32 km, almost flat, round trip should have been simple. The wind did its usual trick of reversing direction somewhere on the outward leg so that we cycled into a fairly stiff breeze all day but the thing that really did us in was sheer mileage. We turned 30  'easy'  kilometres into 43, ' we were awfully glad to get home', kilometres. There are just too many side roads to explore. In almost uniformly flat countryside some of them are remarkably hilly and those that aren't turn into, hard to cycle through gravel, with endless corrugations.

My main piece of advice for this ride is - 'stick to the trail' - if you want to make it home without being too exhausted and 'avoid the free wine tastings' - if you want to make it home at all.


D and I after 43 exhausting kms.

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