Australia 2016: The Springton to Sedan and Return Ride

SpringtontoSedan2016-19January 7, 2016 – There are so many dirt and gravel road options in the state of South Australia, it is becoming a real first world problem to assemble routes that won’t go on forever! As has been the trend the past few days, the excellent summer weather continues with almost no cloud cover to be seen. Time to bust out the sunblock and ride!

SpringtontoSedan2016-1For today’s route, I (JOM) was joined by Tim Dixon, a lad from my hometown of Adelaide, South Australia, who is among the growing number of local cyclists who love crushing gravel roads. Note Tim’s choice of bike – Norco, a Canadian brand, rarely seen in the US of A, but commonplace in other markets throughout the world.

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Eucalyptus trees line the road.

Today’s gravel ride began in the South Australian town of Springton, and headed northeast to the town of Sedan via Keyneton. As mentioned in an earlier article during this trip, I (JOM) don’t go about planning routes based on wind direction. You cannot change wind direction at an organis(z)ed ride or race, so why worry about it?

SpringtontoSedan2016-4Consequently, a lovely tail and side-tail wind pushed us along as we headed north, making for a tough head wind during much of the journey home.

I'm not a religious man, but I can appreciate the beauty of this church in the country town of Keyneton.
Admiring the fine architecture of this church in the country town of Keyneton.

SpringtontoSedan2016-5Since I (JOM) first started riding dirt and gravel roads back in 2007, I’ve seen some amazing scenery in my travels. Once again, my home state of South Australia continues to blow me away with its beauty.

SpringtontoSedan2016-7Gravel cycling isn’t always about putting your head down and grinding away; its also about the quiet and solitude, and taking in the sights.SpringtontoSedan2016-8While I had company in the form of Tim for today, we had almost no company in terms of vehicular traffic along the gravel roads. I (JOM) set a record the day before for the number of cars NOT seen along the way. Today, that record was broken – only two cars were spotted as we trundled along! Amazing!

SpringtontoSedan2016-10SpringtontoSedan2016-6If you view JOM’s Strava ride data at the bottom of this page, you’ll see the elevation dropped significantly once the ridge to the west of Sedan had been descended.

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JOM’s bike leans against the Mannum – Adelaide water pipeline.

SpringtontoSedan2016-11There was plenty of climbs on offer for today’s route, but thankfully, none were particularly leg breaking. Rather, there were many, and they came together one after the other. In all, over 1,150 metres (almost 4,000 feet) of climbing in 91.7 kilometres (57.3 miles).

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Tim descending one of the day's many grades.
Tim descending one of the day’s many grades.
Desolation on the outskirts of Sedan.
Desolation on the outskirts of Sedan.

The ride’s mid-point and refueling spot was the town of Sedan. Once a busy railway town  complete with steam flour mill and agricultural machinery factory, things are a tad quieter nowadays.

SpringtontoSedan2016-15Located at the centre (or center if you’re Americano) of town is the Sedan Hotel – aka pub. While there are probably some rooms for rent, beer and food are the primary offerings in these establishments. While the thought of a cold brew in the middle of today’s ride was very tempting – check out Monday’s ride :mrgreen: – Tim and I chose instead to hydrate at the local IGA supermarket.

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The main drag through Sedan.

The return leg of today’s journey was tough, due to the headwinds I (JOM) mentioned earlier. Having Tim for company kept me honest. Ordinarily, I am happy to chug along and zone out. Having him along forced me to ride a harder tempo which is difficult to do, at least in terms of motivation.

SpringtontoSedan2016-17Incidentally, Tim was riding with a power meter sans heart strap, while I (JOM) was recording heart rate data only. If you click HERE to see Tim’s Strava data, you can see it was a solid day on the bike.

SpringtontoSedan2016-18No gravel ride in Australia would be complete without the obligatory kangaroo sighting, and today’s ride was no exception. While I (JOM) captured some video footage with the camera phone, it wasn’t quite good enough to be shared. But have no fear, that will change in a future posting 🙂 In the meantime, enjoy the camera phone video captures below.

SpringtontoSedan2016-22SpringtontoSedan2016-23Eventually all good things must come to an end. With the late start of the day’s ride, Tim and I rolled into Springton at close to 5pm.

SpringtontoSedan2016-20If you’ve never visited Australia, one thing that differs greatly from the US of A is the strength of the sun. I (JOM) sometimes unwisely eschew sunblock on the northern side of the equator. Here in Australia, that is ill-advised.

Even with sunblock – in combination with late afternoons spent in the open and plenty of wind, I (JOM) are toting around a much stronger tan than when I left in Florida – which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Play it safe, block the sun.

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Strava Ride Data

For those so inclined, you can check out my ride HERE.

Keep watching the Gravel Cyclist site, there are more Australian gravel rides and video on the way!

Thanks for reading.

6 comments on “Australia 2016: The Springton to Sedan and Return Ride

  1. Hi Jayson,

    Great rides and reports, mate.

    TO ALL NON AUSSIE gravel cyclists, a friendly “Hi”……..if you think the sunburnt scenery is spectacular, you should see Oz in Spring, green, green ,green!! Those S.A. rides J.O.M. is doing and mine here in Central Victoria are at times breathtaking. While we might not have the tall mountains of other countries, we do have postcard views and hidden treasures, so…..Come over!

    Cheers
    Steve F
    The lonely gravel guy

    1. I’m really enjoying this series JOM. As an aussie it’s great to read about some local crunchy rides. I traveled to TDU last 2 years, not this year tho. You will have a blast – or “feel the rush” as they say locally. Race organisers could improve the Fleurieu TDU stage by putting in some of your gravel sectors though – it’s a bit of a dull stage otherwise.

      Also to Steve F – I am organising a gravel ride in Strathbogie Ranges in central Victoria, Australia, March 2016, which should be close to you. Here is link for 2015 ride to give you some idea of what it is like https://nixtrader.wordpress.com/rides/slider/ This might interest you.

  2. Hi JOM,yes I can vouch for this…only 2 cars in over 4 hours riding,incredible!! Scenery was simply majestic. I did feel each of those 4000 feet of climbing the next day on the bike!
    Thank god for RidewithGPS,a wrong turn and we’d have been off the grid out there.
    Cheers,
    Tim

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