E-bikes slowly overtake Kangaroo Island Bicycle User Group

GEARED UP: Cyclists Jean Turner, Jane Evans, Ants Harris, Paull Marlow, Trevor Mutton, Cheryl Casey, Graeme Casey, Jenni Harris, Wilma Oomen, Dave Creagh, Lloyd Berry. Photo: Supplied
GEARED UP: Cyclists Jean Turner, Jane Evans, Ants Harris, Paull Marlow, Trevor Mutton, Cheryl Casey, Graeme Casey, Jenni Harris, Wilma Oomen, Dave Creagh, Lloyd Berry. Photo: Supplied

Bike riding on Kangaroo Island presents many challenges and hazards.

So prior to any KI Bicycle User Group (BUG) ride a full and proper risk assessment process is undertaken. The results of this are presented to the group prior to the start of the ride.

The March outing started at Chapman River picnic shelter on another perfect KI day, clear blue sky, no wind and a temperature in the mid twenties.

There was much pre-ride excitement as the group appraised the new engineering marvel spanning the banks of the river.

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There was also the further distraction of another convert to the dark-side when Jenni appeared with her new E-bike.

These infernal machines are slowly taking over the group!

Eventually, 11 riders began their bumpy way out to Cape Willoughby Road and up a fairly steep incline to the junction with Willson River Road. There were many undulations and a few potholes between there and Moffatt Road where all regrouped.

This was also an opportunity to remind the riders of the potential hazards of the next section, i.e. the road is narrower therefore traffic is more dangerous, the road surface is more variable and there are some steep gullies to negotiate.

This proved to be the case with one rider coming to grief after getting caught in the soft edges, however she managed to rebound unscathed.

Further on an unexpected hazard, not covered in the pre-ride briefing, appeared in the form of a flock of several hundred sheep spanning the road.

You can't always anticipate every hazard! The two groups eyed each other off for a moment before the cyclists pulled over to the side of the road to allow the wary flock to pass by.

The next regrouping point was at Pigs Head Corner, where we observed a maniac motorist who flew through the intersection from Blue Gums Road with not the least hesitation or thought of any other traffic.

We were all very glad we weren't still coming along Moffatt Road.

The rest of the ride was uneventful as we cruised along Willson River, Hungerford and Pauls Roads to meet up again with Cape Willoughby Road.

Then it was a pleasant mostly downhill run offering great views over Backstairs Passage before turning into the conservation park via Lashmar Track. This was a steep and exciting route back to the bridge where we walked our bikes across to complete the circuit.

It was a good hard ride finishing off with a picnic lunch/ BBQ next to the picturesque river.

Our April ride is a weekend jaunt over the Anzac weekend. Rides are scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday (24th & 25th) starting from the Western KI Caravan Park. For details contact Martine on 8553 0383. We'd love you to join us.

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This story It's a bumpy track to riding Kangaroo Island's wild east end first appeared on The Islander.