Day 23 – Kapunda
Three days riding out of Adelaide along the Mawson Trail and doubts have set in. We are making reasonable progress. There are nine maps in total, each map has two faces and covers a distance of around 100km per map. We are on map two, second face meaning each map face appears to be roughly a day's worth of riding. However, the route is rather meandering and we are only around 100km north north east of Adelaide. If the rest of this route is similarly slow it could be a problem of our overall trip.
However, our biggest issue with the Mawson Trail is not the detour (there's nothing wrong with a route with some spectacular views that passes by cellar doors) it's the the "extreme off road" route selection. The Mawson trail seems to go out of its way to find the routes with the most challenging uphills, technically challenging downhills, muddy tracks and all round tough riding. More than a few times we've had to lift our bike up and over a gate, to ride an undulating gravel track – when there was a low trafficked sealed road heading in a similar direction. Perhaps the route was designed with summer mountain bike riders in mind – rather than all weather touring bike riders. Let's just say its much tougher than we first thought and there have been many sections where getting off and pushing a fully loaded touring bike across a mud pit our up a flinty goat track was the only option and that stops being fun by the third day straight.
Of course it could just be that I'm being a Grumpy Gus. Let's just say I'll feel a lot better once we find something a little less cyclo-cross to ride on. A rail trail - something straight, with a sensible gradient and and a tangible sense of progress would be lovely.
|Sealed road heads into town on the left - we of course, turn right to bush bash across a farmer's paddock.|