Sand in my Chain - Excellent Explorations on the Edge of the World - CycleBlaze

October 29, 2021

Sand in my Chain

Port Adelaide to Grange

I'm lucky to have a shared path pretty much right outside our current abode. I've been walking the dog along it and today we decided to go a little bit further and explore some of Adelaide's coastline.

The path followed the port through areas that were once bustling with industry, commerce, and shipping.
Heart 1 Comment 0

A strong southerly blew as we headed south. We planned to meet the headwind on the way out in order to enjoy a tail wind on the way home.

We joined the sea at Semaphore Beach. The semaphore flagpole is long gone but the ball drop tower still stands on Semaphore Hill. Every day at 1pm the black ball at the top of the tower drops. This is to allow ships to rate their chronometers, and many ball drop towers were built around the world for this purpose.
Heart 1 Comment 0

Half way down the beach the nice shared path ended and we had to take to the grass. This was easy enough while there was grass but much more difficult when it became sand and tree roots.

I spoke to a resident of one of the houses backing onto the beach, who told me that the shared path would be extended along between the houses and the dunes. She thought it was a great idea but she wasn't going to use it because she's scared of people on electric bikes. She prefers to ride her bike in Hervey Bay, which is in Qld, at least 2000km as the crow flies and a good deal further in old person driving time. I don't think she rides her bike very often.
Heart 0 Comment 0

We walked our bikes for far too long through the sandy track behind the houses, and then I took to the beach for the last 200m. Roger, far more sensibly, took a little detour out to the main road and back. The rising wind made sure that we both got sand all through our freshly oiled chains, so fixing that will give us something to do tomorrow.

The beach was empty and the tide was low. I should have just used the beach all along, which would have made getting my gears full of sand worth while.
Heart 1 Comment 0

Next came the Tennyson Dunes track, complete with a sign that implored us to ride at walking speed only. I couldn't go much faster anyway, what with the ups, downs, and twisty bits, not to mention the regular bouts of sand-induced walking and stops to watch the kite surfers.

Kite surfer done for the day.
Heart 2 Comment 0

The shared path popped up again just outside of Grange, where I sat and answered a phone call and we decided we didn't have time to go any further today. We walked out on the Grange jetty, which the low tide and wind had rendered devoid of all fishermen save one hardy soul drinking a thermos of tea and not catching any fish.

Grange from the jetty: that beautiful building on the shore is the Marine Terraces at Grange Beach. Built in 1884 they are the only three-storey Victorian-styled terraces ever built on Australia's coastline. In the sea in front of them were some surf club kiddies doing surf club stuff. They breed them tough in SA: here we were freezing on the jetty and they were madly paddling in the water with nary a wetsuit between them, only long sleeved rashies.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Grange jetty.
Heart 2 Comment 0

My goodness, the going was much easier when we turned around and had the Southerly pushing us. We skipped the fiddly Tennyson Dunes and the hike a bike behind the houses, and just zipped up the road until we could get back on the shared path, and before we knew it we had reached Semaphore and were on the home stretch.

The old flour mill from across the Inner Harbour, Port Adelaide.
Heart 2 Comment 0

The dog was very glad to see us home again, while the elderly lady across the street sat on her walker and pretended not to see me when I waved. We shut all the doors against the wind and settled down to plan the next leg of the Great Adelaide Exploration.

Heart 0 Comment 0

Today's ride: 27 km (17 miles)
Total: 315 km (196 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 7
Comment on this entry Comment 0