RIVERTON MIDWEEK WEEKEND – NOV 27th TO 29th
Report: Carolyn Weinmann
Photos: Alan Capell
David and Marilyn Partington, David and Vicki Birks and Carolyn and Bruno Weinmann joined Alan and Mary Capell for 3 days of riding based at Riverton.
Whilst the weather was a little on the warm side, breezes enabled us to ride without discomfort and there was a swimming pool to cool off in after, if that took your fancy. The Caravan Park had many beautiful, large and shady trees protecting both cabins and caravan sites from the hot sun. As for the rides themselves – fantastic! All on dirt roads, with a bit of track and trail riding included. Everywhere we went, we were surrounded by undulating countryside filled with golden fields of grain and harvesting was in progress. There were also patches of natural bushland complimented in parts by vistas of luscious green grape vines.
Our first day’s ride took us out to Peter’s Hill and Marschall’s hut, an area settled originally by Silesian Germans. We were able to read about the history of the settlement and wander through old cemeteries that reinforced the hardships of life for these early settlers.
The repaired Marschall’s Hut is nestled down below the ridge line with a wonderful view towards Riverton and is now an overnight sleeping spot for people walking the Heysen Trail. The gravel roads were in good condition and even lesser tracks had been recently graded – a great ride to introduce us to the area.
On the second day we headed off for Auburn. This was our longest ride and had a bit of everything – mainly good gravel roads, but also some riding on parts of the Mawson Trail which was just two truck wheel tracks, a few lesser roads and the newly completed Rattler Track between Auburn and Riverton (in fantastic condition) with, of course, a few undulations along the way to make things interesting and rewarding for all. Wonderful and varied scenery added to the day’s enjoyment and not a snake to be seen! We enjoyed a lunch at the bike friendly Cogwebs Cafe in Auburn and a convivial dinner at a Riverton pub that evening.
The weather forecast for day three looked a bit grim, but as things turned out the worst didn’t eventuate and we were able to enjoy another great ride. Alan lead us along a number of minor roads, all easily ridable, through more undulating, picturesque countryside, this time with an olive grove or two to add extra interest and variety to the predominant grain fields. When we arrived at Rhynie (a very small township with just a pub to buy a drink at) for our 11’s break, we were told they didn’t open ’til 12 noon. After some negotiation, an employee came out on to the verandah with a tray carrying cans of soft drink which we purchased with relish and he was able to keep to the terms of his licence!
A sincere “thank you” to Alan for organising these great rides and for his thorough and sensitive leadership. I look forward to many more!