During my whirlwind 2 week trip to Australia I tried to fit in as much as possible, the main aim of the trip was to walk the Overland Track in Tasmania and visit my grandparents there. As I had a few days spare before flying back to the UK I decided to book a flight to Adelaide, see some family there and then hire a bike to ride up in to the Adelaide Hills. In the weeks leading up to the trip I’d purchased a road bike and started to watch lots of new channels on YouTube. One of those channels was the CyclingMaven, he’d ridden from Melbourne to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under and while there he went for a ride up the old Norton Summit road…. The more videos I watched about cycling in Adelaide the more I knew I had to give it a go myself.
Strava Route Map – https://www.strava.com/activities/788499683
After a quick Google search I found an easy way of hiring a bike in Adelaide, the South Australian government seem to have invested a lot in cycling which is great to see. I sent an email to BikeSA and reserved a Flat Bar Road Bike for $35 per 24hrs. They also offer bikes free of charge, all you need is your passport or identification and you can take one away for the day. On the morning on the ride I got a lift in to the City with my Aunt and headed for Carrington Street. It was a smooth and easy process as they had my bike ready, took a few details and off I went.
After leaving the city I headed out along The Parade, Penfold Road and Magill Road to the base of Norton Summit Road. A sign at the bottom of Norton said that the road was closed, I’d seen other cyclists heading up that way so I thought I’d risk it and follow them.
Even though I passed a few signs saying Road Ahead Closed I thought I’d continue on as much as I could…. sadly the road was fully closed 60% of the way up so I was gutted as I wouldn’t be able to ride the full strava segment…. I turned around then diverted up Ridgeland Drive, Woodland Way and back down Teringie Drive to rejoin after the roadworks and continue the adventure.
The Norton Summit Road weaves up along the southern side of the Morialta Gorge and it was great to look down to the path were we had walked a year earlier. During our last Australia trip we did a few walks and one of which was climbing up the chain of waterfalls at Morialta. You can see the video from that day above.
I eventually made it to the top of The Strava segment that is marked by a tree stump and a few bits of writing on the road. I wasn’t going full gas as I was talking to my camera most of the way up so I’ve no doubt my times were rubbish….. I will have to come back in the future and ride the full segment next time but when the road is actually open 🙂
I had to take the obligatory pictures at the sign for Norton Summit before heading to grab some refreshments at the Scenic Hotel. I had a quick look around and then made the call to head for Mount Lofty instead of going to Cork Screw Road. I’d not been up to Mount Lofty since about 2004 so I was interested to pay another visit and see what the cafe was like there for lunch.
Coincidentally, the last time I visited Mount Lofty was on my own bike. I was living with my father in Hawthorndene in the Adelaide Hills and the picture above is the bike I had back then. This was the last picture I ever took of it on the 12th of February 2004 as it was stolen literally half an hour later… To cut a long story short. After taking this shot I cycled down to a bike shop on Unley Road, I left it outside for literally 30 seconds to ask if I could bring it in while I browsed the shop…. in that short time it was stolen. I was absolutely gutted as I’d bought it with me from the UK when I flew over, I then had to go and get the train home 🙂
I made my way up the Mount Lofty Summit Road after taking Woods Hill Road over from Norton Summit, the climb was gentle all the way up but I’m determined I’ll return again after increasing my cycling fitness. The weather was absolutely beautiful up in the hills and the temperature was perfect for me considering I’d been hiking in Tasmania and was acclimatised to winter in the UK. The view was excellent from the top today, the sky was clear and the air quality was good so it wasn’t too hazy. I took some more obligatory pictures and then headed to the cafe for a quick bite to eat.
Sadly my phone battery was running low so I had to switch off Strava that is why the map I have of the day only shows the climb to Mount Lofty. After lunch I made my way back down to the city via Greenhill Road, it was a really fast descent all the way down to the intersection with Fullerton Road. I decided to leave the busy roads behind and head through the park.
I rode through the city centre then made my way to the River Torrens and the Oval. Adelaide is a really picturesque city especially so down by the river. There is a really great cycle trail along the River Torrens from the hills to the sea and I’d definitely like to ride that next time I’m there.
After dropping the bike back off at Carrington Street I went for a walk to Rundle Mall and to charge my phone at the Apple Store. I’d been offline for a week in the Tasmanian Wilderness so I took the opportunity to catch up with Casey Neistat’s videos 🙂
The following day my uncle David and I decided to head out for a walk, we ended up walking back up to Mount Lofty once again but via the Waterfall Gully track. It was a really great climb, parts of it are quite steep and unrelenting. It was a thoroughly enjoyable morning and it was the perfect way to end my time in Australia before flying back to the U.K. that evening.
Thank you for reading this post and for watching the video, if you would like to watch the videos from the Tasmania adventure then you could check out my Overland Track YouTube Playlist. I was inspired to ride this route by CyclingMaven and DurianRider. I was also inspired to get a road bike in the first place by my friend Nige aka TarmacSoftee.
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