Every Wednesday and Sunday morning they gather by the gardens at the front of the Corio Hotel in Cadell Street and go for a leisurely ride; one day over to Hindmarsh Island and up Barrage Road, and another to Victor Harbor for a mandatory coffee. There are about 50 members, and on average 20 go for a bike ride.
The club arranges a long weekend for cycling to places like Clare or to do the Linear Park/Port Adelaide rides and stay in caravan parks. The big adventure last year was to Wangaratta. We caught up with the crew on a drizzling Sunday morning when most of the riders were taking part in a Bike SA event, but the commitment by the stalwarts who stayed behind – and visitors from Adelaide – remained high.
GAD-BUG secretary Neville Fletcher said the club, which was formed almost five years ago, was never intended to attract the super riders. More like the superannuation kind, if one dares to suggest.
“People come along because they used to ride a bike as a child and want to do it again but don’t want to go alone,” Neville said.
“There is the health aspect to this, but it’s mostly about meeting new people and the simple enjoyment of riding a bike. I guess we all remember the thrill when we first started riding one as a child; it’s reliving that feeling, I guess. There is a strong feeling of independence.
“Our members see a lot more scenery riding their bike. It can be boring alone, and our members just love riding their bike alongside others.”
One of the members, Elaine Spillane, said she had not ridden a bike since high school, and dared not ride again alone on country roads because of the gravel.
“We like to ride off the road because of the safety aspect, and it’s just great fun and good exercise,” she said.
GAD-BUG doesn’t like to become embroiled in issues, but is working with Alexandrina Council to make cycling safer with improvements to the shared bike paths, especially from the wharf area along Bristow Smith Reserve. The group is also pushing uphill for improvements to the shared bike paths in Victor Harbor.
Neville, and other enthusiastic members like Margaret and Allan Jorgensen, invite you to get on your bike and join them. Give Geoff, the bloke who coordinates the rides, a call on 8554 3146 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org