This morning I hired a mountain bike in Clare to ride the much publicised Riesling Trail which follows the contours and curves of a former railway line and takes you through mixed farmland, natural bushland and vineyards. The trail runs between Clare and Auburn with a recent extension north of Clare to Barinia Rd. The villages of Sevenhill, Penwortham, Watervale and Leasingham are all en route with off trail excursions offered to wineries and other scenic routes. All up the trail is a 35km one way so, being a linear trail it means a 70km day of cycling.
Having driven quite a few of the scenic roads around Clare I must say I believe the trail was a disappointment. To my mind the trail or rail corridor follows probably the least spectacular route through the region and when compared to say the Otago Rail Trail, it does not rate at all. Even our own Blackbutt to Linville Rail Trail offers better scenery in parts. Maybe the edge was taken of it because I had to push into a cold headwind for 40km’s. Or maybe, it was the persistent attacks on my head from territorial magpies (see slide show for very effective magpie head protection). That being said, away from the trail by only a short distance there are roads that when travelled show of this area far better than the trail manages to.
The trail ended up taking me six hours with a break in Auburn for lunch before heading back to Clare where this evening it is quite cool. People in South Australia must really feel the cold. Ever since I arrived in Adelaide they have been rugged up like it is the middle of winter yet at times I have been getting around in shorts. I mean it is cool, even chilly at times but not freezing! I had planned on doing more riding tomorrow on a different trail however, I think I will do some more driving instead with a trip to Sevenhill and maybe follow one or two other scenic tourist routes.