Pat Jonker’s Favourite Hills Loops
Pat Jonker is a legend in the world of South Australian cycling. A two times Olympian, 2004 Tour Down Under winner, and five times Tour de France rider, Pat was a professional rider from 1993 to 2004 and has taken part in events around the world.
As an Adelaide local, Pat knows the Adelaide Hills like the back of his hand. Here’s a few of his favourite loops for you discover some of the best the Adelaide Hills has to offer.
Pat’s Birdwood Loop
Clocking in at 95 km and with just over 1800m of climbing, this is a big day in the saddle but it has lots of rewards. Following a climb up the iconic Greenhill Road, the route takes you northwest through the lovely hills countryside where there are plenty of great towns for a rest and refuel. Once you’ve hit Birdwood, you’ll loop back home along Torrens Valley Road and the beautiful Gorge Road. A climb up Corkscrew Road is what’s you’d expect included from an Olympian and from there, you’ll make your way back to a decent of Greenhill Road.
Want to have a taste of the Greenhill Road climb? Here’s a great overview from James Raison from Ride Adelaide.
Pat’s Rocking Horse loop
Another Classic loop from Pat with just under 90 kms of riding through the hills. Pat sent this to us with the note of “extra hills” so the just under 2000m of climbing should be no surprise! Taking in the classic Norton Summit climb, this route loops out to Gumeracha where you get bonus ride points if you get a picture taken with the Big Rocking Horse. On the way back, you can tell Pat likes the hills as he’s thrown in Corkscrew Road and an up and back of Fenhurst Road just to get your legs really burning!
Want to have a taste of the Norton Summit Road climb? Here’s a great overview from James Raison from Ride Adelaide.
Pat's Early 90's Time Trial
When you’re in the prime of your life and a pro cyclist, a 95 km hills ride can be called a ‘Time Trial’ but for the rest of us, this is simply a fantastic day out on the bike. Taking in the spectacular George Road, this ride takes you out past the Kangaroo Creek Reservoir, Chain of Ponds and The South Para Reservoir so there’s some big bodies of water to gaze out at as you knock off those K’s. When it comes to elevation, this one’s a bit more gentle with just over 1100m so it’s a great one to build up your climbing legs