Wow, what just happened. One minute it was November, the next minute it’s February.
A busy schedule over the last few months has seen limited time to refocus and get Wednesday Legs up and running for the new year.
But here I am. You can’t get rid of me that easily.
The start to the year for Australian cycling came and went on a blur. The Summers Nationals in Ballarat, the TdU, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Herald Sun Tour.
Here’s brief rundown.
Ballarat local Shannon Malseed won the elite women’s road race ahead of Lauren Kitchen and Grace Brown.
“I’m so lost for words – I can’t believe that this happened, it is a dream – an absolute dream. This is my first year racing for a professional team, I’m so honoured I get to wear the Australian colours all year.”
“I came here just trying to do what I could for the guys, and to come away with the green and gold is a dream come true. Every cyclist grows up wanting to wear the green and gold, and this is not going to sink in for a while.”
Tyler Lindorff and Sarah Gigante were crowned U19 road national champions in testing, windy conditions
Victoria’s Sarah Gigante took a clean sweep of all three under 19 national titles; the criterium, time trial and road race crowns. Gigante won the criterium solo, time trial and the 58 kilometre road race around Mt Buninyong.
Mens Individual Time Trial
“Coming here and winning it, and wearing the jersey for the rest of the year is an honour,” explained Dennis. “It is hard to win, with guys like Richie, Durbo and Miles. It is a pride thing”
Eighteen of the world’s best Para-cycling athletes were crowned national champions.
WH1: Emilie MILLER (Bathurst)
MH3: Alexander WELSH (Leongatha)
Men Handcycle MH4: Grant ALLEN (Port Adelaide)
Men Handcycle MH5: Stuart TRIPP (St Kilda)
Men Tricycle MT1: Garry ROBINSON (Camden)
Women Tricycle WT2: Carol COOKE (St Kilda/VIS)
Men Tricycle MT2: Stuart JONES (Newcastle)
Women Cycle WC1: Kaitlyn Dawn SCHURMANN (Geelong)
Men Cycle MC1: Darcy THOMPSON (Port Adelaide)
Men Cycle MC2: Darren HICKS (Kilkenny)
Women Cycle WC3: Simone KENNEDY (Parramatta)
Men Cycle MC3: David NICHOLAS (Mackay)
Women Cycle WC4: Meg LEMON (Port Adelaide)
Men Cycle MC4: Patrick BEST (Mersey Valley Devonport)
Women Cycle WC5: Fatema TAJBHAI (St Kilda)
Men Cycle MC5: Alistair DONOHOE (Blackburn)
Women WB: Lindy HOU: (Vikings ACT)
Men MB: Kieran MURPHY: (Norwood)
20 years old. The little ol’ TdU has come a long long way since it first hit the pavement in 1999.
Here’s the honour roll.
2018 Daryl Impey, South Africa, Mitchelton-SCOTT
2017 Richie Porte, Australia, BMC Racing Team
2016 Simon Gerrans, Australia, Orica GreenEDGE
2015 Rohan Dennis, Australia, BMC Racing Team
2014 Simon Gerrans, Australia, Orica GreenEDGE
2013 Tom-Jelte Slagter, Netherlands, Blanco Pro Cycling
2012 Simon Gerrans, Australia, GreenEDGE Cycling
2011 Cameron Meyer, Australia, Garmin Cervelo
2010 André Greipel, Germany, HTC-Columbia
2009 Allan Davis, Australia, Team Quickstep
2008 André Greipel, Germany, Team High Road
2007 Martin Elmiger , Switzerland, Ag2R Prévoyance
2006 Simon Gerrans, Australia, Ag2R-Prévoyance
2005 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil, Spain, Liberty Seguros Team
2004 Patrick Jonker , Australia, UniSA
2003 Mikel Astarloza , Spain, Ag2R-Prévoyance
2002 Michael Rogers , Australia, AIS
2001 Stuart O’Grady, Australia, Crédit Agricole
2000 Gilles Maignan , France, Ag2R
1999 Stuart O’Grady , Australia, Crédit Agricole
13 of the 14 legends, from left to right. Back Row – Rohan Dennis, Cameron Meyer, Tom Jelte Slagter, André Greipel, Martin Elmiger, Patrick Jonker, Allan Davis, Luis Leon Sanchez and Gilles Maignan. Front Row – Richie Porte, Stuart O’Grady, Michael Rogers and Simon Gerrans, .
Mikel Astarloza was the missing legend.
Its seems like an age ago since Andre Greipel, Caleb Ewan, Elia Viviani, Peter Sagan and Richie Porte showed their stuff on what turned out to be some insanely hot days.
In a somewhat strange move, the TdU Women’s road race was run and won before the media caravan rolled into town. It was a shame because I enjoyed the parallel reporting last year and felt there was in fact more spotlight on the women last year than this. But inward and upward.
Stage 2 – Lyndoch to Mengler’s Hill: Katrin Garfoot
Stage 3 – The Bend Motorsport Park – Hahndorf: Amanda Spratt
Stage 4 – Adelaide City Circuit: Chloe Hosking
Chapeau to Amanda Spratt, the winner of the 2018 Women’s road race
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
Queenslander Jay McCarthy became the first Australian to win the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
“I’ve been poking my head out of the hotel window all week looking at the finish line thinking about this…it worked perfectly for us”.
Australian sprinter Chloe Hosking won the Women’s Elite Women’s Race
Jayco Herald Sun Tour
Colombian sensation Esteban Chaves won the 2018 Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
“It was a tough day,” admitted Chaves after winning the yellow jersey. “This was the last chance for everyone. We raced from the beginning until the end. Congratulations to everyone – the level of racing here in Australia is just unbelievable.” With Chaves’ team-mates Meyer and Damien Howson (both past winners) rounding out the general classification top three,
The 1st edition of the women’s race was won by Brodie Chapman ahead of Annewiek Van Vleuten finished second overall, with Chloe Hosking rounding out the podium.
I’ve been watching these guys for a while now, albeit on and off over the seasons, but I find it always comes up trumps with insightful articles across a breadth of cycling subjects.
The Inner Ring is a blog about cycling and cycle sport, especially pro cycling.
News, comment, opinion and chat feature here. The aim is to give a different take on the sport and sometimes have a look at things that might get overlooked by the mainstream cycle sport media.
It’s only a blog, half the point is to ramble through things, to think aloud, to dip in and out of subjects. There’s no overriding aim. That said, many thanks to all the readers who visit and I’ve been lucky enough to write pieces for Cyclesport, cyclingnews.com, Bicycling and Pro Cycling magazine as well.
Sometimes I think pieces on here are too long-winded, it’s only a blog and I don’t usually have time to edit each piece. By contrast, the concise action happens over on Twitter under the username “inrng”.
But here are some quick thoughts that underpin my take on cycling:
riding a bike is a pleasure and whether it’s to the shops or in a peloton, the bike is fun.
pro cycling is relentlessly commercial. Early races were created to sell newspapers and to this day the sport sees teams named after brands, companies and even countries. It’s both sport and business, I prefer the sport but find the business side interesting.
in over 100 years we’ve seen some wonderful tales of heroism and effort that surpass sport and ensure you forget the money.
despite naked money and commercialism the sport takes place on open roads, passing cities, towns, villages and fields which ties the sport in with many varied terrains and regions.
analysis and nonsense can go together. I might quote the rulebook or examine legal issues from time to time but it’s worth retaining a sense of humour with silly pictures or amusing stories.
One of the best things is putting out ideas and views and then seeing readers respond via comments, email and twitter.
I started it in February 2010 and it got going as the cycling season picked up. Since then it’s become increasingly well read. After finding thousands were coming to read every day I moved to a dedicated website and smartened up the graphics a bit with help from matthewmorris.co.uk who provided useful advice and speedy design work.
I picked the name The Inner Ring because of the “inner” or “insider” connotations and in case you didn’t know, because “inner ring” means the smaller chainring on a bike in English. It’s also a nod to climbing in the mountains, something I usually enjoy.
Matthew has developed a cycling calendar, which shows all of the major UCI men’s and women’s pro races around the world. You can subscribe or download an iCal file to import the calendar into your phone. Pretty nifty.
Don’t panic, Wednesday Legs has no intention of slowly disappearing into the glorious South Australian Sunset, tempting though those sunsets can be.
This blog being non-commercial, it unfortunately sometimes has to take a back seat to my other life.
Work gave me the opportunity to travel to the United States for my first time, working up in Boston for a few weeks early December.
The first week and a half I was based in Waltham, some 12 miles from Boston city, but did get to spend a few days in Boston itself. What a pretty city it is. A great experience, no opportunities however to get out on a bike given it snowed and daytime temperatures generally hovered between -5 and 0 degrees C. Nor was indoor training at the Hotel gym a viable option as the only bike they had was a recumbent thingy – so no chance there.
I did however get the chance to – see a game of Ice Hockey at the Gardens – Boston Bruins, get to tour around the famous Fenway Park, the oldest baseball stadium in America and home to the Red Socks, and have a beer in the original Cheers, although no-one knew my name.
Whilst in Waltham, i did get a chance to walk around the Waltham town, and popped in to a local bike shop to say g’day. Not sure what I was expecting, it looked like any small LBS. In that snowy cold weather, business was rather slow, so kudos for these guys to survive in the winter over there.
Picking up a flu just as I was about to leave left me grounded once I hit Adelaide soil, so I have had no inclination to get on the bike, Man Flu is all about survival, but it looks like I pulled through, so I’ve cancelled the gravediggers and have looked in the garage to make sure my bike is still there, ready for a rumble in the hills very soon.
Oh, and who woulda thought – after my luggage missed the connecting flight in LAX on the way to Boston, it also missed the return flight at LAX. Well done LAX, a 100% strike rate.
Wednesday Legs will be taking a slightly elongated holiday as me and Mrs Legs will be heading over to New Zealand for a break in the New Year, but I will be back before the Tour Down Under later January.
The TdU Legends Dinner has been booked. I attended the last one which was very slick and very entertaining, so I’m very much looking forward to the next one.
The Velo Porte team cruise down to Mclaren Vale and Willunga Hill, meeting at 8:00am Felici in Rundle Street for a coffee with an 8:30am sharp roll out.
The pace is light to steady on the way down. Refreshments and snags on top of Willunga hill. It’s pretty much the best day of the year on a bike in SA.
Or send me an email or a text if you don’t want to ride, we’ll sort you out.
Over the next 2 – 3 weeks, I may or may not post on this site, but I will be posting over on my Facebook site, so please jump onto my page and follow.
I’ll be trawling and posting Facebook postings I find promoting TdU related events, such as the Makers Market, pop up stores, Car Park racing and so on and so forth. Along with of course stacks of other information, links, articles and the like that I find interesting.
If you come up the Hill, pop in and say hello, it’d be great to see you.
A few pictures from last weekends ride. How awesome are the hills at this time of the year!
A few months ago, a VeloPac Ridepac came into the Wednesday Legs lab for review.
The Ride Pac is a small waterproof phone wallet that has been travelling with me on my rides since it arrived. I’d had a gut full of using plastic ziplock bags, or trying to squeeze my phone into those plastic pouches you see handed out as marketing material, so was quite pleased to receive this little pouch.
As you can imagine, it’s a fairly simple cycling accessory so there’s not too much to talk about, but it does fit nicely into my back jersey pocket, my iPhone with its cover fits nicely into it, and there is a secure zipped pocket and open folds for whatever you need to carry with you on your ride.
As described on the Australian distributors (Acium) website
The outer shell is a triple layer construction of durable cotton bonded to a microfibre inner padding & waterproof matt finish outer coating. The inner seams are then reinforced with neat bounding. The water resistant zip protects from just about everything the elements can throw at it.
I was provided with the ALLEZ! Boys pack, but there are quite a few other styles and colours to select from.
RidePac is made in the UK, and distributed by Acium Sports in Australia.
Acium Sports deliver world class products to the Australian market. They are rural based out of Melbourne and supply the VeloPac PhonePacs, Musettes, Pongo Socks, Altum tools, Parcour Wheels and Cobb Saddles.
I’ve had a few conversations with the owner of Acium Sports, Harrison, and he has kindly offered a 15% discount across most of his products (except the wheels and Saddles) to Wednesday Legs readers. Just log into his site and use the code Wednesday Legs.
A mate of mine in Melbourne rides with the Caltex Cycling group (CTX). The CTX group Group ride from Caltex – cnr Beach and Bridge – 6am weekdays, although the weekends are secret….
Anyway, the CTX group recently published a Safety Charter which they’re happy to share. The main body includes some local references, but they don’t distract from the message, so I’ve left them in.
The charter came about after some crashes occurring within, and outside of, the CTX group over the years.
Thanks to the main author of the charter, Sean Ralphsmith, for allowing me to reproduce here.
The objective of every CTX ride is to ride for enjoyment & fitness and to do so in a safe and friendly manner. We care for our fellow riders at all times so we may all make it back to the Cow safely and enjoy coffee together. All CTX riders are expected to commit to this Safety Charter. We agree that we want to create a culture that the safety of all riders is paramount. We should feel empowered to call out behavior that breaches our rules whilst at the same time having an attitude that accepts if we are called out ourselves.
1. We aim for a smooth and consistent roll with no surging. We should always ride at a pace that allows at least half of our group to stay in the roll. After the Black Forest we take stock and consider, if the roll has thinned significantly, slowing slightly to allow a majority back into the roll. 2. We call hazards loudly and early, and pass the message through the peloton, such as ‘car up’, ‘rider up’, ‘riders back’, ‘Lights up – stopping!’ etc. Calling ‘Car back’ from the caboose is also very important. 3. If a rider calls ‘go single’ due to the narrowing of the road, other riders must fall into line. We should ride ‘single’ every time needed to ensure we never cross the white line into the right hand lane. 4. If the group is split at an intersection or lights, we WAIT, cruising until we regroup. The last riders through the lights need to call ‘sit up’ if not every rider gets through. We commit to this to remove the temptation to run the red light. 5. We call who is next in the roll clearly BY NAME every time– letting the next rider know it is their turn. This very important so riders don’t miss their turn, and eliminates the temptation for others to jump into the roll. 6. We do not jump into the roll out of turn UNLESS called to do so from a fellow rider behind. When dropping out of the roll you must call the next rider so they know. 7. No half wheeling – riders must stay in line with the rider ahead to avoid potential accidents. 8. When preparing to stand up on the pedals to accelerate, one must maintain a constant speed, avoiding pushing the bike backwards into the rider behind 9. When passing other groups on the road, we give plenty of room and call ‘stay up’ to avoid cutting in and we ride fast enough to ensure the WHOLE group can get past 10. We slow for roundabouts and always call when it’s clear. 11. The gate keeper has an important role in all communication, per above, regarding next up in the roll, ‘cars back’, sitting up if the group is split, and coordination from the back. This includes calling out non-CTX riders on weekend rides. We should always have CTX riders fill the gatekeeper position 12. Sprinting is dangerous. We do not sprint. When on South Road – whoever is on the front will go hard, and will pull over to the left once spent, if safe, to allow the next rider to push ahead. Riders must communicate if involved in the final surge. There are no prizes. We should never be more than two wide at the end as this inevitably adds the risk of interaction with cars. Riders cannot go 3-wide to overtake. 13. Our rides back from PaTTo are track turns to the inside when on Station Street and to the outside from Mordy once on Beach Road – move 14. Weekend Rides – No kit – No roll (Saturday AND Sunday). If numbers are low we may call an open ride on a weekend before we leave CTX Headquarters. We slow down once we reach Bay Rd Sandringham on weekends. 15. We do not ride around cars stopped at lights but rather sit behind as a group, especially at the end of our ride on Beach Rd as we prepare to turn up Hampton St. 16. Rear red tail lights are turned on constant mode (not flash) when in the group in the dark and should not point up into the faces of riders behind. No helmet lights. 17. Riders should service and maintain their bike regularly to minimize the risk of mechanical issues in the group – which is statistically a significant cause of cycling crashes.
The cut down printable version is:
1. No surging 2. No sprinting 3. Call hazards loudly forward and back through the peloton 4. Go single if called to do so 5. If the group is split at lights, ‘Sit up and Wait’ 6. Call next in the roll clearly by name every time 7. Do not jump into the roll out of turn unless called 8. No half wheeling and hold your line 9. If standing up on the pedals, keep your speed up 10. When passing others, call and ‘Stay up’ until we pass 11. Slow for roundabouts and call if clear 12. Always listen to the gatekeeper 13. No kit/no roll on weekends 14. Don’t ride around cars stopped at lights 15. Maintain your bike
If you ride in a group, I’d recommend you consider a safety charter of your own, or at least the senior leaders in the group call out and maintain standards in the ride group. Remember, Safety is paramount, but don’t forget you are representing all cyclists when you are out there on the road.
Phil Gaimon is a cyclist, writer, and entrepreneur who retired from laziness and computer games in 2004 in favor of riding a bike to lose weight. On a whim, he started racing and soon discovered that he was a natural. Phil advanced rapidly through the amateur ranks and turned professional in his second full year, still ignorant of a century of cycling etiquette.
Phil clawed his way to the top of the American pro ranks, joining Garmin-Sharp in 2014 but slipped back into the domestic ranks for the 2015 season. Proving himself once again, Gaimon rode his way back into the ProTour, joining Cannondale-Drapac in 2016 and retired at the end of the season.
However at the start of 2017, Phil announced that the year was going to be the “The Worst Retirement Ever,” so named because it was going to have lots of pain, suffering, and leg-shaving, with none of the glory of posting up in front of a cheering crowd or joking around on the bus with histeammates.
He started a real job at Wasserman, but continued training before work just like the rest of us (except faster), and on weekends, I’ll chase hillclimb records on climbs of YOUR CHOICE. You vote where I go on my Facebook page, and then come say hi, share a cookie, try to hang on if you want. Castelli filmed and produce ten “missions” on hisYouTube channel for your entertainment.
Phils pretty savvy with social media. Google his name, you will find links to his website, YouTube channel, Strava and a host of other social media sites. Jump onto his website (Phil the Thrill) and you’ll find yourself faced with his podcasts, blogs, Phils Fondos, and hell, you can even buy cookie inspired cycling gear.
He’s also driving his “Worst Retirement Ever” hard, extracting as much as he can from his post/pre/during retirement. His main mission is to track down and snatch Strava KOM’s.
He’s either chased down or been chased by major gear and clothing companies wanted in on this project, so he was able to pick the lightest, fanciest, and most obnoxious equipment on the market. He’s had a cookie inspired speedsuit from Castelli.
His sponsors include big names including Cannondale, Mavic, Castelli, Clif, Camelbak, Arundel, Velofix, New Balance, Orucase, ISM Saddle, Oakley, and Chamois Buttr.
He’s got his media strategies down pat as well, so is being advised by some very smart cookies.
He has taken his love of cookies to the next level. His website chronicles his ceaseless pursuit of the best cookies and milk in America.
Phil loves chocolate-chip cookies so much that sponsor Diamondback gave his bike a cookie-themed paint job.
At this years Tour of California, he set up what became known as Cookie Corner, where he passed out cookies to his pro cycling mates. Peter Sagan’s cookie grab went viral.
Phil’s criteria for deciding if a cookie is worth consuming.
Freshness: Most places bake in the morning, so if you get there at 9 a.m. you might be buying yesterday’s cookie. But at 2 p.m. they might be fresh. Get to know a place, and ask what time of day they do their baking.
Chocolate-to-dough ratio: Obviously, it needs to be high.
Warmth: If the cookie is sitting in the display case wrapped in plastic or under a little glass tray all day, it’s not going to be warm. If it comes off a baker’s rack in the back you know it’s going to be good. You want to be able to bend the cookie and see the gooey meltedness when you pull it apart.
Size: One cookie should fill you up. I always say it should be the size of a steering wheel or a manhole cover. And the most important part—don’t share it. The biggest one I’ve had was on top of Mount Lemmon in Tucson at the Cookie Cabin. It was more like a pancake.
Bonus tip: A good cookie demands milk. Beware the creepy store at the mall that has only cookies and a soda fountain.
His latest book, Ask a Pro, Deep Thoughts and Unreliable Advice from America’s Foremost Cycling Sage, came through the Wednesday Legs lab a few months ago.
In it, Phil answers every question you have ever wanted to ask about cycling, and quite a few you wouldn’t know you wanted to ask but realise afterwards that you needed to know.
With his unique sarcastic wit, Phil spills the beans on what it’s really like inside the pro cycling peloton. He gathers the gems from his monthly Q&A feature column in VeloNews magazine into this new book, adding fresh commentary and even more acerbic and sharp-eyed insights.
Phil covers a wide range of topics, from the team dinner table to the toilet with plenty of stops along the way, with questions like:
How much chamois cream should I use?
I’ve started shaving my legs; how can I be accepted by my friends?
What do you do to protect yourself when you know you’re about to crash?
How many bikes does my husband really need?
What’s the best victory celebration and should I practice it?
What do pros think when they see a recreational cyclist in a full pro kit or riding a pro-level bike?
How do the pros define a “crash”?
The book also includes his Cookie Map of America, dubious advice on winning the race buffet, a cautionary guide for host housing, and a celebrity baker’s recipe for “The Phil Cookie”.
Oh, the answer to how they define crash – well it’s not as simple as you would expect.
For an incident to be considered a crash, all of the following must happen:
Your Knee, elbow or hip hits the ground. If you catch yourself with your hand, it counts as a save, just like if you tripped on the stairs, it wasn’t graceful, but oyu made it.
Some part of your body, clothing, or bike has to be at least slightly damaged. Even if it looked like a full action-movie wipeout, if your helmet was unscathed, your clothes weren’t ripped, there’s not a scrape on your saddle, your derailleur hangar is still straight, and your bar tape is pristine, it’s not a crash.
Someone has to see you. There was this one time, this guy, lets call him a friend of mine (it wasn’t me), hit a patch of ice that just washed his bike out from under me. I mean him. But he got up, everything was fine – no bruises, no road rash, and most importantly, no witnesses. Like a tree falling in the forest, that wasn’t a crash, either.
Each week I bring a new cyclist to this forum, each has their own unique story to tell,. I feel privileged that some RotW riders open up and provide a story that I just wasn’t prepared for.
Today’s rider is one of those riders. He has suffered some pretty extreme setbacks, but been able to bounce out the other side with his humanity intact and a great positive attitude that is a lesson for us all.
I’m sure you’ve seen him riding the hills around Adelaide in his distinctive Treat Yourself kit. Teddles is another one of those characters that you feel the better for knowing, something that if you haven’t already realised by now, the cycling community has more than their fair share of top geezers.
This is Teds story.
I have been cycling since I was 7, I started riding my older sisters big red 80’s girls bike around the front yard and my folks bought me a Silver Speedwell BMX later that year. Only living just around the corner from primary school, I was never allowed to ride to school, which pained me immensely!
Have been cycling my whole life, mostly commuting, often socializing and very occasionally racing (quite possibly the greatest way to ruin a good ride IMAO!). I have three kid’s ages 8-13 and they all ride to and from school, shops, park, adventures, and city. My eldest Kate has been picked up with the SASI TID (Talent identification development program) which is tops, I can now live vicariously through her and hopefully she can progress, but who knows with 13 year old girls, next week she might want something else.
Only my close friends and acquaintances know that in 2009 I had a bullshit motor bike crash which landed me in hospital for an extended amount of time recovering from fractured 2/3 cervical, most ribs on my left side, collar bone and scapular. Recovered fairly well but worse was to come. Was back at work working as a nurse, when I woke up one night to my new born baby girl, walked into my lounge room with her and had a cardiac arrest, was taken to the RAH by ambulance and had another more serious arrest (was dead for a little while) which lead to an extended stay in the Hampstead rehabilitation centre. My lengthy rehabilitation lasted from mid December to mid February when I was discharged. During my rehabilitation, I had my drivers license and Nurses registration cancelled, my wife left me and kicked me out of my home, and was told to give up downhill mountain biking. So I moved back in with my parents for many months rehabilitation. One great day an occupational therapist came round to see if I could ride a bike and after two sessions I was allowed to ride a bike AGAIN!!!!
That was my ‘First day of the rest of my life’ moment, and I started to stop feeling sorry for myself and gave up smoking (which is a bullshit tough thing to do, but I’d recommend it to everyone who smokes). I slowly started to better myself through exercise and being a painfully positive person (sometimes).
I met a girl who rode a road bike, and I thought that was pretty cool, so I bought a $50 2nd hand eBay bike, rode it for a bit and thought it was a bit lame, rode up the old freeway but turned around when I got to the kennels thinking this was bullshit hard.
I’ve always liked my Cannondale’s, so I bought CAAD 10 105 road bike and that changed everything (almost as much as when I discovered chamois cream!) all of a sudden riding the old freeway wasn’t the painful nightmare! Shit got really serious when I discovered STRAVA. The competitive idiot in me awoke and it was game on.
Through Adelaide cyclists I’ve met some pretty rad folks on rides and it kinda exploded from there. My great friend Lorraine probably still remembers me turning up in board shorts and short socks to a WOMGiE ride (but we weren’t friends then). These days we can happily ride 100’s of kilometres and never seem to get bored or pissed off at each other. She also joined me recently in the fractured cervical club, but we don’t talk about that. No point talking the shit times in your life when you got 1000’s of good/amazing times to talk about!
I’m not really sure about these ‘dream’ bikes everyone keeps talking about, I figure the best bike is the one you are riding (beats catching the bus with all the sick, gross, bikeless folk.)
My favourite kit is my ‘Treat yourself’ kit by Fiasco Ciclismo, a cool bespoke brand and if Tom is reading this, I hope you’ve got another gaudy kit coming this summer!
Love my caps too, love coming home after 100-150kms during summer leaving the cap out overnight and seeing all your salt in it the next day, yes gross AF but I like it.
My household has 20 odd bikes between us, my missus Alice has 4, each kid has one or two.
My go to bike for hills is a Cannondale EVO, with compacts and a 32 tooth on the rear, I’m so stocked that the 32t is no longer frowned upon these days. I have a Norco CX for an occasional race but more for exploring with the lads, if you haven’t converted to tubeless, what are you waiting for??
Have Giant 29er which I picked up 2nd hand, was a little cautious as Dave Edwards had previously used it for an Everest but he’s a good lad and wouldn’t sell a lemon.
My Fixie is my fun commuter these days until I get my project CAAD 5 set up how I want it. I think being able to ride fixed gear is very important, it forces you to re-think how traffic moves in the city(s), when not being able to rely on front and rear brakes. You soon learn how to blend into traffic (apart from F**king Taxis which are a F**king law unto themselves! They have only themselves to blame for also being currently destroyed by UBER, why would you want to get into a foul smelling hybrid and listen to a radio in all sorts of langauges when you can catch an Uber, pay half as much and be offered mints/water and be greeted with friendly conversation?)
Biggest lie I’ve ever told/tell; “I’ll be home by ….……”! Rides always take longer, then there’s coffee or if the ride finishes after midday (or close to) it’s beer!
Living in Glenside I cannot go past the Red Berry Café for my post ride coffee’s, Arkaba cellars if after midday, they’ve always got the Pirate life IPA for $10, that’s an awesome price for hoppy mouthful of beer.
I buy my coffee beans from Simply Coffee on Rundle st, seriously Peter knows his shit when it comes to bean roasting and his wife and Sally there are the most beautiful people, if you haven’t been there before I’d suggest popping in and saying hello, if the whole world had the attitude of these guys, there wouldn’t be any wars/crises etc etc. Favorite post ride recovery food is a Large AB from Yannis yiros on the Parade, hot chips covered in lamb and chicken, layered in garlic, tomato and bbq sauce (I also go for a large splash of hot chilli).
When I travel interstate I use a Brisbane outdoors bike bag, best bit is that when you build your bike back up at the airport, you can attach the bag to your backpack and ride to your next destination! I’m also one of those people who catch a plane with EVERYTHING in my carry-on. Pro-tip; Smile, be super polite with excellent grammar and wear a nice aftershave and they wont ask the weigh your carry on.
Next pro tip; wear a beard, the money you save on sunscreen is amazing! During summer too when it fills up with sweat it acts like an evaporative air-conditioner 😉 At tour time I’m constantly having the Pro’s telling me they’ve just had to shave to go racing, it just seems silly to me. One day I’ll discover a pretty gnarly tan line on my face when I shave it off.
My favorite holiday destination is Cairns, similar to Radelaide but their coffee is crap, their beer is like water, you cannot get a AB or good metwurst but the lifestyle is amazing, so laid back, nothing runs on time but everything gets done.
Do not have any real stand out books on cycling, the plethora of information on the internet is amazing, short sharp article by the Hells mob, Lavociita, Wednsday legs (shameless I know), blog/vlogs is stunning and it seems more relevant to me.
When I’m not riding my other loves are Cacti growing and collecting, Chilli growing and eating, I like to grow the worlds hottest and see if I can hold it down, the Carolina Reaper was brutal this year, fist bump to @Jho who ate one with me and went through the 12 layers of Hell with me, awesome work Josh. (Eds note –The Carolina Reaper is officially the Worlds Hottest Pepper as ranked by Guinness Records. There is nothing normal about this pepper. It was bred for heat and that it is, with an average SHU of over 1.5 million and peaks at 2.2 Million SHU!)
I like to run a couple of marathons every year (yes I know, almost sacrilegious) on track to run 1300 kilometres this year which will be a personal best!
Shout outs to all the Rad cycling folks who I ride or have once ridden with, the friendships, the laughs, the bad jokes, the pain, the beers, the stories, the adventures it has certainly been amazing! Adelaide’s cycling community is certainly very special!
The Adelaide Super-Drome is the headquarters for Cycling SA who offer racing, training and development programs, a training facility for South Australia Sports Institute (SASI) Track Cycling program and is the home of Cycling Australia’s High Performance Program.
The Velodrome is available for hire and hosts a range of events and functions.
The velodrome has hosted a number of international events including the International Track Series and the Oceania Track Championships. It is a popular destination for international teams looking for a unique environment for training camps.
Specifications & amenities:
Track: 250m softwood, 43° banked
Track lighting: 400 lux
Electronic timing system
Scoreboard: electronic multi-purpose
Seating: 2,000 spectators and 1,000 standing
Corporate areas: 4 corporate boxes and function room
Infield flooring: Regupol Multi-Sports (2067m2) – (infield can be configured for a variety of indoor sports when not in competition mode)
Lockable storage space available
Onsite parking for up to 500 cars
Business of the Week – Knog
Who are Knog?
Knog are a consumer products brand inventing urban-flavoured tech for the road, trail and outdoors.
How and when did Knog start?
Knog was born in 2003 but was born from a design firm called Catalyst which was founded in the mid 90s. So our heritage is design. Mobile phones, bullet proof vests, medical equipment, Champagne packaging and so on! Since we started Knog, we’ve re-invented bike lights, bike locks and most recently the humble bell. And we haven’t finished. Our next frontier is outdoor. Since a lot of our customers love the great outdoors, it makes sense to provide products that can straddle both. Hence our new PWR range.
Whats the meaning of the name Knog?
It’s actually a reference to “use your noggin”. Everything we do starts with inspiration from upstairs. And we don’t mean a god. Something much more powerful – an idea.
Who are the people behind Knog what are their roles?
The founders are Hugo Davidson (CEO) and Mal McKechnie (COO). Hugo leads the Design and Sales teams. Mal leads the Engineering and Production. CFO is Andrew Hedding and Head of Marketing is Sam Moore. The turnover of the team is remarkably low. Chris Bilanenko (Ind Des), Tim Besley (Ind Des), Leah Hughes (sales), Sean Wilkinson (online mkt), David Edwards (Electronic eng), and Virginia Francis (finance) have all been with Knog for the better part of a decade. The rest of the permanent team: Nick Bebbington, Madeline Ward, Michael Westwood, Anton van Maanen, Meesha
What makes your brand what it is?
Our difference is our design philosophy. “Unboring Things” is a description but also a call to action – we seek out what’s boring in the world because in making things interesting, you invariably make it more pleasurable. We’re a hedonistic bunch so pleasure – whether it be in your activities or just in the products you own (of course those things are linked) – is important to us.
There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into building a successful brand, can you give some tips on why you git to where you are?
We have been able to tap into the Zeitgeist – and to some extent shape trends – with our designs. In the fixi era on the naughties, our silicone lights and locks were wanted and needed. Now, with more sophisticated bike market and the growth of bike-packing and ever-overlapping bike and outdoor categories, our multi-function products are key. But really, what sits above all this is the style and it’s relationship to function. The Oi bell looks unique, but that form is intrinsic in its function. The PWR range has a universal battery, so the beautifully sleek form relates to that too.
What has been some of your more successful products?
The Frog light launched us.
The Blinder lights cemented us.
The Oi bell was the most successful – we launched through Kickstarter and made a real splash. And the PWR range is a new chapter.
What are your team’s interests outside of cycling?
You don’t wanna know .)
What bikes do your team members have in their garage?
All sorts. Canyon. Soma. Cannondale. Sakae Litage. But who cares – it’s about getting on a bike.
What were some of the major challenges in getting Knog to where it is now?
The biggest challenges for any product brand are almost always production. We had a fault that nearly floored us – our straps on our Blinder 4 product broke. However, we responded by not only a very easy and quick warranty process, but we updated the design to the Blinder MOB, which now has a near-zero warranty rate.
Where does the future lie for Knog?
We’re heading into Outdoor products, but not at the expense of our bike heritage. Our focus remains on inventing great bike products. But we are expanding into – and applying our unboring thinking to – the outdoor market. Camping, running, snow sports. They are all on the hitlist.
Where are your major markets?
UK, USA, Australia, Germany, France, Japan, Switzerland
Have there been any standout projects that you’ve taken a step back from at completion and thought “Yeah”?
Strongman lock (we won a global engineering award – the Stiftung Warentest).
Blinder MOB and Blinder MINI. A lot of the team’s favourite products are still the Blinder ROAD and Blinder ROAD R70 (rear light).
In fact, in our recent PWR launch we’ve just seen the results of a test from road.cc where they compare our lights to others. When you compare our optics to others you really say “oh yeah”.
Do you have any cycling partnerships you’d like to mention?
We like to help creative talent emerge. In Sydney, we have recently done a collaboration with designer Mick Boston on a range of apparel called Knog x Leave Pass.
We also sponsor some teams outside Australia – Revo Crit team and our friends Koochella out of Minneapolis.
At a product level, we’ve recently partnered with Tactica to bring out a pocket multi-tool product called Fang. It’s truly unique and was conceived by Tactica in Melbourne, then tailored for the bike market by Knog.
Winnipeg Cycling Chick
I came across this cycle blog the other day. Some interesting and entertaining articles.
The blogger – I couldn’t find her name – suffered a particularly nasty crash a few months back, and has been blogging about her recovery and thoughts since.
In this posting, she summarises the “Things that suck about crashing”. I’ve had a few crashes, but nothing as serious as this.
The street-illegal narcotics they give you at the hospital are pretty great, but have the unfortunate side effect of making it impossible to poop for a week. On the upside, being constipated is a a good distraction from your other, more serious injuries.
Further to that, a combination of opioids and liquor will not make you into the next Oscar Wilde or Ernest Hemingway. It will just make you sleepy.
Chances are you wrecked your bike just enough to have to replace a bunch of broken parts, but not enough to get a whole new bike.
Watching your social media feeds, which are populated mostly by bike people who are out riding and racing and training and travelling, is irritating and depressing.
For the next little while your Strava activities will flatline.
If they had to cut your jersey off your body at the hospital, it was probably your favorite jersey.
Everything hurts like fuck.
Depending on the extent and location of your injuries, your day-to-day activities are sure to be effected. In my case, my right, dominant arm is casted from my hand almost to my shoulder. Making the following things impossible:
any form of personal grooming or hygiene
putting on a bra, pants, or anything with buttons
holding a pen, pencil, or lipstick. I tried putting on lipstick with my left hand once and ended up looking like Robert Smith from The Cure
doing anything remotely useful around the house. I have basically become Archie Bunker, but less racist
This list could probably go on forever, but it’s making me depressed, so let’s move on to the brighter side.
Things that make it suck less:
You can finally read all of the books you wanted to read, except the funny ones because it hurts when you laugh.
Your sporty friends will feel really sorry for you and give you lots of sympathy and encouragement and maybe flowers you’re lucky. Your normal friends and family, however, will think you’re stupid, especially if this isn’t the first time.
People will do really sweet things for you, like bring you casseroles and wine. My work neighbours, Special T, got particularly creative and gave me these repackaged Phil Wood Products and a funny card. I laughed so hard I thought I broke a rib.
You finally get to use ALL of the throw cushions.
If you plan it well, you might get out of going to a golf tournament.
I can empathise with the above “Things that Suck”
A few others that should be on the things that suck list from my experience are:
Private Healthcare insurance has huge gaps
Being dependant on other people to get around
Not getting out with the ride group and enjoying their company during and post ride
Feeling your fitness ebb away and knowing that your return is going to be painful
Loss of confidence on the road
Day time tv, although Netflix and other streaming services can relive that frustration, and
Haggling with insurance companies
Speaking of which, this from Adelaide Cyclists just over a week ago………
“Gentleman came off his bike head first. Ambulance called by first responding Female cyclist who stopped along with Mark from Fat Boys, then things got very bad and his life saved by group of the Wonderful Fat Boys! CPR performed by Paul and my Husband Tony until Ambos arrived. Other Fat Boys warned cyclists and cars coming down while another group of the boys warning cars and cyclist coming up. Such a wonderful group of men Adelaide Fat Boys! – Very important to do CPR and First aid training. Very proud. We wish the Gentlemen and his Family well and hope he has a full recovery. Our thoughts also with his riding buddies, not a nice thing to witness.”
Speaking to someone else who turned up just after, the rider had cpr performed for over 10 minutes until the ambos arrived – well done guys.
So, I’d like to ask you a question.
Has everyone who rides in your group done a first aid course, or taken a refresher?
If not, why not. Your survival, or that of your mate from the next crash, may depend on your mates.
Please follow this up……….!
Rider of the Week – Alaskan Dave “Down Under” Downes
If you spend any time riding the hills south of Adelaide, you would have passed this weeks Rider if the Week – Dave.
Dave is one of those unique cycling characters that once touched, you will never forget him.
I first bumped into Dave on one of my many slow treks up Greenhill road one Saturday morning. I got chatting to him as he passed me (one of my tactics to get people to slow down for me). An interesting character, as you’ll find out below. I last saw Dave on the Dirty Dozen at the start and at the finish – unfortunately I didn’t catch him during the ride as he was allegedly seen wolfing down donuts on the side of the road with a group of mates at a prearranged location on the route.
This is Dave’s story.
Hi, I’m Dave Downes. I grew up in Alaska in the 60’s and 70’s although most people who know me say I’m still not grown up –and I plan on keeping it that way too mates. I’m now 52 years young and I take life much less seriously now than I ever have. I’m that rider you see out early in the mornings on a fairly non-descript bike who gives at least a passing nod to other cyclists; more often a wave and hello.
If you ever get a chance to ride along with me somewhere then you’ll hear stories of riding year-round back in Alaska and some good-natured joking around too. You may also find some roads and hills that even most locals don’t know about. I’m game for any hills (you may have to wait for me at the top or I may have to wait for you; I’m easy either way) and any gravel; I may not be one of the fast guys but I’ll ride with you all day into a headwind and rain with a smile on my face.
How long have you been cycling?
Started as a little kid pre-kindergarten and I’ve not looked back. I was one of those kids who would disappear all day long on the bike without a care in the world. Even as an adult my bike was year round transportation for me back in Alaska; never even owned a car till I was 34.
What got you started in cycling?
I got started mountain biking in the late 80’s in Fairbanks, Alaska as I needed year round transport after I moved off campus at University of Alaska-Fairbanks and these new-fangled contraptions called “mountain bikes” seemed ideal for riding all year long up there. If you’re concept of “ideal riding” includes routinely riding for an hour or so at -40 then it’s perfect!
I switched over to road cycling when I moved here as the road system is much more extensive than back in Fairbanks.
You go by the moniker of Alaskan Dave Down Under. Can you give a bit of background behind behind The Alaskan Dave, how long have you been in Adelaide and what brought you down under?
I wanted to pick a screen name/identity that would give a lot of information –Hi, I’m Dave and I’m from Alaska but I now live in Australia– and also leave questions such as what you are asking. Hey what do you know, it worked!
I’ve been in Adelaide since October of 2000. My wife is from Adelaide by way of The UK in 1971 and we met in Alaska in 1998 when she was visiting a mutual friend. We decided it would be much easier for me to get used to this climate than for her to get used to mine and we were right!
How many bikes do you own and what is your main go to bike?
Five bikes (3 road and 2 mtb) although only one of each are currently rideable. 99% of my riding is on my road bike. It is a 2016 Polygon Helios C5. Aluminium (notice I spelt that properly!!!) frame/carbon fork with endurance geometry so it’s quite comfy for my old back. It’s not a very common bike to say the least so if you see some long-haired bloke wearing a noticeable kit riding a Polygon road bike it is probably me. Say hi. Or not.
What bike do you covet?
Does anyone make a 5 kilo road bike with cantilevers stronger than fugly disks, knifes through the air, is tough enough to be banged around on gravel, has comfortable geometry, and won’t cost me my life’s savings?
Can you summarise some of your achievements in your cycling life so far?
Yes. (I’m tempted to leave it at this for a laugh but I won’t)
One of my achievements that I’m quite obviously proud of is year round riding in the interior of Alaska for years in the era before Fat Bikes. The coldest I’ve ever ridden is -58F/-50C and if you count my riding speed as the wind speed that means a windchill of -84F/-64C. For an hour. On a bicycle.
Down here a ride I’m quite proud of doing 5200m vert in just over 8 hours back in June of 2016. Of course finishing the Dirty Dozen this year was a fantastic achievement too.
A summary? I suppose I like hills and extreme temperatures!
You do a hell of a lot of riding, particularly down South, what do you love about cycling in Adelaide?
I absolutely LOVE all the twisty, turny, sealed roads up and down all the hills here! It is so different from what I grew up with. But there is also some great gravel too which is something I’m quite familiar with from back in Alaska. And cafes and bakeries practically around every corner –Sooooo different from Alaska!
If you could have dinner with 3 people in the cycling world, who would they be, why and where would you take them to eat?
Sagan, Chaves, and Cavendish. Peter is on the list because, well… he’s bloody Peter Sagan fer cryin’ out loud! Estaban cus, hey… That SMILE! Cav? Oh man the stories of the trench warfare he could tell!
Where? Any of the local pubs would be fine! Pub grub down here is great.
What are your fondest cycling memories?
This is going to sound sappy, but I make fond memories on every ride. My fondest would include meeting cool people (like yourself Pibs!) and finding new roads and hills to ride.
Have you had any nasty crashes? If so how did the worst occur and what were the consequences?
In almost 50 years of falling off bikes I have never broken a bone from a crash. Probably the nastiest crash was the first time I went over the handlebars. I was 5 years old. I left half my face on the pavement. It explains a lot, doesn’t it?
What is your favourite post ride coffee/tea spot, and what would you normally buy as a treat?
Favourite stop… oof this is a toughie! It really depends on what area I’m riding in! I’ll try to stop at:
Kondi if I’m doing an Adelaide Hills ride
Harvest Mylor (for a SOUP BOWL of coffee!!!) if I’m riding past.
Clarendon Bakery or Dolce Vita if I’m messing about Piggot Range area.
Terre Cafe if I want a coffee in Willunga;
Cottage in The Vale.
When I’m down on The Fleurieu I stop at Normanville Bakery and Inman Valley General Store.
Jack’s when I’m in Strath.
It really just depends where I am.
What do I normally buy as a treat… Dude, just LOOK at these photos!
What is the biggest cycling lie you have told your partner?
“I’ll be back by noon honey!”
What cycling related thing would you like for your next birthday?
Besides that mythical bike I mentioned earlier? Well, you’ve seen photos of the skin suit that looks like muscles? Yeah, I’d wear that in a heartbeat!
Is there a local cycling outfit/company/cycling club/cycling group/person that you would like to plug?
Any cafe or bakery that has a bike pump for use! The ones I know for sure are Harvest Mylor, Clarendon Bakery, and Oxenberry. I’m sure there are others though.
What is your non-cycling go-to place when Interstaters/oversea-ers come to Adelaide?
Two main ones. Winery tour of McLaren Vale with me being the designated driver so they can get as silly as they want to get. The other is Belair National Park because I’m a great koala spotter.
Is there anything else you feel like talking about?
Be safe, be seen, be friendly! Don’t get so intensely into your riding that you forget just how much FUN it is to be out on a bicycle.
Oh Pffft. I could go on all day.
Its people like you that make life so much more interesting, and fun. Take care in the roads and looking forward to our next ride.