Race Across Australia – IPWR

I’ve done it, after years of thinking about it, and talking about it, I’ve finally bitten the bullet. I’ve signed up for a French cyclotour in June with local outfit Unique Cycling Tours

I don’t think I’ve quite gotten my head around it yet, but having the opportunity to ride some of the climbs we see on TV is mind blowing. How about these apples.

  • MONT VENTOUX
  • ALPE D’HUEZ
  • COL DU GLANDON
  • CROIX DE FER
  • TELEGRAPHE
  • GALIBIER.

http://www.uniquecyclingtours.com/provence-and-french-alps/

There’s still some available spots if you’re interested.

Indian Pacific Wheel Race

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They got off to a flying start on Saturday morning over in Freo, and as I sit here on Tuesday evening, there are 10 riders already in South Australia.  The front runner Kristof Allagaert is setting an incredible pace, having ridden 1,829km since Saturday morning.  Thats something like 82 hours somewhere around the 22 km/hr, thats not even allowing for any stoppage. Incredible stuff.

Kristof

One of brilliant features of this race is the use and spread of social media covering this race. The event organiser , Jesse Carlsson, who unfortunately had to withdraw from the race on Sunday, in partnership with some prominent players in Aistralia including Cycling Tips and Curve Cycling, have been huge supports of social media around this event. Some of the features include:

  • Rider tracking – you can sit at your phone and watch the riders track across Australia, live. I’m not sure of the accuracy, but the tracking shows the riders barely metres apart, all withing the “No-Drafting” rules of course, incing their way across Australia. You can see when they stop, where they stop, and who’s sleeping with who. Have a look here. Indian Pacific Wheel Race Map Progress

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  • Rider interviews – Regular spot interviews by IPWR on their Facebook site. This feature really brings to the fore the character of the riders, their humor, the trials and tribulations as the days slowly go by.

And then there’s this one from South Australian Davin Harding. His character and dry wit shine through.

  • Rider Facebook and Instagram sites. Riders are regularly posting either themselves when they get a chance or have a support team posting on their behalf.
  1. James Raison
  2. Mike Hall
  3. Kristof Allegaert
  4. Sarah Hammond
  5. Jackie Bernardi

The rider social edia sites can be accessed through the rider profile on the tracking tool.  Click on the rider name and the profile will pop up, giving sponsor names, social media addresses etc

  • Rider Sponsor Facebook and Instagram updates such as
  1. Curve Cycling
  2. Sportful
  3. Rapha
  4. Ben Rides

Apologise for the many I’ve missed.

It would be good to see mainstream media get behind these hard core athletes, the nation needs to see what these guys are doing.

And us, we should be doing everything we can to support the riders as they pass through our hometown, so track them as they come in and get out there and give them some moral support.

3 Peaks

Funny thing about the Peaks Challenge Falls Creek. After the months and months of training (remembering i only went for the weekend, i didn’t ride the bloody thing), planning, donuts, coffee and the like, the weekend went by so bloody quickly it almost feels as if it didn’t happen. But happen it did. Its an extraordinary weekend, a lads weekend away, but when you peel away the layers, its much much more. Each rider taking part has a books worth of stories in their personal struggles to get to the line, let alone ride it.

I mentioned a few posts back a gentlemen called Paul, a strong rider who last year was found bent over his bike with 2 km’s to go, suffering stroke like symptoms and unable to finish.  Unfortunately, and fortunately at the same time, he recognised the same symptoms again and chose to withdraw from the ride. Sorry to hear this news Paul, but very glad you made the right decision.

I’ve been to Falls Creek 5 times now, helped with the training for each, and am happy to report that of the 25 attempts over these 5 years, attempts where the rider actually crossed the start line, we’ve had 25 completions. There were some doubts we would achieve that, particularly as there was doubt over JK’s hamstring, something he tore about 5 weeks out, something which curtailed an already compromised training program.  Bugger us all, he did it. This guy has an  unbelievable ability to push through the mental barriers and finish against the odds.

Sitting back as a casual observer for the 3rd time this year, I was ecstatic not only seeing each of the riders in our group cross the line, but standing down at the finish line the emotions etched across the faces of each and every rider crossing the line gave only a hint if what was going through their minds, but I felt an outsider walking through finishers on the other side of the line. The looks of euphoria, pain banished, exultation, relief, disbelief scrawled across the faces was something to behold.  That was an extraordinarily hard ride to finish. I rode down to Anglers rest with a mate on the Saturday. I’d forgotten how painful that ride back up is.  My mate was tackling it for the first time.  He’s in awe of the 3peakers finishing that ride with 200km in their legs. Same here. Well done to all who completed.

On a finishing note, a couple of successes at both ends of the spectrum.

John C  was a welcome blow-in to the group, a friends friend who had set himself a sub-9 target.  JC had put the training in and was confident, but also very focused, quiet and a little withdrawn. JC rode a sub 9 ride and was understandably wrapped with the result.  At dinner on Sunday night we almost couldn’t shut him up.  Well done JC.

At the other end, Hack, who similarly came in as a friend of a friend last year but with an interrupted training regime last year, came in this year with with a few more laps under the belt, hit WTF approx before the cutoff time, beat the Trap Yard gate closure, but struggled across the top, ended up with flat batteries on his from light, and ended up getting the support of a motorcycled marshal who shone his headlights in front of Hack and another rider to help them cross the line, albeit after the 13 hour cutoff. Suffering hypothermia, Hack was taken to the medical centre for an hour or so before being released. He ended up crossing the apartments threshold to the supporting appreciative roar of our group, wide smile on his dial, pretty much summed up the weekend.

Well done all, it was a pleasure to spend the weekend with you.

A few pictures from my trip below.

Sagan has ridden La Classicissima 7 times now, with two seconds, and two fourths. Saturday was his 78th second place of his career. Imagine if just a few of those had been victories

Lakes Cycling Shoes – Lake MX 237

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Before Christmas i bought a pair of Lake MTB 237 shoes, the old road shoes were falling apart, and to be honest, I was looking at buying some cx/mt shoes for my gravel road riding, and the occasional possible cross race (tbc), and the thought of buying 2 pairs of shoes wasn’t sitting well. I wanted some decent shoes, but didn’t want to spend a bucket load on 2 pairs.

After much deliberation, i decided to buy the one pair, a good pair, and not really worrying about riding road with mountain bike shoes. Yes they are a little heavier, but hey, I’m 50+ years old, so a few extra grams at the bottom end of town wont hurt that much.  On the upside, i dont have to worry about slipping over on those bloody slippery cleats whilst walking back to the table with a cuppa in each hand.

So, i bis pretty much the same as the CX 237 road shoe, but comes in a MTB package. Carbon sole, full leather upper and double boa fastening system. My first in all 3 categories.

Apart from the looks, the feature that grabbed me initially was their reputation for being wider than usual, and trying them on certainly didn’t disappoint.

The Boa fastening system provided comfortable but firm tightening across the top of the foot which steps up the control of the tightening that you just don’t quite get with my old ratchet and velcro fasteners.

Out on the road, it took a while to get used t the new fit. The first three to four 4 hour+ rides had me finishing up with a numbing left foot. I couldn’t quite figure it out, and it got a little disturbing for a while there, but the numbing on the longer rides eventually disappeared.

Those longer rides were during some of the hotter days, and invariably I’d turn up at home soaked in sweat and salt encrusted kit. Taking the shoes off after these sweat fests  would show black staining from the black leather. A little bit disturbing, however not permanent, the stains came out in the wash and after a while, the staining stopped happening.

Once the numbing stopped, I came to admire the shoes, they are nice and stiff when i needed them to be, but super comfortable due to their width, inside fit and the nice smooooooth supple leather. They now fit like a pair of old gloves, i hardly notice them any more, which can only be a good thing. It’s probably not surprising that I didn’t notice them at all when riding up the back of falls/WTF a few weekends back.

The upshot is that I found them well suited to flat and hilly rides either on the road and gravel. I haven’t tried them in a cx race yet, but i haven’t found any reason why they wouldnt suit. The carbon sole gives these shoes excellent power transfer characteristics, with a stiff feeling under even the hardest out-of-the-saddle pedaling efforts like WTF, whilst still maintaining a good amount of flex when off the bike walking around holding onto those coffees.

The rubber MTB sole is strong and looks like it will take a lot of punishment, providing plenty of clearance for those trail riding days.

All up, I would highly recommend you have a close look at the Lake shoes next time you are looking at replacing or upgrading. I’m glad i spent the little extra on some decent shoes, and also happy i chose the MTB sole, although I’m sure there would be many roadies out there that would be frowning on my choice, but hey, I just enjoy being out in the great outdoors.

Oh, I bought these shoes at the Bike Bug in Stepney, what is rapidly becoming one of my favourite lbs’s.  https://www.bikebug.com/index.php

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Milan San Remo

A classic finish to this years Milan San Remo with Peter Sagan showing that he’s was the strongest rider of the day, jumping out with around a km to go, but Michal Kwiatkowski showed on the day he was a little smarter than Peter Sagan.

A brilliant finish right down to the line.

In his seventh attempt at La Classicissima, Sagan has finished second twice, and fourth twice. Sagan’s race statistics show he has ridden 558 races, won 92 races and finished on the podium 204 times. Saturday was his 78th second place of his career.

Gara Ciclistica Milano-Sanremo 2017  - km 291.Gara Ciclistica Milano-Sanremo 2017  - km 291.152048_636903961Gara Ciclistica Milano-Sanremo 2017  - km 291.152456_636898187Gara Ciclistica Milano-Sanremo 2017  - km 291.Gara Ciclistica Milano-Sanremo 2017  - km 291.18-03-2017 Milano - Sanremo; 2017, Bora - Hansgrohe; 2017, Team Sky; Sagan, Peter; Kwiatkowski, Michal; Sanremo;18-03-2017 Milano - Sanremo; 2017, Team Sky; 2017, Bora - Hansgrohe; Kwiatkowski, Michal; Sagan, Peter; Alaphilippe, Julian; Sanremo;171458_63681295518-03-2017 Milano - Sanremo; 2017, Team Sky; 2017, Bora - Hansgrohe; Kwiatkowski, Michal; Sagan, Peter; Alaphilippe, Julian; Sanremo;18-03-2017 Milano - Sanremo; 2017, Team Sky; Kwiatkowski, Michal; Sanremo;18-03-2017 Milano - Sanremo; 2017, Bora - Hansgrohe; Sagan, Peter; Sanremo;18-03-2017 Milano - Sanremo; 2017, Team Sky; Kwiatkowski, Michal; Sanremo;

Rider of the Week – Lorne McLurg

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Thats Lorne, bottom left

Lorne is a first generation Australian of Irish parents. Eldest of three children, he was born in 1971 and raised in Adelaide. He has lived and worked interstate and overseas for a few years before returning to settle down. He is married, with 3 primary school aged kids. Lorne completed an Arts degree in Geography, that never got any serious use other than in games of Trivial Pursuit.

Now, he jointly owns a Project Management Consulting business, Moto Projects, focused on larger commercial, retail and high rise residential construction projects.

Lornes first career beyond trivial pursuit was as an outdoor adventure guide, but realized the lifestyle, although fit, fun and challenging, had its limitations…mostly fiscal. He gave that away as a full time professional endeavor after 7 years and phased across into a second career as a full-time project manager.

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Lorne has been riding bikes for as long as he can remember. He was one of the founding members of the FRA PowerOn team in early 2003 and has been riding ‘pretty’ consistently 2-4 times a week with the mob since then.

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I can’t see myself ever stopping riding for any reason other than obviously, life and death ones! Not known for my hill climbing capability, but more so for my love of descending…. the real reason for why we climb the hills in the first place!!

  • How long have you been cycling?

About 44 years…. Got a trike when I was about 2 then my first real bike…a yellow dragster…when I was about 5. Not stopped riding since then.

Was a BMX bandit in the late 70’s & 80’s, as a founding member (with my siblings) of the Tea Tree Gully BMX club, raced every week from the age of 10 til about 16.

Tea Tree Gully BMX Facebook site

I discovered road bikes when I was 14 for fitness and commuting to school, then Uni and work. Got into Mountain biking after a trip to the USA in 1992 and a chance to ride the famous Slick Rock trail amongst others around Moab and the Colorado Rockies.

I got back into regular Road biking when I moved home to Adelaide in 1996 and have been riding around the beaches and hills 2-4 times a week since then.

  • What got you started in cycling?

Father Christmas and from there the love of the wind in my face and the freedom to cover distance and see beautiful places under my own steam and at my own pace

  • How many bikes do you own and what is your main go to bike?

3, a new Canyon Ultimate SLX 9.0 purchased in Feb 2017 is the go to at the moment. I have a Specialized SWorks Tarmac SL4 currently having some carbon repairs done on it and a Specialized Crave SL 29er MTB (Single Speed) that is my go to for rides with the kids and when the weather is crap.

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  • What bike do you covet?

I’ve been lucky enough recently to build up the bike of my dreams. The Canyon with SRAM Etap, Zipp 303 NSW’s, Garmin Edge 820 is about as good as it gets I think.

  • How do you store your bikes?

Mostly in the house. The MTB lives in the shed with the wife and kids bikes and the roadies live in the house where I can get at them easily for the early morning before work rides!

 

  • Do you do all your own maintenance or do you use a LBS? If so, which one?

I do most of my own simple stuff, but when time is limited or it’s a bit trickier then Anthony Mezzini at Elbows Akimbo or Pete at BMC are my go to gurus.

  • What cycling specific tools do you have in your “bike shed”?

I’ve accumulated lots of little gadgets over the years. My favorites currently are my ParkTools torque driver and ParkTools workstand.

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  • What is your favourite piece of cycling kit or accessory?

My Garmin 820. Love how it uploads straight to Strava and does live segments to help keep me honest….and my new bright blue Shimano Sphyre RC9 shoes.

  • What do you love about cycling?

The camaraderie of cycling with my bunch. Politically incorrect banter and the gentle push to ride more and faster, that comes with riding with a bunch of mates… that and the beer! Ride Bikes, Drink Beer, PowerOn being one of our motto’s

  • What annoys most about cycling?

Idiot riders who don’t show simple understanding and respect to other road users, who antagonize drivers, chase fame through social media and thus give all cyclists a bad name. It shouldn’t be that hard to ‘treat others as you want them to treat you’

  • Other than yourself, who is your favourite cyclist?

Peter Sagan…he’s the all-round cyclist.

  • If you could have dinner with 3 people in the cycling world, who would they be and why?

With a biased agenda, because I have a strong and independent daughter who I want to see having access to equal and sustainable opportunity and income – Rochelle Gilmore to discuss the challenges and opportunities in Women’s cycling and strategize how to raise it to par with the men’s league, Rob Arnold to further the discussion on how to raise women’s cycling to par with the men’s league on the basis that it’s all in the media power to do so, and Nick Green to discuss the role Australia’s peak body needs to play in developing and supporting cycling and in particular Women’s Cycling.

  • Where would you take them to eat?

Chianti Classico – Can’t go past a good feed of Rabbit

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  • What are your craziest/fondest cycling memories?

Riding the burbs for hours on end with my BMX bandit mates, jumping and skidding our way down the streets and through the parks and creek reserves, getting muddy, scraped and bruised, every weekend and loving it!

  • Have you had any nasty crashes? If so how did the worst occur and what was the consequence?

Had my fair share. Too many to remember them all. Used to average one car hit a month when I was a bike commuter in London in the mid 90’s. Most recent nasty was being hit from behind at the finish line of a Vets Crit, by some numpty who had their head down sprinting for 20th. I hit the pavement at about 45Kph and busted 3 ribs and punctured a lung. Put me off the bike for 6 weeks.

  • What is your favourite post ride coffee/tea spot, and what would you normally buy as a treat?

Cibo King William Road – Been going there since it opened. Grande Flat White being my usual. Sometimes accompanied by a piece of Banana Bread….not that my gut needs it!

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  • Do you have a favourite overseas country in mind you’d love to take your bike to?

Would love to take the Roadie and MTB back to France. Did a lot of snowboarding, rock-climbing and mountaineering there, but didn’t have the space to take the bike so would love to go back just to ride. Such awesome terrain to adventure in and the descents…breathtaking for someone like me who loves going down.

  • What is your favourite local training route?

Windy point to Belair, then up through the National Park via Saddle Hill Rd and on up to Crafers and back into town via the old freeway. A perfect 1.5 hr outing for me and can be done before work and herding children begins in the morning.

  • What is the biggest cycling lie you have told a partner?

Probably the same one’s we all try to get away with…I’ve had that ‘new piece of kit’ for ages!

  • What cycling related thing would you like for your next birthday?

More dope socks as I need to keep on top of my games in that department.

  • Is there a local cycling outfit/company/cycling club/cycling group/person that you would like to plug?

Elbows Akimbo. Anthony is a very thorough bike fitter and mechanic and generously supports our team.

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Do yourself a favour and get a bike fit from him. Amazing how it can help your comfort and power

  • From a non-cycling perspective, what do you love about Adelaide?

I love the small city / big Country town environment. Its something we need to learn to celebrate and not condemn. Having lived and visited many cities around the world, I know we have it good here. Naysayers should try living the same lifestyle they enjoy here in Europe or Asia…unless you have a few $Mill a year in income, you’ll be very sadly disappointed.

  • What is your go to place when interstaters come to Adelaide?

I think the go to ride for visitors to Adelaide has to be Old freeway, over Lofty, across through Uraidla to Deviation Rd, back along Loby Rd to Basket Range, Ashton then across to Marble Hill and down Montacute and back to the city for Coffee in Vardon Place.

  • Is there anything else you feel like talking about?

I think I’ll have bored everyone enough by now!

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Not all all Lorne, a pleasure to hear from you, love the early day BMX bandit storys, although I can’t quite get the image of you with Nicole Kidman style hair out of my head.

 

Till next time

tight spokes

iPib

Classical

3 Peaks

 

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You can just about smell it – Sunday 12th March.

The guys I have been riding and training with over the last 4 months are pretty well set and have positioned themselves well to complete the course in a quicker time than previous years, although poor old JK, who broke his leg a few minutes before last years Peaks Falls Creek ride, ripped his hammy a few weeks back which has severely hampered his preparation.

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Good luck to all who are heading over and doing the loop.

Me, I’ll just do some riding at my leisure on the Saturday and Sunday and support the lads with their preparation and drinking.

Oh, that little hill at the 170km mark is the 4km 5% grind out of Omeo. Don’t be afraid of it, just be aware it’s there – the first time i did this ride i had forgotten about this and was expecting a nice coast before wtf – no siree.  Ah, and the road to Omeo gets a little knarly toward sthe end, no dramas, just be prepared.

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Bike Review – Titanium Astir GT

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I’ve been riding for over 10 years now, have had two alloy and 3 carbon bikes in my time, but I’ve been hankering for a titanium bike for quite some time. We’ve all seen them, the raw Ti bike finish just looks great, seeing the welds, the deep lustre of the metal finish, the clean lines, sweet.

So, given the chance to try out a locally made Titanium bike that I first saw at the Tour Village back in 2016 was a no brainer. James, the brain behind the Astir brand, is a mechanical engineer with a previous life working with Titanium, decided some time back to branch out into mixing his expertise working with Titanium and his engineering skills with his cycling passion to make titanium frames and build bikes.

He’s been plugging away for a while and slowly but surely building up the brand and expanding his range.

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After first meeting James at the Village, I’ve been sporadically nagging away at him to let me give a Ti bike a try, and just after Christmas he relented, and lent me the try GT bike, a gravel tourer.

There appears to be a leaning back toward metal bikes, with newer Aluminium and Steel technologies combined with improved design and geometries matched with decent wheels, seat posts and forks improving the comfort over the older metal framed bikes. However there are still few Titanium bikes on the market, and those that you do are priced quite high, and for good reason, so it is a delight to see James persevere with his passion.
James kindly brought the bike up to Norton Summit and gave me a few hours to give it a go over some of the delightful gravel roads around Norton and Marble Hill.

The GT, with some good 40mm rubber on the front is designed to eat up bumps on the road, making for a relatively smooth ride and robust handling.
Weighing a bit less than 8kgs, its definitely no carbon bike, but the weight didn’t matter when riding up the loose gravel roads. Heck, when the rider I just a tad over 80kg, an extra ½ kilo or so on the frame is really going to matter much.
The stiff frame allowed efficient transfer of what power my chicken legs through to the rubber, and with the decent rubber, it was mostly transferred to the gravel base.
Without much effort, I put the bike through its paces on a wide variety of road, gravel, bitumen, Roubaix style pavers (yes, the exist, although not as bone shaking as the real thing, Old Cherryville Road, keep an eye out for it next time your riding around Marble Hill) and even a fire trails which disappeared over the edge of a ridge somewhere just east of Corkscrew. This titanium bike shined through on all road surfaces.
I didn’t tell James this, but heading down Narrow Ridge Road I was almost cleaned up by a commodore coming out of a driveway. That section of road was a short steep and descent with very loose gravel, which wasn’t too bad until this commodore came flying out of a driveway and came flying up the road. With the loose gravel on the crown of the road and deep gashes on thesides, I was unable to turn as such without the front wheel digging in, so it got a little scary, but the bike held it’s line and we both came out unscathed.
The bike felt significantly more rigid than my carbon bike, but it had that good solid feel without losing that feeling of responsiveness and comfort. The GT soaked up the holes and gravel just nicely thank you. It was a fun bike to ride. With some good road tyres thrown on I can see it being a good multi-purpose bike, taking me around whatever gravel I could throw at it as well being the touring bike for the longer sportive rides.

If you’re thinking about looking at a Ti bike, give James a call and give Astir a try.
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The following taken from their website homepage gives you a bit more of feel for what Astir is about.

At ASTIR we make custom made bicycles to order.  Our bikes have a blend of classic and contemporary design by using traditional lines with an “Astir” touch of finesse. ASTIR is a small boutique company and our designs concentrate exclusively on unique  road bicycles that can be used in Cyclosportive events, as your local café racer a daily commuter or a fast Tourer.  Our frames have been fine tuned for riders that are strong and like to ride on comfortable frames that have a clean look and that will last over the years. All the frames are custom made to fit we do not have off the shelf frames.

Material selection:

Our primary material is Titanium. We use Titanium 3AL/2.5V (known as Grade 9) straight gauge tubing and double butted to build our frames. This material has been used over the years with great success in the cycling industry. It is lightweight, strong, durable and gives a very good surface finish. Tubes are selected with an emphasis on giving a comfortable yet confident sporty ride. Model variations are the (Road) Classic, Sportive, Brevet, Titan, (touring and commuting) Touring and our eBikes. (designed and engineered in Adelaide South Australia). The models are a guide and can be changed to suite your requirements and riding style.

http://www.astirframes.com/

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Rider of the Week – James Raison

This weeks Rider of the Week is James Raison.
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 If you haven’t seen James out and about around Adelaide, then you’ve been riding with your eyes close. You’ll soon understand what I mean.
This is James cycling story.
I’m James: rider of bikes, editor at La Velocita, eater of the burgers, ice cream destroyer, tyre pressure zealot, charismatic stallion, all-round legend, 30 years awesome, and exceptionally humble to-boot.
  • You have registered for the Indian Pacific, a ride starting in Fremantle and finishing at Bondi Beach. I’ve got to ask it – why?
There’s a few answers to that: challenge, adventure, fun, and growth through adversity. Plus, I’ll be dead one day and nobody gets a second shot at life.
  • I understand yo have a pact with a fellow competitor, something about crossing the line hand in hand at the end – is this true, and how deep is the man love running between the 2 of you?
Nah, no pact. We’ve agreed that we’re happy to ride together while we’re on compatible pace so nothing pact-like. This is a solo challenge and you have to be prepared to do whatever it takes to get yourself to the finish line. Maybe we finish together, maybe we finish a week apart. Who knows? It’s a long race.
  • How are you feeling with the race just just around the corner?
Pretty relaxed considering what I’m staring down. Mostly I’m looking forward to starting. Once it’s over then I can move on. This race has dominated my thoughts, emptied my bank account, and cost me a lot of sleep over the last few months. I’m just looking forward to getting back to normal life afterwards.
  • Can you give an overview of the training you been doing of late?
I did a training shakedown over the Australia Day long weekend that was 930 km in 3 days. Since then I’ve been keeping up the riding but am focusing more on getting my body in good shape with stretching and basic strength training. I’ve also been eating my own weight in ice cream. I need some body fat to get me across the country. It sure isn’t what a lot of people expect when they ask about my training. Physical ability only lasts a couple of days. After that it becomes about managing your body and having the mental strength to keep going.
  • OK, enough abut the Indy Pac, lets learn a little about who James is. How long have you been cycling?
About 13 years just after I finished high school.
  • What got you started?
A horrific hangover. I got totally wasted on cheap vodka and woke up with only about 20 minutes before I was due to work at my glamorous checkout job. So I grabbed my barely functional mountain bike I got when I was 12 and sweated my way to work. That was literally how it started. I rode to work every day from then on. Then I rode everywhere.It just grew from there. I have never had a driver’s licence, I just ride bikes.
  • How many bikes do you own and what is your main go to bike?
Currently I have four. A Giant TCX for gravel grinding and commuting, a Daccordi Furioso when I feel like being a vintage steel hipster, a Bottecchia Emme 2 which is my fast-light-carbon bike, and the Curve Belgie Spirit that can do almost anything. I just grab whatever best suits what I’m doing, or whatever feels like it’ll be fun.
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  • What bike do you covet?

I’d say my Curve with a few mods to weenie it up. It’s currently in endurance spec and I can’t wait to shed some weight off it when I get back from Indy Pac. If money were no object I’d throw Dura Ace 9170 on, a Tune Schwarzes Stuck seatpost, and some Tune Airways wheels. Maybe get some ultralight tyres as well. Get that sucker as light as possible. That’s all the bike I’ll ever need.

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  • How do you store your bikes?
Steadyracks. Annoying to install but they’re brilliant.
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  • Do you do all your own maintenance or do you use a LBS? If so, which one?
I do basic maintenance myself but I get regular servicing at Bio-Mechanic Cycles and Repairs (BMCR). Pete and Andrew are phenomenal mechanics who work wonders on my bikes. They’ve also found some damaged components that could have ended in serious injury to me. So I trust them. Lia’s customer service is second-to-none as well. She’s very patient with my frequent emailing! They’re the best.
I went and spoke to them as soon as the Indian Pacific Wheel Race was announced. I wanted them to build my rig and Pete has been tweaking it for the last couple of months. It’s one hell of a bike thanks to his expertise.
  • What cycling specific tools do you have in your “bike shed”?
Nothing too special. Some nice allen keys, various tightening/loosening tools, a servicing stand, and a crapload of baby wipes. Those baby wipes are magic for bike cleaning.
  • What is your favourite piece of cycling kit or accessory?
Garmin. I love numbers and have a terrible sense of direction.
  • What do you love about cycling?
Almost everything. The fun, the freedom, the physical and mental health benefits, the challenge, the shiny things, and the social side. I was quite overweight as a teenager so cycling has become the ultimate expression of transformation and change from what I was. That’s why I love climbing steep hills so much.
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photo credit Lana Adams – La Velocita

 

Riding a bike changed the course of my life and is the single most important influence on who I am today.
  • Other than yourself, who is your favourite cyclist?
Just to be cliched: Peter Sagan. His abilities are staggering but the way he conducts himself on and off the bike sets him apart. From what I hear, he’s just a really nice guy and everyone likes him.
  • If you could have dinner with 3 people in the cycling world, who would they be and why?
Well, one has to be Peter Sagan for obvious reasons. Brad Wiggins because he’s a phenomenal athlete who has reinvented himself many times in his career. I think he’d be fascinating to talk to. Alex Howes would be the last. He is just a straight-up cool guy. I chatted to him a bit at the TDU this year and he’s very friendly. I’d love to go for a ride with him.
  • Where would you take them to eat?
Wherever makes good burgers. I don’t have much time for really fancy food. I’m a simple fella.
  • What are your craziest/fondest cycling memories?
Riding 1,080 km from Melbourne to Adelaide with 3 mates was my craziest challenge to date.
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We smashed ourselves riding with about 2 total hours sleep in parks and ditches for the whole ride. We pushed it to the limits. Exhaustion, sleep deprivation, hallucination, we went through it all. We had fun the whole time though. The banter went for 60 straight hours.
  • Have you had any nasty crashes? If so how did the worst occur and what was the consequence?
The worst was probably when a kangaroo wiped me out last year while I was trying to do all 4 Dirty Dozen courses in 2 days. I was abut to finish the second course when a kangaroo smashed into the side of me. I was lucky not to break anything but my bike was cracked, several components broken, and my helmet was ruined.
  • What is your favourite post ride coffee/tea spot, and what would you normally buy as a treat?
Favourite post-ride treat is a Cibo iced coffee. I don’t really like Cibo but they make the best iced coffees. Other than that, I have a few good coffee spots: Red Berry Espresso, Brick and Mortar, Pave, Coffeelosophy, and more. Depends where I end up.
  • Do you have a favourite overseas country in mind you’d love to take your bike to?
Japan. There’s vending machines everywhere and the Japanese people are absolutely fantastic. I’d love to go back with a bike and do some exploring.
  • What is your favourite local training route?
Mt Osmond is my favourite area. I love the steep climbs and the beautiful views.
  • What is the biggest cycling lie you have told a partner?
I haven’t had to resort to that thankfully. She hasn’t asked what the total spend was on my Indy Pac setup. Hopefully she doesn’t!
  • What cycling related thing would you like for your next birthday?
A power meter for my Bottecchia. It runs Campy so options are really expensive.
  • Is there a cycling outfit/company/cycling club/cycling group/person that you would like to plug?
So many! I’m very proud of what we’re doing at La Velocita. We’ve had massive growth running on the smell of an oily rag. We’re  growing because passionate and talented people contribute. It’s pretty fantastic.
Massive thanks to Cycle Closet as well for supporting me for Indy Pac. They’ve sourced a lot of really high quality gear for me to use. Finally, my pokey YouTube channel: RideAdelaide. It’s a silly little project I’ve started but I get a lot of pleasure out of it.
  • From a non-cycling perspective, what do you love about Adelaide?
The chill. It’s an easy going town and it’s just a nice place to be.
  • What is your go to place when interstaters come to Adelaide?
Pretty much all the interstaters who come to visit are cyclists so I take them out and blow their minds on our awesome roads.
  • Is there anything else you feel like talking about?
Not really, just ride bikes.

Cafe – Aristology

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The Spring Classics and Monuments

What a great time of the year – the classics / monuments are back

1st up – Strade Bianchi

Arguably the best race of the year.

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Olympic Champion and new 2017 Strade Bianchi champion, Greg Van Avermaet gets his first Monument.

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Oh, and if your i any doubt about the Strade Biancha being one of the best spring classic rides on the calendar, have a look here. Some stunning photos from Gruber Images, partciularly with the behind the scenes access the photographer is goven.

http://www.yarak.cc/strade-bianche

 

A few of the photos from this site to whet your appetite.

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And the Paris Nice – still a few more days to go, but a few snaps so far.  Its looking bloody cold over there.

Stage 1

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Stage 2

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Stage 3

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Wine and Ale Trail of the Week – Norwood

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Located only minutes east of Adelaide’s CBD, in the heart of the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters are three boutique cellar doors and a micro-brewery. Four relaxed environments so close to home, the Eastside Wine & Ale Trail is designed to let you hear the history and stories behind the operators as you sip and sample your way along the Trail.

  • Amadio Wines
  • Tidswell Wines
  • Signature Wines
  • Little Bang Brewing Co.

Little Bang is a place that is only a few minutes ride away from where I live, but for one reason or another I haven’t been able to get to yet despite following their facebook site and watching the great Sunday afternoons they schedule in with all sorts of foodie heaven treats.  Keep an eye out for them

Further detail on the Food and Wine Trail can be found here Eastside Wine and Ale Trail

A big weekend coming up, so enjoy

tight spokes

iPib

 

Brukungahaha

Something a little different, we’ll start off with the rider of the week

Rider of the Week – Felicity Salkeld (Flic)

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Flic with Rach and Mark at the TdU

I first met Flic out on the road at the top of Forest Range, and as you’ll discover below, she loves a chat.

Flic is a 40yo woman new to road cycling, and by all accounts, is having the time of her life. She has done a smattering of mountain bike rides over the years but was never really committed to the bike, however tat all changed a few years back and has fallen hard for gravel grinding, which isn’t too surprising given her trail running background.

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One of her ambitions is “to eventually be strong enough to be able to ride with most people, and I’m pretty much always looking for the next adventure and challenge”.

This is Flics story.

  • How long have you been cycling and what got you started?

I come from the Dark Side – trail and Ultra running. After injuring my leg at work at the beginning of 2014, I went through a year of patchy rehab and recurring running injuries. Thankfully my ex introduced me to road cycling as a way to cross train, and despite lots of moaning about lairy lycra kit and clicky clacky shoes I knew I’d love the actual sport. 2 years later I have a wardrobe groaning with kit and spend a lot of time trying to manage training in both sports without complete burnout.

  • How many bikes do you own and what is your main go to bike?

2 road bikes and a CX bike. I spent most of last year feeling very Ti curious, so when I spotted a used Lynskey R140 on Bike Market this January it took me about 12 minutes to part with my dollars. It has replaced an exceptional little Bianchi Intenso I started out on and probably would’ve never outgrown. I also ride a Flanders Blade CX bike, primarily for gravel/adventure rides, but sometimes for clumsy and terrified attempts at CX racing.

  • What bike do you covet?

Ah – perhaps the One Bike That Does It All, a mystical creature that is fast and light up sealed roads and can take big gravel tyres for back road adventures..and with disc brakes too for my chubby kid hands. Oh and then there’s those Bastion bikes too.. and Rittes.. and Baums and Curves..so many nice bikes in the world.

  • How do you store your bikes?

I’m lucky to have a spare room that I can dedicate to sporting goods – its been dubbed The Pleasure Room, which is not weird at all. Now my houseguests sleep in a tent in the back yard if they want to stay. It works well.

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  • Do you do all your own maintenance or do you use a LBS? If so, which one?

Big shout out to Treadly who have gone above and beyond more than once for me, I still have a box of vegan chocolates to give to Jake for actually lending me his own bike once – exceptional. ( Vegan chocolate sounds terrible to be honest and I might just slide it under the door and run away) I’ve also really appreciated the service at Road Rage and Parade Cycles.

  • What cycling specific tools do you have in your “bike shed”?

Basics like a chain wear tool, a set of Allen keys, and a mobile phone

  • What is your favourite piece of cycling kit or accessory?

My phone – I take an inordinate amount of pics on a ride, its sort of out of control.

  • What do you love about cycling?

Travelling through the landscape under my own steam. And I know everyone says this, but its the people I’ve met through riding. In my first year of riding I only rode about 600-800km. I didn’t have anyone to ride with, I was intimidated by traffic and mechanicals, and was lacking in confidence in just about every way. Luckily I persisted and met some of the best people I know in 2016. The people that are encouraging and patient, despite being stronger/faster/hotter in lycra, are the gems. Eventually you find them.
The other thing I love is the D&Ms. I’ve had some of my most satisfying debriefs and philosophical discussions on the bike, there’s just something about it. At the other end of the scale ridiculous banter is always welcome.

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  • What annoys most about cycling?

There are some aspects of the sport that are pretty regressive – attitudes to women is one. And if you’re too pro to say hello, you need to take a long hard look at yourself. Really, we all just like to ride bicycles.

  • Other than yourself, who is your favourite cyclist?

(I should probably say Merckx) But besides my partner, I’m going to have to say Rach – whom I’ve dubbed my cycling wife. She is a trail running bud who took up cycling a year ago, and took to it like a duck to water. We are really closely matched in strength, and banter, so we are a great team. And we have recently started a little kit business together called Project Rads (find us on Instagram! #shameless) I hope we can always find time to ride together.

  • If you could have dinner with 3 people in the cycling world, who would they be and why?

Kenny van Vlaminck; the King of the Cobbles (or Matt Stephens if he can’t make it), Lord Sagan, and Jens Voigt. I may struggle with the accents but I’m up for the challenge.

If none of those guys can make it then Sam Jeffries, James Raison and Sarah Hammond -after they’ve done the Indy Pac. I’ve read somewhere that James and Sam have made a pact to cross the line together holding hands, I’d love to hear about what keeps their relationship alive after so many hours in the saddle.

  • Where would you take them to eat?

Etica in the city, I love their pizzas and wine list

  • What are your craziest/fondest cycling memories?

Last year Rach and I got an invitation to our mate Paul’s annual trip to Bright – I’m never going to forget that week.

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Flic coming into Bogong

 

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Tawonga Gap

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Flic going up Hotham

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Flic and her obsession – taking photos

Our first ascents of all those peaks there, and the Hotham day was my clear favourite. The group was made up of about 10 blokes who are all quite experienced, and Rach and I the relative beginners, but they were so good to us.

We were blessed with mild weather except for the sleety hail on the first day’s ascent up Buffalo. The boys instructed us to stay in the stone hut at the top rather than descend in the wet, and were lucky that there were 2 rock climbers up there who gave us hot tea and an emergency blanket while we waited for the super soignier Paul to come back with his car. Legend. We’ve managed to swing a second invitation to Bright so we’ve made an impression.. of some kind.

  • Have you had any nasty crashes? If so how did the worst occur and what was the consequence?

Look, I haven’t even had a puncture yet, touch wood. As for crashes, I’m allergic to pethadine so I hope there’s something on offer a lot stronger than the green whistle.

  • What is your favourite post ride coffee/tea spot, and what would you normally buy as a treat?

I have a fairly long list of coffee spots, but I do love our midweek ride that finishes at Ballaboosta with a substantial dinner and beers. We know how to treat ourselves.

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  • Do you have a favourite overseas country in mind you’d love to take your bike to?

I’ve loved my travel in Japan and New Zealand, and think they’d be really suited to a cycling trip. And, like most, Europe is on my wish list too- I hope to go there in the next couple of years. My friend Paul is riding the Dolomites this year and I’m busting to see and hear about it.

  • What is your favourite local training route?

I crave variety on my rides, but I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the ride down into and then up out of Clarendon. And Montecute Rd and Little Italy are gems on the edge of the CBD. We are really spoilt for choice in Adelaide.

  • What is the biggest cycling lie you have told a partner?

I don’t mind if you go ahead

  • What cycling related thing would you like for your next birthday?

A cycling trip – the company, not the funding!

  • Is there a local cycling outfit/company/cycling club/cycling group/person that you would like to plug?

I think Cycle Closet are doing a great job of sourcing the best kit from around the world and combining it with friendly service. Its so difficult to compete with online retailers but they are definitely doing quite a few things well.

  • From a non-cycling perspective, what do you love about Adelaide?

The food and wine scene, and the size and accessibility of the city. I lived interstate and overseas for years after Uni and am so happy to be home to live.

  • What is your go to place when  Interstaters come to Adelaide?

The West End for the laneway bars and restaurants, you can hop back and forth within about 4 city blocks.

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Flic and Rach

Thanks for your time Flic, sounds like you’ve well and truly been converted.  I love the Victorian Alpine country as a cyclo-holiday destination, one of the reasons I keep heading back there each March with mates, but we are so terribly fortunate to have gods own in our backyard, or in your instance your front yard to.

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Brukungahaha

I’ve been ramping up the rides over the last month as part of the teams 3 Peaks training. I’m not riding, but have been setting out the routes for the lads.

I am continuously astounded at what we have to offer here in the hills.

Its true to say I have been struggling this year. I was cramping up in a big way for a couple of weekends there as we ramped up the distances. I’m sure my ride preparation and fueling strategy is right up the Thomas Crapper.

Last weekend we rode out to Mt Pleasant, then wrapped around and headed South out towards Strathalbyn via Brukunga.

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I didn’t get all the way out to Strath, i headed home at Flaxley to give me a 180km ride, with a few others heading to Meadows and 3 others going all the way. Great effort by all.

Here are some of the photos from the ride.

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The gradual descent ino Brukunga

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I’d never ridden through Brukunga before, but i would have to say the descent into Brukunga from the Woodside side along Military Road would have to be one of the prettiest darn sections of riding road around the Adelaide Hills.

Lovely rolling hills, large gums, good road, very little traffic.  Brukunga is a strange ol town some 40 km east of Adelaide.

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Its name, derived from Barrukungga in the local Aboriginal language, means ‘place of fire stone’, or the ‘place of hidden fire’, and is associated with the Kaurna ancestral being Tjilbruke.

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As you ride through the town, you get transported back to the 50’s with the fibro shacks lining the carefully manicured main street. The waste from the old pyrite (iron sulphide) mine fill the Western horizon as it awaits the full rehabilitation

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Between 1955 and 31 May 1972, iron sulphides (mainly as the mineral pyrite) were mined at the Brukunga Mine and transported to Port Adelaide for the production of sulphuric acid and superphosphate fertiliser.

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Oxidation of pyrite in waste dumps and the exposed quarry face led to formation of acid mine drainage containing high levels of cadmium and other heavy metals into the adjacent creek, triggering health warnings by the Environment Protection Agency. Since 1980, rehabilitation of the mine site has occurred.

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Nutrition

We had the pleasure of welcoming a new rider to the Saturdays ride last weekend, Paul. Paul is aiming for a sub 9 ride this time after an unsuccessful attempt last year. We found out that Paul’s 3P ride last year has a startling backstory. He crossed the line in the back of an Ambulance after being found doubled over his bike with stroke type symptoms with only 2 kms to go. Literally at the wall of the dam.  Jeez. Bundled into the back of the Ambulance but survived to fight another day.

So, in the discussion with Paul, we got to talking about ride nutrition, preparation, carb loading and other crap you talk about on the road. Paul mentioned that he was cramping and suffering quite badly on the longer rides, not too dissimilar to what I was experiencing. Paul was put in touch with Jason at Foods for Life , a small health food shop in Gawler Place near Rundle Mall.

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Foods for Life is not just a health food shop, it is also a cafe with some good healthy foods. But that’s not all. Jason is a Triathlete, understands what is required to look after a sporting body. His shop has all sorts of Sports Nutrition food with a heavy weighting towards Hammer Nutrition, Maxine, Max’s, All Natural Product and Optimum Nutrition products.

I had a good chat to Jason who walked me through a number of options and recommended the Australian Institute of Sports website for some additional sports nutritional information. One of his recommendations was the need for proper fueling before the long distances, specifically carb loading up a minimum of 2 – 3 days before the longer rides. He basically said that i should have bread up to here (gesticulating the neck) by the time the ride day comes around.

So I took  look at the AIS website (http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition ), and apart from some other really useful sports nutritional information, the info backed up what Jason was saying.

The AIS Fact Sheet on Carbohydrates recommends that Carb Loading start around 48 hours before the event, so that means that most SA Riders will need to be fueling for the ride on Friday Morning, i.e. the day you drive over.

“Carbohydrate loading Preparation for events >90 min of sustained/intermittent exercise 36-48 hours of 10-12 g/kg BM per 24 hour”.

So what does that actually man. My take is that for an 80 kg rider, you will need to be eating the equivalent of 24 thick wholemeal slices of bread in each 24 hour period to give you around the 800g of required fueling carbs. Or 16 litres of unflavored milk. Or 24 mars bars. Or 32 bananas (hey, I’ve heard something similar somewhere else?).  But don’t take my word, check out the fact sheet for further information and make your own assessment.

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And I always considered the carb loading the night before with a big bowl of pasta sufficient.

Anyway, back to Paul. He appears to have his Nutritional fueling issues sorted, and is on track for a sub 9 ride. Good luck Paul.

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Spring Classics

Hard to believe the Spring Classics are just around the corner. The race that marks the start of the classics – the first Flanders Classic, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, takes place this weekend in Belgium.Some photos from last years oomloop to get you ready.Omloop Het Nieuwsblad153720_570655883Omloop Het NieuwsbladOmloop Het Nieuwsblad

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And also starts the last classic season for Tom Boonen who will retire in 48 days time.

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Business of the Week – Williams and Taylor – Artisinal Hampers

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I bumped into Neil Williams from Williams & Taylor at a function at the SA Press Club TdU lunch a month back, and as you do, we got to talking about the Cycling, the Adelaide Hills and the great produce that it produces. And naturally he mentioned his business, Williams & Taylor Artisinal Hampers.

And being a supporter of all things Adelaide Hills, i thought I’d add them into this blog one day.

Williams & Taylor is all about pulling together some beautifully crafted hampers showcasing the produce of the Adelaide Hills, the  Fleurieu Peninsula and McLaren Vale. They set about sourcing the finest ingredients across the region to offer superb, value for money gift hampers – the epitome of the slow food movement.

100% of the produce in their hampers is sourced from local providores, passionate about their foods and wines, and curated to offer a delightful insight into the amazing tastes of the local region.

They target corporate clients as well as those seeking a thoughtful gift for that special occasion.

Some of the hampers on offer include:

Fit for a Vintner

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  • Yangarra Estate Old Vine Grenache 2014
  • The Lane Lois Blanc de Blancs
  • Lake Breeze Bernoota Shiraz Cabernet 2013Mordrelle Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Red Cacao chocolate selection
  • Frantic Whisk almond delights
  • Port Willunga Fine Foods smoked almonds
  • Kris Lloyd artisan flower crackers
  • Two Hills and a Creek dukkah
  • Hardings Fine Foods marinated olives
  • Hardings Fine Foods olive oil

Out of the Orchard

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  • Fine and Dandy Teahouse spiced apple crumble
  • Mordrelle Pink Lady cider
  • Gourmet Entertainer fig paste
  • Vale Brewing Dr Pilkington cider
  • Hardings Fine Foods verdale olive oil
  • Kris Lloyd artisan flower crackers
  • Hardings Fine Foods apple chutney
  • Port Willunga Fine Foods smoked almonds

And this little beauty – The Providore

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  • Lake Breeze Arthur’s Reserve 2012
  • The Lane Reunion 2012
  • Flavours of South Australia coffee table book
  • Mordrelle Blanc de Blancs
  • Baylies rosemary lavash
  • Hardings Fine Foods apple chutney
  • Port Willunga Fine Foods olives
  • Port Willunga Fine Foods smoked almonds
  • Hardings Fine Foods pistachio oil
  • Two Hills and a Creek dukkah
  • Frantic Whisk almond delights
  • Baylies of Strathalbyn muscat gourmet cake
  • Bald Hills Olives olive oil
  • Willabrand chocolate enrobed figs
  • Red Cacao chocolate selection
  • Red Cacao mixed berry
  • Buzz Honey triple treat of honey
  • Honey dipper

Salivating yet?

Check out further offerings here:  http://www.williamsandtaylor.com.au/index.html

 

 

till next time

tight spokes

iPib

Cycling in Adelaide is Shite

Jeez, where has the year gone. Almost halfway through February and I’m just getting around to my first posting for the year.  Nothing wrong, just struggling with Lifes lethargy. Had a great holiday, just bumming around, a bit of this a bit of that. Riding the hills, drinking and eating in the Barossa, the Vale, the Hills and at home. Entertaining, being entertained, sleeping, just what holidays should be about.

Oh, and following a little bike race in Adelaide that is the same age as my daughter. Hard to believe that a young Stuart O’Grady won the TdU back in 1999.

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As usual, the Adelaide weather played a little have with the tour, something over 42 degC on the opening stage to the Barossa played havoc with the cyclotourists who were hoping to take a casual ride to the Barossa, it was hell out there. Its been bloody hot today as well, topping 42 deg in Adelaide, with the high 30’s forecast for a few more days.

So I keep on wondering why anyone in their right mind would ever come to  Adelaide to cycle.

The weather can be insufferable in the summer.

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The beach rides are bleak and boring

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2015, Tour Down Under, tappa 04 Glenelg – Mount Barker, Sellicks Hill

The are hardly any hills, and those are flat and too far away from the the city

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18-01-2017 Tour Down Under; Tappa 02 Stirling - Paracombe; 2017, Bmc Racing Team; Porte, Richie; Paracombe;

The roads in the hills are so busy you wouldn’t bother risking your life on them

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The city lacks culture

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Adelaide is good for wine, but the local brews are crap

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Adelaide is boring, nothing ever happens

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It really is a wretched place to come with your bike

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So why come to Adelaide and ride? Really, why, you’ve got to be off your rockers.

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22-01-2017 Tour Down Under; Tappa 06 Adelaide City Council; 2017, Orica - Scott; 2017, Bora - Hansgrohe; 2017, Team Sky; 2017, Uae - Abu Dhabi; Ewan, Caleb; Sagan, Peter; Van Poppel, Danny; Kump, Marko; Adelaide;20-01-2017 Tour Down Under; Tappa 04 Norwood - Campbelltown; Campbelltown;

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22-01-2017 Tour Down Under; Tappa 06 Adelaide City Council; 2017, Bora - Hansgrohe; Sagan, Peter; Adelaide;

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19-01-2016 Tour Down Under; Tappa 01 Prospect - Lyndoch;

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18-01-2017 Tour Down Under; Tappa 02 Stirling - Paracombe; 2017, Orica - Scott; 2017, Movistar; Ewan, Caleb;

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Indian Pacific

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By now you probably would have heard about that insane bike ride across Australia. The Indian Pacific Wheel Race. This is a solo, single-stage, unsupported, 5,500km road cycling race ocean-to-ocean across Australia.

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The race starts on 18 March 2017 at 6:00am in Fremantle, Western Australia and finishes at the Sydney Opera House whenever the rider gets there. The clock does not stop. There is no prize money. Total distance is around 5,300km, with something like  33,500m VAM. Sweet mother of Lord they cant be serious. I cramped up a few weekends back riding consecutive centuries. I cant start to imagine what this will be like.

Riders will travel on the Eyre Highway, a 1675km long road that takes two days in a car, across the flat and takes approximately two days to cross cross the Nullarbor Plain which includes a 150 km section of completely straight road. Riders will need to watch out for Kangaroos, emu’s, wombats and even camels, of which there are an estimated 100,000 lining the Eyre Highway calling the Nullarbor Plain home.

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On the up side, the route passes through the rolling hills of the Clare and Barossa Valleys before hitting the Adelaide Hills. Riders will then travel across SA down to the Great Ocean Road before heading up to the Australian Alps and the Blue Mountains before hitting Sydney

Entries will be open until the total number of registrations again reaches 100, or until 12 March 2017. See here for the roster of riders. https://www.indianpacificwheelrace.com/2017roster

Have a close look, to the best of my knowledge, there are at least 4 South Australians riding, Sam Jeffries , James Raison, Davin Harding and Chris Barker.

Sam is using this ride as an opportunity to raise funds for the WCH. From Sams Go the Mo fundraising page

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Sam and I (Becky) are hoping to heaps of money to buy bikes for the Adelaide Women’s & Children’s Hospital Rehabilitation Department. “Oh yes . . . why?”

Well let me explain . . .

Our funny, happy and beautiful 8 year old daughter, Hannah, had a terrible accident in 2016,  it’s only thanks to the skill, dedication and kindness of the WCH neurologists, doctors, nurses, OT’s, Physio’s, Speech Therapists, Psychologists, Health Assistants and all other staff that we have her back, at home, smiling and healthy again.

Hannah was in PICU for 3 weeks in April 2016. The PICU doctors and nurses were incredible and she received round the clock care. When she woke from the coma she was unable to walk or talk, the injury had damaged her very badly and she needed to learn to walk, swallow, speak, and control her movements again. However, despite everything that she needed to re-learn she remained (mostly) cheerful and positive.

Hannah spent months in the Rehabilitation Unit at the WCH, the kindness and support of the staff there is something that we can never repay. They have given us our lovely daughter back and we can never thank the WCH enough.

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Hannah’s dad, Sam, is an awesome cyclist and in March 2017 is racing from Freemantle to Sydney, non-stop and unsupported. He is taking part in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race, a crazy ‘Cannon-ball Run’ style race which careers across Australia durning March and April. If he avoids rogue Aussie wildlife and survives living off meat pies for a month he should reach the Pacific Ocean after 5,500kms of pretty much non-stop riding.

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We would love it if you could support his ride and help us donate funds to the WCH Rehabilitation team to buy bikes for children like Hannah.  After being in PICU Hannah was on a ward for a long time. When she was able to get on a bike as part of her rehab and go outside she felt like she was really getting better. After being stuck on a ward for so long to get outside in the fresh air and ride a bike was brilliant for her.

What we want is to help other children, like Hannah, have as much fun as she did whilst they’re working so hard to recover from illness or injury.

The WCH would like to buy 2 bikes, one for younger children and one for older kids. They would also like a scooter and some safety accessories, helmets and training wheels.

If we can smash our (very optimistic) target the WCH would also like to buy a FES (Function Electrical Stimulation) bike.

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This incredible bit of kit gets kids with paralysis moving again. As you can imagine it’s pretty expensive but if we all chucked in $20 then it will only take 1,500 of us to buy one (as you can see they are VERY expensive).

Sam would like to thank Adelaide’s Cycle Closet for their fantastic sponsorship for this ride, thanks to them Sam has a terrific POC helmet, glasses and Gore Apparel kit. Which look cool AF.

Please, jump onto the “Go the Mo” fundraising page here GtM and open your wallet.

Good luck Sam, James, Davin and Chris, and all the others. We’ll be following you closely and cheering the two of you on from the sidelines.

Further details here https://www.indianpacificwheelrace.com/

Or you could take the train which runs twice weekly from Perth to Sydney and takes 3 nights to cover the 4352km journey. For riders trying to do the old sneaky and jumop aboard, the signposted train stations are  in Cook, Adelaide and Broken Hill, so not much chance there to skip ahead.

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Rider of the Week – George Fuller

I have know George for a little over a year now, but left for a work stint in New York before we could get out for a ride together.

I managed to catch up with George recently, this is his story.

 

I am 38 years of age and grew up in country Australia in a small town called Gundagai. I have always been into cycling in one form or another, mostly mountain biking but in recent years I have done more road riding. An accomplishment that I am proud of is the Three Peaks Challenge in Falls creek a couple of years back, just getting under the cut-off of 13hrs. I also did a small Europe tour with a friend a few years back where we put road tires on our mountain bikes and road around a few countries, an experience that every cyclist that like to travel should embark on. I have always wanted to follow the Tour de France and maybe with a bit of planning, it is something that will happen one day…

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  • What first got you started in cycling?

I have always been interested in sport and grew up with bicycles and motorbikes, so it always felt natural to have a bike.

  • How many bikes do you own and what is your main go to bike?

I have two bikes, one road and one mountain bike. Both are Merida.

  • What bike do you covet?

I like trials bikes and dual suspension mountain bike with long travel suspension. I don’t have any specific bike that I need to have.

  • How do you store your bikes?

Leaning up against a wall in the living room.

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  • Do you do all your own maintenance or do you use a LBS? If so, which one?

I tend to do all my minor maintenance and anything major I would take it to a shop.

  • You’ve been in New York for a while now, have you formed an opinion of the differences between New York and Sydney riders?

I couldn’t say that there are any defining features that I have discovered about New York riders in comparison to Sydney riders. I have noticed that New York drivers are a bit more mental than Sydney drivers, which may cross over into the cycling community

  • What do you love about cycling?

The simplicity and freedom that you feel when riding. I really enjoy riding on open country roads as you get to see the world at a better pace than whizzing by at 100km per hour in a car. I also like the challenge of hill riding, really pushing myself to get to the top. Riding on the flat tends to bore me a little.

  • What annoys most about cycling?

Saddle soreness. I consider myself a recreational rider and it can be quite some time between rides.

  • Have you had any crashes?

Nothing major. I had a small crash which was my own fault turning into a road way that had tram rail grooves. My wheels got jammed in the rail groove and down I went.

  • Other than yourself, who is your favourite cyclist?

Anyone Australian that is riding in the Tour de France

  • If you could have dinner with 3 people from the cycling world, who would they be and why?

I guess, Lance Armstrong would be the first that comes to mind. I would probably ask him about doping in sport. As for the 2nd and the 3rd persons, anyone that would like to be part of that conversation.

  • What are your craziest/fondest cycling memories?

My craziest would be riding in France and not understanding the road rules. My friend and I were escorted from a major freeway in France, being loaded into the back of a van and taken to the nearest regional road. This ruined our planned trip by adding more time than we had allowed for in the trip from the port of Le Havre into Paris.

  • What is your favourite post ride coffee spot, and what would you normally buy as a treat?

Any place that looks like they make good coffee. I tend eat anything as I justify that I am burning lots of calories.

  • If you could, where you you like to go on a cycling holiday?

I would probably go back to Europe, not sure where though.

  • What is your favourite local training route?

I ride around Prospect Park in Brooklyn which is only a few minutes from my house.

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  • What is the biggest cycling lie you have told a partner?

Haven’t told one yet.

  • What would you like for your next birthday?

A new set of cycling shoes, the one’s which you mold to your feet.

  • Is there anything else you feel like talking about?

Having moved to New York, I am now starting to look for riding challenges, whether that be a mountain ride or a road endurance event. Something challenging!

 

Thanks George, have a great one and speak soon.

Thanks for your patience at the start of Giros 100th celebration, have a safe year and speak to you again in a few weeks.

 

till next time

tight spokes

iPib

 

 

Oh, FYI, Cycling in Adelaide is not Shite – it is the bees knees.