You gotta love social media.
The Tandem Project
Team Euride Mercedes-Benz Adelaide Cycling is administrating and conducting a Road Development Program for paracyclists in SA. The purpose of the program is to produce road competent tandem riders, to the extent that tandem teams can develop into competitive pairings at State and National level. The Tandem Project is working hard to extend our sponsorship base to support this program and financially support our athletes. Vision Impairment involves a degree of economic disadvantage for our athletes, and equipment purchase and repair is extremely expensive.
The Road Development Program involves 10-12 weeks of basic training, where athletes are facilitated through six levels of skills and fitness. during this period the athletes have access to senior instructors who are some of the most skillful and decorated riders in South Australia. The amount of time invested on a personal level by the team’s trainers is enormous. Successful graduates often go on to become trainers themselves by undergoing an intensive process to earn their “Instructor” and “Senior Instructor” status.
Those athletes who graduate successfully are offered positions within the team, and are offered assistance in identifying compatible and permanent competition partnerships for ongoing and advanced development of road riding. Riders are initially recruited into the Development Squad, and work their way through 6-9months of advanced training to reach the High Performance Squad.
Team Euride Mercedes-Benz Adelaide has a long association with paracycling and tandems, and subsequently our team members are encouraging and inclusive of tandems, placing our team in a unique position to facilitate this program.
The Tandem Project has achieved important progress in regards to athlete advocacy. When the project first started, there was only one cycling club that was willing to provide us with an opportunity to race – and this was for time trials only. Three months later, another club allowed us to nominate to race, this time in a road race. The attitude towards us was one of great skepticism and worry. Were we dangerous; would we crash; would we create mayhem and confusion if passing, or in being passed by the graded single bikes? At the end of a year we had achieved powerful change within many of the Cycling South Australia clubs. One club however was particularly welcoming and encouraging of us – the Skinny Lattes. The Skinny Lattes had an understanding of us that is probably borne of their own mission statement to encourage women to take on the sport.
The team remains as the only private team in Australia to run a squad to support vision impaired athletes. Racing with the Skinny Lattes in their competition series fulfills our commitment to advocating for fully integrated racing for our vision impaired athletes. We were notified recently, that our tandems have been given the green light to compete against the single bikes in future CSA races.
Further details on the Tandem Project here
Tour de France
Congratulations to Chris Froome, he seems to have won over most of his detractors this time round. But I still wonder how well he’d go if Team Sky didn’t have such a large budget.
I’m pretty certain there would be quite a few of those stuffed lions in Kellan’s crib, and I’m also quietly confident he would have a few crystal trophies in the cabinet.
But after 2012,2013, 2015 and now 2016, it certainly would be interesting to see how he would go in a lesser team.
But well done, it was still a spectacular last week of the tour.
Lasvit, the Czech manufacturer of unique works of glass once again produced the crystal trophy for each of the category winners at the Tour de France. This trophy was designed by Peter Olah, under the guidance of Jozef Kabaň, the chief designer of ŠKODA AUTO, a long-term official partner of the race.
Each trophy weighs nearly four kilograms and stands over 60 cm tall. The hand blowing and precise manual cutting required many hours of work by four glassmakers. Each piece is composed of precise cuts that within their crystalline form evokes a rotating shape.
North Adelaide Cycling Club
North Adelaide Cycling Club founded in 1883, photograph taken in 1890’s.
- Uniform: Dark green velveteen jackets, corduroy knickers.
- Back row: E Toms, R Fraser, AJ Hunter (sitting) DH Cookson, AJ Radford, Harold Lunn (sitting) JC Baker, GO Latham, TO Fowler, E Everett.
- Middle row: Alfred J Young, FW Fowler, PJ Williams, HT Burgess, H Hayward, WHN Steed.
- Lying on grass in front: George S Cockburn, FS Toms, H Cox
The North Adelaide Cycling Club, was mainly a dining club. Some of their events included:
- Annual strawberry . A run from North Adelaide via Norwood to Glen Osmond and then to Smiths Garden where the picnic took place.
- A paper chase in 1897 took in the Gilberton, Medindie Botanic Park Norwood and Marryatville area. The pack ‘scampered’ by back lanes, alleys, over fences, across paddocks and over all sorts of rough places but the ‘foxes’ weren’t caught. The competitors then rode to Waterfall Gully ‘to meet the slow contingent accompanying the ladies on their ride to the waterfalls’ before cycling back to North Adelaide.
- Concert run. Kelsey’s Assembly Rooms Henley Beach was the venue for a concert on 18 March 1897. Riders assembled at the corner of West Terrace and Hindley Street at 7.30 and cycled to Henley Beach for a program of songs and recitations
Big events might see a collaboration between clubs.
- A ‘Monster Cycle Parade’ to Henley Beach on 8 May 1897 involved 11 clubs and a visitors contingent. Cyclists left in Club order from North Terrace to Henley Beach starting at 2.45. Sports at the beach included a tug of war. Tea at 5pm was available for 1s. a head. A hall was booked for the evening with a programme of music.
North Adelaide Cycling Club at the Briars, Medindie, the home of Hon. GC Hawker, captain of the North Adelaide Cycling Club.
Photograph was taken on December 19, 1891 by J Gazard (member)
- Back row: WHN Steed, FG Edwards, JG Wanke, E Jeffery, S Burgess, HJ Wells, DH Cookson, RE Cussen, FW Fowler, Hon. GC Hawker, HT Burgess, AJ Radford, PJ Williams, JC Baker, RB Fraser, H Cox.
- Middle row: George S Cockburn, IT Loutit, AJ Hunter.
- Front row: FS Toms, TO Fowler, C Hills, HE Hayward, FV Cox, AJ Young, AE Elix.
The Hon. George Charles Hawker (1818-1895) was a prominent figure in political life in early South Australia. He entered SA Parliament only one year after its’ inception. He took a leading position to prepare for the growth of the young nation. He was a popular man, fascinating and polished speaker. He was knighted posthumously, he and Lady Hawker produced 16 children. He is remembered as an art collector, sheep grazier and a Member of the Lower House
Come to think of it, things haven’t hanged too much – food, drink and good times are still key to a good days ride.
I had some Swiftwick socks come across my desk a few months back now, so apologies for the delayed write-up. I trialed them before my face plant, unfortunately it was just when I transitioning over to my longs, so i didn’t get the chance to show them off to my mates.
Made in the USA, and distributed in Australia through Swift Sports, they are a new sock doping player on the Australian scene. They have a large range of socks as noted below.
with a large range of heights
and a significant colour range.
Over a number of styles
I tried the Aspire Seven black, fluro and the Merino Wool pursuit Seven. Being a compression fit, they were a comfortable fit providing good support under the arch. I must admit the longer height at 7″ is not what I usually ride in, but once on I was pleasantly surprised with the comfort around the calves.
I accidentally took a black pair of Swiftwicks into work one day as they got mixed up with my work socks, and didn’t realise until I slipped them on. They certainly were a definite improvement over the standard black work socks.
This from their website.
The value of a Swiftwick sock
The average life of a Swiftwick sock is three years under normal, extreme use. An active person will purchase and destroy 12-24 pairs of cotton socks during the lifespan of one pair of Swiftwick socks. Swiftwick socks are actually a better value in the long run!
Swiftwick socks are 100% made in the USA
We’re proud to develop and manufacture our socks in the United States. When you buy American-made products, you are making our country (and our world) a better place. Our commitment to United States production enables us to provide our customers with the highest quality socks and stand by our “Best Socks Ever” guarantee.
At Swiftwick, our team takes pride in helping our customers achieve their athletic goals. We embrace this passion and aim to fuel your adventures with the best socks designed by athletes for athletes.
With our various lines, you are certain to find the perfect sock for your adventures. If our product does not perform to your satisfaction, customer service will replace them – even with a competitor’s product.
To contact Swift Sports, you can file your request here.
Our athletic sock lines are knitted at 200 needles; the highest density you’ll find in socks. The higher the needle count, the tighter the knit. Our socks are so tightly knitted that trail debris or foreign material can’t penetrate your sock to cause irritation and blistering. This structure creates a second-skin feel, prevents shifting or bunching and eliminates the risk of friction blisters while making your shoes fit more comfortably. Our high-gauge construction produces a softer, denser and more durable garment. Wear Swiftwick and you’ll buy fewer socks — it’s that simple.
I have a pair of Aspire Sevens to giveaway to a Wednesday legs reader, and unlike last time i gave something away, I’m happy to dig deep into my pockets and post them to an Australian Wednesday Legger, providing of course you promise to buy me a coffee next time you visit Adelaide.
If you want these socks, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday night, and I’ll draw the winner out of a barrel and inform the winner by return email.
You can get a 10% discount on any purchase using the Wednesday Legs Coupon Code
Rider of the Week – Simon Wong
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of having a cup of coffee with Simon Wong on a cold but sunny Saturday morning. Simon had just finished a Tandem group ride down to Outer Harbour, and had pulled into Nanos to enjoy the post ride banter. Simon is a case manager/social worker at Guide Dogs SA with a vision impairment. Simon is a tandem cyclist.
Simon was born in Vietnam and came to Australia at the age of 13 with his parents, a younger sister and two younger brothers. They were fortunate that a business associate of his father in Adelaide was able to sponsor them to come to Australia under a humanitarian scheme.
Simon completed a Bachelor of Economics and a postgraduate degree in Social Administration at Flinders University in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a very challenging proposition given English was his second Language and he couldn’t physically read print. But assisted by some very supportive people, he graduated in the early 90’s.
Simon is vision impaired as a result of Optic Atrophy. His optic nerves have been pretty much dead since about age seven. The exact cause of his optic nerves to atrophy remains a mystery but he did suffer bouts of illness leading up you the vision loss. He had to stop going to school for two years because he was simply walking into everything; people, polls, doors and windows.
The early days were incredibly tough. There were no support services in Saigon for kids with vision impairment.
Up until 15 years ago he could see some vague images/broad outlines of large objects such as trees and buildings close-up with the outer corner of my left eye. These days, all he has is some light perception, a shadow or two.
•How and when did you get started in cycling.
I was introduced to cycling 4 years ago when a work friend at Guide Dogs suggested I try Tandem riding. Three years ago I joined the Euride Mercedes Benz team with Simon Veitch as his Pilot
•What bike do you own?
I own an entry level Apollo tandem bike, bought on-line.
•How many times do you ride a week?
I try to get out twice a week. I also race with the Veterans and Ladies Cycling Club with Steve Hampton as my pilot.
•Have you had any accidents?
I had the one down at Glenelg on the Tram Tracks. A different pilot to the one I ride with now.
•What do you like about cycling?
I find it enjoyable to get out on the road, the buzz and the general wellbeing.
•What are your craziest cycling memory?
One day when I was about 10 years old on the way home from school I was crossing a busy road and got absolutely cleaned up by a cyclist. I didn’t hear the bike coming. It was on my blind side and I had no idea I was going to be hit. All a sudden, I felt the back of my head strike something hard. When I came to my senses, I realised I was lying flat on the road looking up at the sky. I jumped up immediately, picked up my bag, and ran home as quickly as I could. My mother cleaned and bandaged up some cuts on my arms and legs. When she asked me what happened – I didn’t want her to worry or stop me going to school independently – I told her I just got a bit careless and had a fall on the school playground.
Whilst not a cycling memory, it is sporting related. I was lucky enough to be a torch bearer for the 2000 Sydney Olympics Torch relay. The excitement of holding the Olympic torch high above my head; running along the streets of Adelaide CBD with my brother Charles as my sighted guide is an experience I will never forget. The torch relay made me feel very much included in the life of this beautiful country and a proud Australian.
•What is your favourite post ride coffee/tea spot?
Nanos in the East End
•What is your favourite training route?
Thursdays we generally head up the Gorge Road to Gumeracha.
•What sort of communication goes on with your Pilot?
It gets quite noisy back there, but apart from the general chat, It’s important to communicate thing like the pushoff, stop, unclip, sharp turn left/right and the like. That being said, I also take feedback from the pedals and the bike.
•Is there a local cycling club you would like to plug?
As noted previously, the VLCC is a great club to ride with.
•Is there anything else you feel like talking about?
Based on his life experiences, Simon has some suggestions for life:
– Set realistic goals
– Be open to learning new things
– Find out what you enjoy
– Learning from others
– Cultivate a keen sense of adventure – Helen Keller once remarked “Life is a daring adventure or nothing.”
Thanks Simon, it was an absolute pleasure in meeting you and I wish you all the success and enjoyment with your tandem cycling.
Good luck to the cycling team across the 4 disciplines of Road, Mountain Bike, Track and BMX.
There are four gold medals on offer in road cycling- men’s and women’s road race and men’s and women’s time trial.
The road race course is 241.5km for men and 141km for women. Both of these are mass start events with the top three athletes to survive the gruelling roads of Rio claiming the medals.
The time trial is a race against the clock over a shorter distance with the men’s course lasting 54.5km and the women’s course 29.8km. Riders leave the start ramp individually at intervals of 90 seconds with the rider who records the quickest time securing the gold medal.
Competitors complete laps of an undulating race circuit designed to produce a specific winning time rather than a specific distance. Races are over 40-50km for men, and 30-40km for women. The number of laps depends on the track and weather conditions and a decision on the number of laps can be made by organisers at the latest two hours before the start of the race to determine the optimum finish time- 2hr 15min for men, 2hr for women.
Track cycling features three ‘sprint’ events- sprint, team sprint, keirin- and two ‘endurance events’- team pursuit, omnium. Only one athlete or team can compete in each event.
Riders launch from an 8m-high ramp onto a BMX track filled with jumps, bumps and banked corners.
The first round of the knockout phase for men is the quarter-finals and women the semi-finals. The top four riders in each race progress through to the next round. The eight that progress through to the final, compete for the medals.
Till next time