R2TR – “It was just a brutal, brutal ride”


As you know I’m still recuperating from my face plant a few months back and have been unable to get out on the road. So I set myself up with a Sufferfest membership and set about trying to keep a level of fitness so i hit the road running (not literally in two senses) when I got going again.

Not having undertaken any level of serious stationary training previously, apart from the odd dabble or 2 at the gym and at ERGO, I was a little unsure what to expect.

I’d heard all the negative remarks about how it was boring as bat shite, and my limited solo exposure to training at home tended to back up the general consensus.

Looking back on what I have achieved over the last 2 months, I would have to disagree with that thought about stationary training. My observations would be that if you find it boring, you are just not doing it right. Not that I’m saying that I am the master of indoor training, but with the right setup and mental approach, it became a routine that i quite looked forward to.

I certainly think riding at a dedicated training venue like ERGO has many benefits over home training, but I love the convenience of home training.

There are many training videos in the market place, and it just happens that the one I chose was Sufferfest.


I can’t compare against any others because I haven’t tried them, but i found Sufferfest to be user friendly with a wide variety of  rides to keep the repetition factor at bay.

You can purchase the videos individually, as a package, or you can stream the videos using the Sufferfest in much the same way as Netflix in that you can wifi stream the training ride you want. If your trainer is tucked away in a dead zone, you can download the ride onto your device for watching offline, which is what i did given I’ve set my trainer up in the garage.

With my hands in splints, I couldn’t grip, so I purchased a set of aero arm rests, placed the ipad mini on the bars, connected the ipad to some old computer speakers i had set up in the garage, and away i went.


The app is simple to use.

The videos are quite entertaining, if you can call them that, with footage across the videos from some spectacular climbs around Europe.

What keeps the boredom away are the specially designed programs which are designed for specific purposes like speed, power, climbing etc. The instructions throughout the videos are quite clear on when you change up or down, timing, time left, effort levels and cadence.

The music is well styled for the type of riding, not what I’d choose to play on a cruisy Sunday afternoon, but perfectly suited to the pain cave.  The app allows you to pair to your cadence sensor, power meter and heart rate strap thus showing you your effort throughout.

Funny thing, I bought a cadence sensor about 4 weeks ago to help with the training as i was training based on perception only. I knew i was riding at a low cadence, but had limited feedback to modify my style to match the training purpose.

Unfortunately i couldn’t get the pedals off to slip the cadence magnet on because of the splints.

I was only able to remove the pedals over the last weekend to install the magnet, and was pleased i did because it helped me cycle to the requirements of the training video.

So, the training. 35 sessions over 2 months. Fingers crossed I’ll come back a new improved me. I’ll let you know how i went next posting.

Below are some screen shots I took of some of the sessions in some of the quieter times.




Hell, they even have a training video that focuses on your style, which is something they recommend you come back to on a weekly basis for 6 or so weeks.

The app streaming costs $10pm, which given there are 34 videos in total, provides a relatively cheap way of gaining access to some terrific training material




Well, this looks interesting. From the originators……

Welcome to what we believe will be South Australia’s premier gravel centric bike event!

With so much great and largely un-explored gravel out there the team here at Gravel Riders SA HQ (comprising Peter Gratwick, Graeme Thiessen and Russell Schrale) are delighted to put in this event especially considering there are so many other well-known and attended independent bike races and events out there in this wonderful State!

As the famous quote from Field of Dreams goes, ‘If you build it, they will come’……so we put our collective thinking caps on, spent a lot of time eating burgers and looking at what others had done in the past and came up with an event concept that we think will fit in really quite nicely here in Adelaide’s gravel road network.

This event be will be the first of a number of similar events that will take place across the State, with a series of unique and seemingly largely unridden routes either currently planned or in development.

The overarching aim of the organisers, both with this and subsequent events, is to galvernise the gravel riding scene here in Adelaide; to bring like-minded individuals together and open people’s eyes to what is out there and waiting to be ridden once you turn and point your wheels away from the tarmac.

You may notice the liberal use of the word ‘event’ thus far. This is quite deliberate. What we are aiming to achieve here is not just another organized ‘turn-up-heads-down-mash-your-legs-go home’ thing. This is about forming the nucleus of a growing scene that exists currently in small, usually isolated pockets and to that end, we are hoping and indeed expecting that the emphasis of this will be on the fun and social side of riding with those riders who are involved – not just disappearing off on their own in a cloud of gravel dust with the sole aim of getting round the route as quickly as possible.

Therefore there are no prizes on offer here – well, certainly no prizes here for first place!

The format will be loosely based on the well establish U.S. ‘Grinduro’ format: that is to say a pre-determined route with a number of timed ‘stages’ along the way. However – and to really put our own South Aussie stamp on it – there will also a few unexpected twists thrown in to the mix to try to ensure as best we can that the whole field arrive back at the Start / Finish within a relatively narrow time window. This is a deliberate ploy to allow all the riders to mix, share stories and experiences, eat some well-earned quality food and drink a few cold ones in the sunshine.

However, please don’t ask for the route details. These will only be provided a few days before the event. Details of the sections won’t be provided to riders until you have signed in and, as for the twists, well – you will just have to ride the route and expect the unexpected!

All we can tell you is this:

Make sure Sunday 30th October is free in your diary and that you can get to the start / finish point in Mount Torrens by 9am. To register, simply book in via this link:


Oh, and expect to ride between 66 and 100km, at least 90% of which will be on unpaved roads…….

The boring bits (rules, registration fees, minimum kit lists, etc) to follow shortly so keep a close eye on your inbox.

Thanks for being part of what we hope will be a great origin story.

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Gravelaide!

There are a good number of “pinches” and two climbs that would rate as “significant” (factoring in both grade and length), three if you are doing the full route, but being gravel and in a reasonably hilly region (aka: most of the area around Adelaide), you should expect to use up a fair number of calories! Elevation is within 2k meters.

Daisy Burger on board to cater for this event! The ticket price includes for a post event burger and fries.


Daisy Burger has a history of supporting cycling events in our great city and so it seemed very fitting to have them partner with us.

The course connoisseur has advised the following: “There will be smooth roads, muddy roads, rocky roads, sandy roads, steep roads, and even some non-roads.

The takeaway from this is that you are going to need tyres no smaller than 32c, preferably with some tread on it. That is a minimum, bear in mind. The bigger the better, but if you choose to turn up with anything less, there is a good chance you’ll be walking some sections, and/or experience unnecessary punctures.

Some of the roads are extremely well groomed, but for the rest, a tyre with a knobby tread would suit best.”


La Vuelta


The Tour of Spain introduced a women’s criterium on the final day of the three week stage race for the first time in 2015, called La Madrid Challenge by la Vuelta.

 And after winning La Course by Le Tour de France with Chloe Hosking, Wiggle High5 took out La Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta with Jolien D’hoore. Hosking added to her success at La Tour with a second placing at La Course with Marta Bastianelli (Alé-Cipollini) in third.








With a 3rd & 6th plus four stage wins, this years Vuelta turned out to be something special for Orica Bike Exchange.

As you probably know, the guys at OBE have been producing their  backstage pass for quite a few years now, and they are always entertaining and a fascinating insight into the relationships built up in a well oiled team, but the backstage pass that came out after stage 20 was probably their best yet.

That was the stage where the OBE team worked superbly to jump the Tinkoff team with a superbly timed attack to elevate Chaves up over Contador to take a podium position. So, if your only going to watch one backstage pass, this is the one to watch.

So, on with the show.

Stage 9



David De La Cruz winner and new GC leader
David De La Cruz winner and new GC leader


Stage 10

Bridge in Cangas de Onis
Bridge in Cangas de Onis


Stage 11

31-08-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 11 Colunga - Pena Cabarga; Pena Cabarga;
31-08-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 11 Colunga – Pena Cabarga; Pena Cabarga;
31-08-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 11 Colunga - Pena Cabarga; 2016, Team Sky; 2016, Movistar; Froome, Christopher; Quintana Rojas Nairo, Alexander; Pena Cabarga;
Froome & Quintana


31-08-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 11 Colunga - Pena Cabarga; Pena Cabarga;
Pena Cabarga; Ouch;

Stage 12

01-09-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 12 Los Corrales De Buelna - Bilbao; Bilbao;


Vuelta a Espana - Stage12
Jens Keukeleire wins stage 12 of the 2016 Vuelta a España
01-09-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 12 Los Corrales De Buelna - Bilbao; 2016, Orica - Bikeexchange; Keukeleire, Jens;
Keukeleire, Jens;

Stage 13

Vuelta a Espana - Stage 13

02-09-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 13 Bilbao - Urdax; 2016, Lampre - Merida; Conti, Valerio; Urdax;

Stage 14


that would mske a good climb



Stage 15


quintana colombia Movistar & brambilla ita etixx

froome & yates come through, dropped by chase group
froome & yates
loic chetout france cofidis
loic chetout

Stage 16


Stage 17



Stage 18

Vuelta a Espana - Stage 18
Magnus Cort Nielsen

08-09-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 18 Requena - Gandia; 2016, Orica - Bikeexchange; Nielsen Magnus, Cort; Gandia;

Stage 19


Vuelta a Espana - Stage 19
Jonathan Castroviejo




Stage 20

Vuelta a Espana - Stage 20
Esteban Chaves

10-09-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 20 Benidorm - Alto De Aitana; 2016, Ag2r La Mondiale; Latour, Pierre Roger; Alto De Aitana;




Stage 21


11-09-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 21 Las Rozas - Madrid; 2016, Orica - Bikeexchange; 2016, Tinkoff; Nielsen Magnus, Cort; Bennati, Daniele; Madrid;11-09-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 21 Las Rozas - Madrid; 2016, Orica - Bikeexchange; 2016, Tinkoff; Nielsen Magnus, Cort; Bennati, Daniele; Madrid;11-09-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 21 Las Rozas - Madrid; 2016, Orica - Bikeexchange; Nielsen Magnus, Cort; Madrid;11-09-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 21 Las Rozas - Madrid; 2016, Movistar; 2016, Bmc Racing; Quintana Rojas Nairo, Alexander; Valverde, Alejandro; Atapuma Hurtado, John Darwin; Madrid;11-09-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 21 Las Rozas - Madrid; 2016, Orica - Bikeexchange; Nielsen Magnus, Cort; Madrid;


11-09-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 21 Las Rozas - Madrid; 2016, Team Sky; Froome, Christopher; Madrid;11-09-2016 Vuelta A Espana; Tappa 21 Las Rozas - Madrid; 2016, Movistar; Quintana Rojas Nairo, Alexander; Madrid;



Race to the Rock


The following photos are a mix from personal Facebook and Instagram sites, Race to the Rock Facebook and Cycling Tips.


I can’t even start to get my head around what drives these R2T Rockers to push on through what is arguably Australia’s most extreme sporting contests. Riding from Adelaide to Uluru is a 2,300km journey across some of Australia’s loneliest and toughest roads, and then being responsible for your own support from whoa to go turns an extreme adventure into a survival logistical nightmare. Have a think about the last time you rode a long community ride, or for those Hells 500 riders, an everesting. In the days leading up to the ride what were you doing? Quite probably you were pulling together your gels and bars, worried about whether you were taking too much or not enough. And what about your clothing, how many times did you check the weather forecast each day in the week leading up to it? Were you packing too much or were you going to be left with the consequences of poor decisions.

Hah. That is not anywhere near what these R2T Rockers had to sort out. They were totally responsible for everything. Where and when to sleep, how much food and water to pack to last them to the next town, one with a shop. What time the shop was open, because if they turned up after hours, there was no opening it back up. Bad enough when you are trying to plan it out before the event, but throw in the unknown, such as the extreme weather cells that they had to ride through/around/behind/in front of, the impact on their timing. Its Bear Grylls on 2 wheels.



Hardly seems enough does it!


After 8 days of riding, Sarah Hammond crossed the finish line some 200kms ahead of the nearest rider, Gunther Desmedt.


The brains behind the race was Jesse Carlsson who unfortunately had to pull out in the first week whilst in the lead.


Inspired by Jerome Murif, the first person to ride from Adelaide to Darwin in 1897.jerome-murif-the-first-person-to-ride-from-adelaide-to-darwin-in-1897

“It was just a brutal, brutal ride,” Hammond told Ella CyclingTips. “The country was mind blowing but you are just in such hell.”


“These weren’t roads that were meant to be ridden by bicycle,” said Hammond. “This stuff it just destroys you mentally. There were times I would stop and was literally yelling at the road.”


Whilst you’re reading this, bear in mind that Sarah rode the American Trans Am 3 months ago, and was leading in the first week, so she is one gritty competitor.


Some of the Facebook comments from the competitors.

long stretches of sand and mud… fatigue…four hours of sleep in the last 60 hours…

Blew up both knees on the way into Laura last night and couldn’t even ride out of town this morning

then we slogged it sometime more

The first half of it was fine, the second half of it was horrendous, it was just mud pits, mud pits, hiking through water … and it was pitch black.

Arrived back in William Creek at 4 AM… 16 hours in the saddle and haven’t moved a centimeter closer to the Rock

The Rock it north… The pilot in William Creek warned me. The track is still closed and some rain is expected later this afternoon. You could get in trouble… This wasn’t just trouble. This was hell. Type 3 fun. The whole track transformed info a sticky mud pool after 120 kms.



Dirty Dozen

This is just a quick recap of the Adelaide Dirty Dozen held just over a week ago in atrocious conditions. As I couldn’t participate in this years ADD, I decided to head out a play the role of a roving photographer, funnily in much the same way i did 3 years ago when i was recuperating from a broken bone in my foot. After seeing what these riders rode through, I couldn’t have picked a better year to miss.

See all my photos at this link.

The below are some of my favourite.



Rider of the Week – Anthony De Leo


I caught up with Anthony on one of his trips to from Melbourne to Adelaide a few months ago and had a great chat and coffee. Below is Anthony’s story. Be warned, one photo is pretty gruesome and shows the aftermath of a cycling accident, but is important to the Anthony’s story.

  • What first got you started in cycling?


    • We moved to our current house which is a few hundred metres from a bike Trail that can take you either into the city or to the beach. I was unfit and my wife was saying why don’t you try riding. I borrowed a mates old MTB and really enjoyed it. My best friend Hayden Bradbury was a proffessional cyclist rang me and said there is this brand called Azzurri and they are selling bang for your buck MTB I should have a look. Buying that first half decent MTB opened up an obsession 6 years ago. I started riding that MTB every day before work and loved it.Then Hayden gave me one of his road bikes a stunning Bianchi L’una and that totally got me hooked on road riding.

      I was riding 5-6 days a week and was the fittest I had been for years.
      Riding changed my life.


  • You started an online cycling business called Full Beam, can you tell us what the business is, how it started and if possible, where is it going?



Full Beam Australia was conceived by accident. As I was riding early every morning I needed good lights. I become quite frankly light obsessed. Wanting brighter and brighter lights. I had tried a number of leading brands of which some were very good but I wanted more. Riding at 5.30 am through pitch black trails wanted more. Call me crazy but you get so used to what you have. I was searching for high powered self contained lights having used the best Exposure lights had to offer I wanted something brighter.

After spending many hours late at night trawling through the internet reading reviews on lights. I stumbled across a fantastic review on a 3000 lumen integrated light set (which at the time was the world’s brightest integrated battery light on the market) from a small company in Scotland called Full Beam. After contacting Full Beam about their lights we started talking about the possibility about possibly selling the lights in Australia. After receiving a range of Full Beam Lights in late 2013 I put them through their paces and was blown away with their build quality (Hand made in Scotland) and their performance was unlike anything I had seen. 

My everyday job is as a product manager in  high end Hi fi and Audio/Visual so I thought I would try and have some of the products reviewed locally and see how it went. At the time I didn’t take it too seriously just was dipping my toe in the water so to speak. Then in November 2013 I had a serious MTB accident that saw me spend a week in hospital having to have plastic surgery and dental work, however the main issue that came out of the accident was not the cosmetic damage (My modelling career was over) but I had neck damage caused by the fall.


At the time it took 72 hours for them to clear me of a Neck fracture so I spent 3-days staring at a ceiling in hospital but thankfully I was cleared.

Unfortunately severe whiplash has caused me ongoing issues for the last 3-years but that’s another story.

After the accident I had quite a bit of downtime so spent more time trying to develop Full Beam. Having never delved into Social Media I thought I better start Facebook and Twitter for Full Beam. In may 2014 I built a website of which had 4 products on it. It’s fair to say Full Beam wasn’t really going anywhere.

Over the last two years we have developed the business and now have over 200 skews from 12 different manufacturers. We do everything from the social media, to  the website to packing all the orders. Even our kids help with putting address labels on orders. We are a true small family business. We try an offer a very personal service even though we are an online business we strive to bring old fashioned service to a modern way of retailing.


  • What lights do you have on your bike?


As I have no shortage of choice it depends on the bike, the situation etc. If I am riding on the trail which is pitch black I generally run a Trail LED XXX or DS helmet light


and on the bars either a My Tiny Sun Folkslight or Four4th Holy Moses.


If I am on the road I use a Four4th Scorch and a Niteflux Red Zone 8 tail light.



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


I own 4 road bikes the MTB was retired after my accident. My main go to bike is my Cinelli Experience as I use it in the wet or on gravel and drag the kids around it.


It’s a great knock about bike and just keeps going. When I want to go for a more serious ride I love my Cinelli Very Best Of it’s just super comfy and just feels right.


My Bianchi L’Una is 10 years old but is just an absolute delight to ride and is a real head turner.

  • What bike do you covet?

Not Sure what covet means?


  • How do you store your bikes?


All stored inside



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


I do general maintenance myself more specific repairs, tuning etc I use Mikes Mobile Bike Service he is great to deal with and knows how to get Campagnolo running sweetly. It’s hard to find mechanics who are good at getting Campag to run spot on.


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


Repair Stand, Torque Wrench, Torx Bits, multi tools, Chain cleaners, etc etc.


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


Warmfront Thermal bib and Maglianera Socks and Cinelli Ram Bars.


  • What do you love about cycling?


For me it’s a mental release from the daily grind and stresses. Working 2-jobs with a young family it’s me time. When I am on the bike I think of none of the normal worries of life I just pedal and de-stress.


  • What annoys most about cycling?


Some Cyclists attitudes and arrogance. I am often amazed and saddened how some cyclists behave.


  • Other than yourself, who is your favourite cyclist?


I’ve never been one to have any sporting idols in life in any sport I have loved (Football, Cricket etc) it’s the same with cycling. I admire and respect my best friend Hayden Bradbury who helped me find a love for cycling, but also he is an elite cyclist in his own right.



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


Mario Cipollini because he seems like a rockstar on 2-wheels and I love his bikes. (It’s an Italian thing) Dave Edwards who just attempted 5 everesting rides in 5 countries. He is real, inspiring and just whole lot a fun to have a beer with. Drew Ginn an inspiring human being and just a freak athlete I would love to delve into what makes him tick.


  • What are your craziest/fondest cycling memories?


On a winter’s evening at 11pm I took a friend for a ride on a local trail and it was -2 degrees but other than frostbite it was amazing we saw owls, foxes and even a hare. Another ride that was memorable was my first long ride 130km through Kinglake in an organized Genovese classic and  it was the first time I had ever done a lot of climbing even at my fittest I wasn’t built for climbing.

The whole ride was in rain and from the 95-105 km mark it was just climbing. It was then a 10km descent down the mountain which was definitely the fun part.  After getting back to base and loading up the car I was heading to a cafe with a mate to have an obligatory coffee.

I drive a manual car and I remember pressing the clutch in for the first gear change and getting the worst calf cramp I have ever had in my life. Suffice to say I stalled the car and stumbled out of the car and had to stretch for 5 minutes. (An embarrassing event).

When I finally got home I downloaded the data from the ride and was shocked and mortified that at one point on the descent I hit 91km/h in the wet. That was made all the more scary when I checked over the bike post ride their was a hole the size of a 5 cent piece in my rear tyre that was just about to break through the casing. To say it sent shivers down my spine was an understatement. I was one very lucky boy.


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


Aunt Billies Caf’e in Blackburn. Anything sweet


  • Do you have a favourite overseas country?


I haven’t ridden overseas but I would love to ride in Italy.


  • What is your favourite local training route?


A 40km loop along the Eastern Freeway in Melbourne it starts 400m from home and you can ride it anytime and it’s a whole lot of fun at night.


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


I will be home in an hour


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


How long have you got. I would love a set of Campagnolo Bora Ultra 35 wheels and new frame.



Thanks Anthony, that accident sounded truly horrific, but as they say, one door closes, another opens, and the focus you now put into Full Beam must be very satisfying.



And that brings us to the end of another posting.


till next time

tight spokes



One thought on “R2TR – “It was just a brutal, brutal ride”

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