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.
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.
The beach rides are bleak and boring
The are hardly any hills, and those are flat and too far away from the the city
The roads in the hills are so busy you wouldn’t bother risking your life on them
The city lacks culture
Adelaide is good for wine, but the local brews are crap
Adelaide is boring, nothing ever happens
It really is a wretched place to come with your bike
So why come to Adelaide and ride? Really, why, you’ve got to be off your rockers.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Oh, FYI, Cycling in Adelaide is not Shite – it is the bees knees.