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
There’s still some available spots if you’re interested.
Indian Pacific Wheel Race
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.
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
- Status Updates – Regular updates and photos on the IPWR Facebook Site Facebook – IndianPacificWheelRace
- 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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Rider of the Week – Lorne McLurg
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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!
- 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.
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!
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