A few pictures from last weekends ride. How awesome are the hills at this time of the year!
A few months ago, a VeloPac Ridepac came into the Wednesday Legs lab for review.
The Ride Pac is a small waterproof phone wallet that has been travelling with me on my rides since it arrived. I’d had a gut full of using plastic ziplock bags, or trying to squeeze my phone into those plastic pouches you see handed out as marketing material, so was quite pleased to receive this little pouch.
As you can imagine, it’s a fairly simple cycling accessory so there’s not too much to talk about, but it does fit nicely into my back jersey pocket, my iPhone with its cover fits nicely into it, and there is a secure zipped pocket and open folds for whatever you need to carry with you on your ride.
As described on the Australian distributors (Acium) website
The outer shell is a triple layer construction of durable cotton bonded to a microfibre inner padding & waterproof matt finish outer coating. The inner seams are then reinforced with neat bounding. The water resistant zip protects from just about everything the elements can throw at it.
I was provided with the ALLEZ! Boys pack, but there are quite a few other styles and colours to select from.
RidePac is made in the UK, and distributed by Acium Sports in Australia.
Acium Sports deliver world class products to the Australian market. They are rural based out of Melbourne and supply the VeloPac PhonePacs, Musettes, Pongo Socks, Altum tools, Parcour Wheels and Cobb Saddles.
I’ve had a few conversations with the owner of Acium Sports, Harrison, and he has kindly offered a 15% discount across most of his products (except the wheels and Saddles) to Wednesday Legs readers. Just log into his site and use the code Wednesday Legs.
Link here to the Acium website – https://www.aciumsports.com.au/
Cycling Safety Charter
A mate of mine in Melbourne rides with the Caltex Cycling group (CTX). The CTX group Group ride from Caltex – cnr Beach and Bridge – 6am weekdays, although the weekends are secret….
Anyway, the CTX group recently published a Safety Charter which they’re happy to share. The main body includes some local references, but they don’t distract from the message, so I’ve left them in.
The charter came about after some crashes occurring within, and outside of, the CTX group over the years.
Thanks to the main author of the charter, Sean Ralphsmith, for allowing me to reproduce here.
The objective of every CTX ride is to ride for enjoyment & fitness and to do so in a safe and friendly manner. We care for our fellow riders at all times so we may all make it back to the Cow safely and enjoy coffee together.
All CTX riders are expected to commit to this Safety Charter. We agree that we want to create a culture that the safety of all riders is paramount. We should feel empowered to call out behavior that breaches our rules whilst at the same time having an attitude that accepts if we are called out ourselves.
1. We aim for a smooth and consistent roll with no surging. We should always ride at a pace that allows at least half of our group to stay in the roll. After the Black Forest we take stock and consider, if the roll has thinned significantly, slowing slightly to allow a majority back into the roll.
2. We call hazards loudly and early, and pass the message through the peloton, such as ‘car up’, ‘rider up’, ‘riders back’, ‘Lights up – stopping!’ etc. Calling ‘Car back’ from the caboose is also very important.
3. If a rider calls ‘go single’ due to the narrowing of the road, other riders must fall into line. We should ride ‘single’ every time needed to ensure we never cross the white line into the right hand lane.
4. If the group is split at an intersection or lights, we WAIT, cruising until we regroup. The last riders through the lights need to call ‘sit up’ if not every rider gets through. We commit to this to remove the temptation to run the red light.
5. We call who is next in the roll clearly BY NAME every time– letting the next rider know it is their turn. This very important so riders don’t miss their turn, and eliminates the temptation for others to jump into the roll.
6. We do not jump into the roll out of turn UNLESS called to do so from a fellow rider behind. When dropping out of the roll you must call the next rider so they know.
7. No half wheeling – riders must stay in line with the rider ahead to avoid potential accidents.
8. When preparing to stand up on the pedals to accelerate, one must maintain a constant speed, avoiding pushing the bike backwards into the rider behind
9. When passing other groups on the road, we give plenty of room and call ‘stay up’ to avoid cutting in and we ride fast enough to ensure the WHOLE group can get past
10. We slow for roundabouts and always call when it’s clear.
11. The gate keeper has an important role in all communication, per above, regarding next up in the roll, ‘cars back’, sitting up if the group is split, and coordination from the back. This includes calling out non-CTX riders on weekend rides. We should always have CTX riders fill the gatekeeper position
12. Sprinting is dangerous. We do not sprint. When on South Road – whoever is on the front will go hard, and will pull over to the left once spent, if safe, to allow the next rider to push ahead. Riders must communicate if involved in the final surge. There are no prizes. We should never be more than two wide at the end as this inevitably adds the risk of interaction with cars. Riders cannot go 3-wide to overtake.
13. Our rides back from PaTTo are track turns to the inside when on Station Street and to the outside from Mordy once on Beach Road – move
14. Weekend Rides – No kit – No roll (Saturday AND Sunday). If numbers are low we may call an open ride on a weekend before we leave CTX Headquarters. We slow down once we reach Bay Rd Sandringham on weekends.
15. We do not ride around cars stopped at lights but rather sit behind as a group, especially at the end of our ride on Beach Rd as we prepare to turn up Hampton St.
16. Rear red tail lights are turned on constant mode (not flash) when in the group in the dark and should not point up into the faces of riders behind. No helmet lights.
17. Riders should service and maintain their bike regularly to minimize the risk of mechanical issues in the group – which is statistically a significant cause of cycling crashes.
The cut down printable version is:
1. No surging
2. No sprinting
3. Call hazards loudly forward and back through the peloton
4. Go single if called to do so
5. If the group is split at lights, ‘Sit up and Wait’
6. Call next in the roll clearly by name every time
7. Do not jump into the roll out of turn unless called
8. No half wheeling and hold your line
9. If standing up on the pedals, keep your speed up
10. When passing others, call and ‘Stay up’ until we pass
11. Slow for roundabouts and call if clear
12. Always listen to the gatekeeper
13. No kit/no roll on weekends
14. Don’t ride around cars stopped at lights
15. Maintain your bike
If you ride in a group, I’d recommend you consider a safety charter of your own, or at least the senior leaders in the group call out and maintain standards in the ride group. Remember, Safety is paramount, but don’t forget you are representing all cyclists when you are out there on the road.
Phil Gaimon is a cyclist, writer, and entrepreneur who retired from laziness and computer games in 2004 in favor of riding a bike to lose weight. On a whim, he started racing and soon discovered that he was a natural. Phil advanced rapidly through the amateur ranks and turned professional in his second full year, still ignorant of a century of cycling etiquette.
Phil clawed his way to the top of the American pro ranks, joining Garmin-Sharp in 2014 but slipped back into the domestic ranks for the 2015 season. Proving himself once again, Gaimon rode his way back into the ProTour, joining Cannondale-Drapac in 2016 and retired at the end of the season.
However at the start of 2017, Phil announced that the year was going to be the “The Worst Retirement Ever,” so named because it was going to have lots of pain, suffering, and leg-shaving, with none of the glory of posting up in front of a cheering crowd or joking around on the bus with histeammates.
He started a real job at Wasserman, but continued training before work just like the rest of us (except faster), and on weekends, I’ll chase hillclimb records on climbs of YOUR CHOICE. You vote where I go on my Facebook page, and then come say hi, share a cookie, try to hang on if you want. Castelli filmed and produce ten “missions” on hisYouTube channel for your entertainment.
Phils pretty savvy with social media. Google his name, you will find links to his website, YouTube channel, Strava and a host of other social media sites. Jump onto his website (Phil the Thrill) and you’ll find yourself faced with his podcasts, blogs, Phils Fondos, and hell, you can even buy cookie inspired cycling gear.
He’s also driving his “Worst Retirement Ever” hard, extracting as much as he can from his post/pre/during retirement. His main mission is to track down and snatch Strava KOM’s.
He’s either chased down or been chased by major gear and clothing companies wanted in on this project, so he was able to pick the lightest, fanciest, and most obnoxious equipment on the market. He’s had a cookie inspired speedsuit from Castelli.
His sponsors include big names including Cannondale, Mavic, Castelli, Clif, Camelbak, Arundel, Velofix, New Balance, Orucase, ISM Saddle, Oakley, and Chamois Buttr.
He’s got his media strategies down pat as well, so is being advised by some very smart cookies.
He has taken his love of cookies to the next level. His website chronicles his ceaseless pursuit of the best cookies and milk in America.
Phil loves chocolate-chip cookies so much that sponsor Diamondback gave his bike a cookie-themed paint job.
At this years Tour of California, he set up what became known as Cookie Corner, where he passed out cookies to his pro cycling mates. Peter Sagan’s cookie grab went viral.
Phil’s criteria for deciding if a cookie is worth consuming.
- Freshness: Most places bake in the morning, so if you get there at 9 a.m. you might be buying yesterday’s cookie. But at 2 p.m. they might be fresh. Get to know a place, and ask what time of day they do their baking.
- Chocolate-to-dough ratio: Obviously, it needs to be high.
- Warmth: If the cookie is sitting in the display case wrapped in plastic or under a little glass tray all day, it’s not going to be warm. If it comes off a baker’s rack in the back you know it’s going to be good. You want to be able to bend the cookie and see the gooey meltedness when you pull it apart.
- Size: One cookie should fill you up. I always say it should be the size of a steering wheel or a manhole cover. And the most important part—don’t share it. The biggest one I’ve had was on top of Mount Lemmon in Tucson at the Cookie Cabin. It was more like a pancake.
- Bonus tip: A good cookie demands milk. Beware the creepy store at the mall that has only cookies and a soda fountain.
His latest book, Ask a Pro, Deep Thoughts and Unreliable Advice from America’s Foremost Cycling Sage, came through the Wednesday Legs lab a few months ago.
In it, Phil answers every question you have ever wanted to ask about cycling, and quite a few you wouldn’t know you wanted to ask but realise afterwards that you needed to know.
With his unique sarcastic wit, Phil spills the beans on what it’s really like inside the pro cycling peloton. He gathers the gems from his monthly Q&A feature column in VeloNews magazine into this new book, adding fresh commentary and even more acerbic and sharp-eyed insights.
Phil covers a wide range of topics, from the team dinner table to the toilet with plenty of stops along the way, with questions like:
- How much chamois cream should I use?
- I’ve started shaving my legs; how can I be accepted by my friends?
- What do you do to protect yourself when you know you’re about to crash?
- How many bikes does my husband really need?
- What’s the best victory celebration and should I practice it?
- What do pros think when they see a recreational cyclist in a full pro kit or riding a pro-level bike?
- How do the pros define a “crash”?
The book also includes his Cookie Map of America, dubious advice on winning the race buffet, a cautionary guide for host housing, and a celebrity baker’s recipe for “The Phil Cookie”.
Oh, the answer to how they define crash – well it’s not as simple as you would expect.
For an incident to be considered a crash, all of the following must happen:
Your Knee, elbow or hip hits the ground. If you catch yourself with your hand, it counts as a save, just like if you tripped on the stairs, it wasn’t graceful, but oyu made it.
Some part of your body, clothing, or bike has to be at least slightly damaged. Even if it looked like a full action-movie wipeout, if your helmet was unscathed, your clothes weren’t ripped, there’s not a scrape on your saddle, your derailleur hangar is still straight, and your bar tape is pristine, it’s not a crash.
Someone has to see you. There was this one time, this guy, lets call him a friend of mine (it wasn’t me), hit a patch of ice that just washed his bike out from under me. I mean him. But he got up, everything was fine – no bruises, no road rash, and most importantly, no witnesses. Like a tree falling in the forest, that wasn’t a crash, either.
Rider of the Week – Ted Jennings
Each week I bring a new cyclist to this forum, each has their own unique story to tell,. I feel privileged that some RotW riders open up and provide a story that I just wasn’t prepared for.
Today’s rider is one of those riders. He has suffered some pretty extreme setbacks, but been able to bounce out the other side with his humanity intact and a great positive attitude that is a lesson for us all.
I’m sure you’ve seen him riding the hills around Adelaide in his distinctive Treat Yourself kit. Teddles is another one of those characters that you feel the better for knowing, something that if you haven’t already realised by now, the cycling community has more than their fair share of top geezers.
This is Teds story.
I have been cycling since I was 7, I started riding my older sisters big red 80’s girls bike around the front yard and my folks bought me a Silver Speedwell BMX later that year. Only living just around the corner from primary school, I was never allowed to ride to school, which pained me immensely!
Have been cycling my whole life, mostly commuting, often socializing and very occasionally racing (quite possibly the greatest way to ruin a good ride IMAO!). I have three kid’s ages 8-13 and they all ride to and from school, shops, park, adventures, and city. My eldest Kate has been picked up with the SASI TID (Talent identification development program) which is tops, I can now live vicariously through her and hopefully she can progress, but who knows with 13 year old girls, next week she might want something else.
Only my close friends and acquaintances know that in 2009 I had a bullshit motor bike crash which landed me in hospital for an extended amount of time recovering from fractured 2/3 cervical, most ribs on my left side, collar bone and scapular. Recovered fairly well but worse was to come. Was back at work working as a nurse, when I woke up one night to my new born baby girl, walked into my lounge room with her and had a cardiac arrest, was taken to the RAH by ambulance and had another more serious arrest (was dead for a little while) which lead to an extended stay in the Hampstead rehabilitation centre. My lengthy rehabilitation lasted from mid December to mid February when I was discharged. During my rehabilitation, I had my drivers license and Nurses registration cancelled, my wife left me and kicked me out of my home, and was told to give up downhill mountain biking. So I moved back in with my parents for many months rehabilitation. One great day an occupational therapist came round to see if I could ride a bike and after two sessions I was allowed to ride a bike AGAIN!!!!
That was my ‘First day of the rest of my life’ moment, and I started to stop feeling sorry for myself and gave up smoking (which is a bullshit tough thing to do, but I’d recommend it to everyone who smokes). I slowly started to better myself through exercise and being a painfully positive person (sometimes).
I met a girl who rode a road bike, and I thought that was pretty cool, so I bought a $50 2nd hand eBay bike, rode it for a bit and thought it was a bit lame, rode up the old freeway but turned around when I got to the kennels thinking this was bullshit hard.
I’ve always liked my Cannondale’s, so I bought CAAD 10 105 road bike and that changed everything (almost as much as when I discovered chamois cream!) all of a sudden riding the old freeway wasn’t the painful nightmare! Shit got really serious when I discovered STRAVA. The competitive idiot in me awoke and it was game on.
Through Adelaide cyclists I’ve met some pretty rad folks on rides and it kinda exploded from there. My great friend Lorraine probably still remembers me turning up in board shorts and short socks to a WOMGiE ride (but we weren’t friends then). These days we can happily ride 100’s of kilometres and never seem to get bored or pissed off at each other. She also joined me recently in the fractured cervical club, but we don’t talk about that. No point talking the shit times in your life when you got 1000’s of good/amazing times to talk about!
I’m not really sure about these ‘dream’ bikes everyone keeps talking about, I figure the best bike is the one you are riding (beats catching the bus with all the sick, gross, bikeless folk.)
My favourite kit is my ‘Treat yourself’ kit by Fiasco Ciclismo, a cool bespoke brand and if Tom is reading this, I hope you’ve got another gaudy kit coming this summer!
Love my caps too, love coming home after 100-150kms during summer leaving the cap out overnight and seeing all your salt in it the next day, yes gross AF but I like it.
My household has 20 odd bikes between us, my missus Alice has 4, each kid has one or two.
My go to bike for hills is a Cannondale EVO, with compacts and a 32 tooth on the rear, I’m so stocked that the 32t is no longer frowned upon these days. I have a Norco CX for an occasional race but more for exploring with the lads, if you haven’t converted to tubeless, what are you waiting for??
Have Giant 29er which I picked up 2nd hand, was a little cautious as Dave Edwards had previously used it for an Everest but he’s a good lad and wouldn’t sell a lemon.
My Fixie is my fun commuter these days until I get my project CAAD 5 set up how I want it. I think being able to ride fixed gear is very important, it forces you to re-think how traffic moves in the city(s), when not being able to rely on front and rear brakes. You soon learn how to blend into traffic (apart from F**king Taxis which are a F**king law unto themselves! They have only themselves to blame for also being currently destroyed by UBER, why would you want to get into a foul smelling hybrid and listen to a radio in all sorts of langauges when you can catch an Uber, pay half as much and be offered mints/water and be greeted with friendly conversation?)
Biggest lie I’ve ever told/tell; “I’ll be home by ….……”! Rides always take longer, then there’s coffee or if the ride finishes after midday (or close to) it’s beer!
Living in Glenside I cannot go past the Red Berry Café for my post ride coffee’s, Arkaba cellars if after midday, they’ve always got the Pirate life IPA for $10, that’s an awesome price for hoppy mouthful of beer.
I buy my coffee beans from Simply Coffee on Rundle st, seriously Peter knows his shit when it comes to bean roasting and his wife and Sally there are the most beautiful people, if you haven’t been there before I’d suggest popping in and saying hello, if the whole world had the attitude of these guys, there wouldn’t be any wars/crises etc etc. Favorite post ride recovery food is a Large AB from Yannis yiros on the Parade, hot chips covered in lamb and chicken, layered in garlic, tomato and bbq sauce (I also go for a large splash of hot chilli).
When I travel interstate I use a Brisbane outdoors bike bag, best bit is that when you build your bike back up at the airport, you can attach the bag to your backpack and ride to your next destination! I’m also one of those people who catch a plane with EVERYTHING in my carry-on. Pro-tip; Smile, be super polite with excellent grammar and wear a nice aftershave and they wont ask the weigh your carry on.
Next pro tip; wear a beard, the money you save on sunscreen is amazing! During summer too when it fills up with sweat it acts like an evaporative air-conditioner 😉 At tour time I’m constantly having the Pro’s telling me they’ve just had to shave to go racing, it just seems silly to me. One day I’ll discover a pretty gnarly tan line on my face when I shave it off.
My favorite holiday destination is Cairns, similar to Radelaide but their coffee is crap, their beer is like water, you cannot get a AB or good metwurst but the lifestyle is amazing, so laid back, nothing runs on time but everything gets done.
Do not have any real stand out books on cycling, the plethora of information on the internet is amazing, short sharp article by the Hells mob, Lavociita, Wednsday legs (shameless I know), blog/vlogs is stunning and it seems more relevant to me.
When I’m not riding my other loves are Cacti growing and collecting, Chilli growing and eating, I like to grow the worlds hottest and see if I can hold it down, the Carolina Reaper was brutal this year, fist bump to @Jho who ate one with me and went through the 12 layers of Hell with me, awesome work Josh. (Eds note – The Carolina Reaper is officially the Worlds Hottest Pepper as ranked by Guinness Records. There is nothing normal about this pepper. It was bred for heat and that it is, with an average SHU of over 1.5 million and peaks at 2.2 Million SHU!)
I like to run a couple of marathons every year (yes I know, almost sacrilegious) on track to run 1300 kilometres this year which will be a personal best!
Shout outs to all the Rad cycling folks who I ride or have once ridden with, the friendships, the laughs, the bad jokes, the pain, the beers, the stories, the adventures it has certainly been amazing! Adelaide’s cycling community is certainly very special!
You can catch more of Ted here
Oh, and he has been known to do a shoe-ee.
Thanks Ted, remind me not to eat one of your curries! Thanks for opening up and providing us with an insight into your cycling life. Cheers.
till next time