Cookie Monster

A few pictures from last weekends ride.  How awesome are the hills at this time of the year!

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Thats mine at the front
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The new bakery / cafe in Uraidla opened up during the week. The brewery is due to open some time before Xmas.

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Acium Sports

A few months ago, a VeloPac Ridepac came into the Wednesday Legs lab for review.

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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.

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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.

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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….

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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.

OUR RIDES

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.

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Phil Gaimon

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Ask a Pro by Phil Gaimon

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.

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Rider of the Week – Ted Jennings

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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.

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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!

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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.

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My household has 20 odd bikes between us, my missus Alice has 4, each kid has one or two.

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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??

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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.

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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!)

STFU!

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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!

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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!

Ted (Teddles).

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You can catch more of Ted here

https://www.strava.com/athletes/983732

here

https://www.instagram.com/teddlesdisfixie/

and here

https://twitter.com/TeddlesDisFixie

Oh, and he has been known to do a shoe-ee.

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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

tight spokes

iPib

 

 

 

First Aid – would you know what to do?

 Did you Know – Adelaide Super-Drome?

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The Adelaide Super-Drome is the headquarters for Cycling SA who offer racing, training and development programs, a training facility for South Australia Sports Institute (SASI) Track Cycling program and is the home of Cycling Australia’s High Performance Program.

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The Velodrome is available for hire and hosts a range of events and functions.

The velodrome has hosted a number of international events including the International Track Series and the Oceania Track Championships. It is a popular destination for international teams looking for a unique environment for training camps.

Specifications & amenities:

  • Track: 250m softwood, 43° banked
  • Track lighting: 400 lux
  • Electronic timing system
  • Scoreboard: electronic multi-purpose
  • Seating: 2,000 spectators and 1,000 standing
  • Corporate areas: 4 corporate boxes and function room
  • Infield flooring: Regupol Multi-Sports (2067m2) – (infield can be configured for a variety of indoor sports when not in competition mode)
  • Change rooms/toilets
  • Lockable storage space available
  • Onsite parking for up to 500 cars

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Business of the Week – Knog

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  • Who are Knog?

Knog are a consumer products brand inventing urban-flavoured tech for the road, trail and outdoors.

  • How and when did Knog start?

Knog was born in 2003 but was born from a design firm called Catalyst which was founded in the mid 90s. So our heritage is design. Mobile phones, bullet proof vests, medical equipment, Champagne packaging and so on! Since we started Knog, we’ve re-invented bike lights, bike locks and most recently the humble bell. And we haven’t finished. Our next frontier is outdoor. Since a lot of our customers love the great outdoors, it makes sense to provide products that can straddle both. Hence our new PWR range.

  • Whats the meaning of the name Knog?

It’s actually a reference to “use your noggin”. Everything we do starts with inspiration from upstairs. And we don’t mean a god. Something much more powerful – an idea.

  • Who are the people behind Knog what are their roles?

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The founders are Hugo Davidson (CEO) and Mal McKechnie (COO). Hugo leads the Design and Sales teams. Mal leads the Engineering and Production. CFO is Andrew Hedding and Head of Marketing is Sam Moore. The turnover of the team is remarkably low. Chris Bilanenko (Ind Des), Tim Besley (Ind Des), Leah Hughes (sales), Sean Wilkinson (online mkt), David Edwards (Electronic eng), and Virginia Francis (finance) have all been with Knog for the better part of a decade. The rest of the permanent team: Nick Bebbington, Madeline Ward, Michael Westwood, Anton van Maanen, Meesha

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  • What makes your brand what it is?

Our difference is our design philosophy. “Unboring Things” is a description but also a call to action – we seek out what’s boring in the world because in making things interesting, you invariably make it more pleasurable. We’re a hedonistic bunch so pleasure – whether it be in your activities or just in the products you own (of course those things are linked) – is important to us.

  • There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into building a successful brand, can you give some tips on why you git to where you are?

We have been able to tap into the Zeitgeist – and to some extent shape trends – with our designs. In the fixi era on the naughties, our silicone lights and locks were wanted and needed. Now, with more sophisticated bike market and the growth of bike-packing and ever-overlapping bike and outdoor categories, our multi-function products are key. But really, what sits above all this is the style and it’s relationship to function. The Oi bell looks unique, but that form is intrinsic in its function. The PWR range has a universal battery, so the beautifully sleek form relates to that too.

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  • What has been some of your more successful products?

The Frog light launched us.

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The Blinder lights cemented us.

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The Oi bell was the most successful – we launched through Kickstarter and made a real splash. And the PWR range is a new chapter.

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  • What are your team’s interests outside of cycling?

You don’t wanna know .)

  • What bikes do your team members have in their garage?

All sorts. Canyon. Soma. Cannondale. Sakae Litage. But who cares – it’s about getting on a bike.

  • What were some of the major challenges in getting Knog to where it is now?

The biggest challenges for any product brand are almost always production. We had a fault that nearly floored us – our straps on our Blinder 4 product broke. However, we responded by not only a very easy and quick warranty process, but we updated the design to the Blinder MOB, which now has a near-zero warranty rate.

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  • Where does the future lie for Knog?

We’re heading into Outdoor products, but not at the expense of our bike heritage. Our focus remains on inventing great bike products. But we are expanding into – and applying our unboring thinking to – the outdoor market. Camping, running, snow sports. They are all on the hitlist.

  • Where are your major markets?

UK, USA, Australia, Germany, France, Japan, Switzerland

  • Have there been any standout projects that you’ve taken a step back from at completion and thought “Yeah”?

Oi bell.

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Strongman lock (we won a global engineering award – the Stiftung Warentest).

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Blinder MOB and Blinder MINI. A lot of the team’s favourite products are still the Blinder ROAD and Blinder ROAD R70 (rear light).

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In fact, in our recent PWR launch we’ve just seen the results of a test from road.cc where they compare our lights to others. When you compare our optics to others you really say “oh yeah”.

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  • Do you have any cycling partnerships you’d like to mention?

We like to help creative talent emerge. In Sydney, we have recently done a collaboration with designer Mick Boston on a range of apparel called Knog x Leave Pass.

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We also sponsor some teams outside Australia – Revo Crit team and our friends Koochella out of Minneapolis.

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At a product level, we’ve recently partnered with Tactica to bring out a pocket multi-tool product called Fang. It’s truly unique and was conceived by Tactica in Melbourne, then tailored for the bike market by Knog.

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Winnipeg Cycling Chick

I came across this cycle blog the other day. Some interesting and entertaining articles.

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The blogger – I couldn’t find her name – suffered a particularly nasty crash a few months back, and has been blogging about her recovery and thoughts since.

http://winnipegcyclechick.com/a-humerus-thing-happened-on-the-morning-ride-2/

In this posting, she summarises the “Things that suck about crashing”.  I’ve had a few crashes, but nothing as serious as this.

  • The street-illegal narcotics they give you at the hospital are pretty great, but have the unfortunate side effect of making it impossible to poop for a week. On the upside, being constipated is a a good distraction from your other, more serious injuries.
  • Further to that, a combination of opioids and liquor will not make you into the next Oscar Wilde or Ernest Hemingway. It will just make you sleepy.
  • Chances are you wrecked your bike just enough to have to replace a bunch of broken parts, but not enough to get a whole new bike.
  • Watching your social media feeds, which are populated mostly by bike people who are out riding and racing and training and travelling, is irritating and depressing.
  • For the next little while your Strava activities will flatline.
  • If they had to cut your jersey off your body at the hospital, it was probably your favorite jersey.
  • Everything hurts like fuck.

Depending on the extent and location of your injuries, your day-to-day activities are sure to be effected. In my case, my right, dominant arm is casted from my hand almost to my shoulder. Making the following things impossible:

  • any form of personal grooming or hygiene
  • putting on a bra, pants, or anything with buttons
  • holding a pen, pencil, or lipstick. I tried putting on lipstick with my left hand once and ended up looking like Robert Smith from The Cure
  • doing anything remotely useful around the house. I have basically become Archie Bunker, but less racist

This list could probably go on forever, but it’s making me depressed, so let’s move on to the brighter side.

Things that make it suck less:

  • You can finally read all of the books you wanted to read, except the funny ones because it hurts when you laugh.
  • Your sporty friends will feel really sorry for you and give you lots of sympathy and encouragement and maybe flowers you’re lucky. Your normal friends and family, however, will think you’re stupid, especially if this isn’t the first time.
  • People will do really sweet things for you, like bring you casseroles and wine. My work neighbours, Special T, got particularly creative and gave me these repackaged Phil Wood Products and a funny card. I laughed so hard I thought I broke a rib.
  • You finally get to use ALL of the throw cushions.
  • If you plan it well, you might get out of going to a golf tournament.

I can empathise with the above “Things that Suck”

A few others that should be on the things that suck list from my experience are:

  • Private Healthcare insurance has huge gaps
  • Being dependant on other people to get around
  • Not getting out with the ride group and enjoying their company during and post ride
  • Feeling your fitness ebb away and knowing that your return is going to be painful
  • Loss of confidence on the road
  • Day time tv, although Netflix and other streaming services can relive that frustration, and
  • Haggling with insurance companies

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First Aid

Speaking of which, this from Adelaide Cyclists just over a week ago………

“Gentleman came off his bike head first. Ambulance called by first responding Female cyclist who stopped along with Mark from Fat Boys, then things got very bad and his life saved by group of the Wonderful Fat Boys! CPR performed by Paul and my Husband Tony until Ambos arrived. Other Fat Boys warned cyclists and cars coming down while another group of the boys warning cars and cyclist coming up. Such a wonderful group of men Adelaide Fat Boys! – Very important to do CPR and First aid training. Very proud. We wish the Gentlemen and his Family well and hope he has a full recovery. Our thoughts also with his riding buddies, not a nice thing to witness.”

Speaking to someone else who turned up just after, the rider had cpr performed for over 10 minutes until the ambos arrived – well done guys.

 

So, I’d like to ask you a question.

Has everyone who rides in your group done a first aid course, or taken a refresher?

If not, why not.  Your survival, or that of your mate from the next crash, may depend on your mates.

Please follow this up……….!

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Rider of the Week – Alaskan Dave “Down Under” Downes

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If you spend any time riding the hills south of Adelaide, you would have passed this weeks Rider if the Week – Dave.

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Dave is one of those unique cycling characters that once touched, you will never forget him.

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I first bumped into Dave on one of my many slow treks up Greenhill road one Saturday morning.  I got chatting to him as he passed me (one of my tactics to get people to slow down for me). An interesting character, as you’ll find out below. I last saw Dave on the Dirty Dozen at the start and at the finish – unfortunately I didn’t catch him during the ride as he was allegedly seen wolfing down donuts on the side of the road with a group of mates at a prearranged location on the route.

This is Dave’s story.

 

Hi, I’m Dave Downes. I grew up in Alaska in the 60’s and 70’s although most people who know me say I’m still not grown up –and I plan on keeping it that way too mates. I’m now 52 years young and I take life much less seriously now than I ever have. I’m that rider you see out early in the mornings on a fairly non-descript bike who gives at least a passing nod to other cyclists; more often a wave and hello.

If you ever get a chance to ride along with me somewhere then you’ll hear stories of riding year-round back in Alaska and some good-natured joking around too. You may also find some roads and hills that even most locals don’t know about. I’m game for any hills (you may have to wait for me at the top or I may have to wait for you; I’m easy either way) and any gravel; I may not be one of the fast guys but I’ll ride with you all day into a headwind and rain with a smile on my face.

  • How long have you been cycling?

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Started as a little kid pre-kindergarten and I’ve not looked back. I was one of those kids who would disappear all day long on the bike without a care in the world. Even as an adult my bike was year round transportation for me back in Alaska; never even owned a car till I was 34.

  • What got you started in cycling?

I got started mountain biking in the late 80’s in Fairbanks, Alaska as I needed year round transport after I moved off campus at University of Alaska-Fairbanks and these new-fangled contraptions called “mountain bikes” seemed ideal for riding all year long up there. If you’re concept of “ideal riding” includes routinely riding for an hour or so at -40 then it’s perfect!

I switched over to road cycling when I moved here as the road system is much more extensive than back in Fairbanks.

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Right, thats Dave at the back
  • You go by the moniker of Alaskan Dave Down Under. Can you give a bit of background behind behind The Alaskan Dave, how long have you been in Adelaide and what brought you down under?

I wanted to pick a screen name/identity that would give a lot of information –Hi, I’m Dave and I’m from Alaska but I now live in Australia– and also leave questions such as what you are asking. Hey what do you know, it worked!

I’ve been in Adelaide since October of 2000. My wife is from Adelaide by way of The UK in 1971 and we met in Alaska in 1998 when she was visiting a mutual friend. We decided it would be much easier for me to get used to this climate than for her to get used to mine and we were right!

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

Five bikes (3 road and 2 mtb) although only one of each are currently rideable. 99% of my riding is on my road bike. It is a 2016 Polygon Helios C5. Aluminium (notice I spelt that properly!!!) frame/carbon fork with endurance geometry so it’s quite comfy for my old back. It’s not a very common bike to say the least so if you see some long-haired bloke wearing a noticeable kit riding a Polygon road bike it is probably me. Say hi. Or not.

  • What bike do you covet?

Does anyone make a 5 kilo road bike with cantilevers stronger than fugly disks, knifes through the air, is tough enough to be banged around on gravel, has comfortable geometry, and won’t cost me my life’s savings?

  • Can you summarise some of your achievements in your cycling life so far?

Yes. (I’m tempted to leave it at this for a laugh but I won’t)

One of my achievements that I’m quite obviously proud of is year round riding in the interior of Alaska for years in the era before Fat Bikes. The coldest I’ve ever ridden is -58F/-50C and if you count my riding speed as the wind speed that means a windchill of -84F/-64C. For an hour. On a bicycle.

Down here a ride I’m quite proud of doing 5200m vert in just over 8 hours back in June of 2016. Of course finishing the Dirty Dozen this year was a fantastic achievement too.

A summary? I suppose I like hills and extreme temperatures!

  • You do a hell of a lot of riding, particularly down South, what do you love about cycling in Adelaide?

I absolutely LOVE all the twisty, turny, sealed roads up and down all the hills here! It is so different from what I grew up with. But there is also some great gravel too which is something I’m quite familiar with from back in Alaska. And cafes and bakeries practically around every corner –Sooooo different from Alaska!

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

Sagan, Chaves, and Cavendish. Peter is on the list because, well… he’s bloody Peter Sagan fer cryin’ out loud! Estaban cus, hey… That SMILE! Cav? Oh man the stories of the trench warfare he could tell!

Where? Any of the local pubs would be fine! Pub grub down here is great.

  • What are your fondest cycling memories?

This is going to sound sappy, but I make fond memories on every ride. My fondest would include meeting cool people (like yourself Pibs!) and finding new roads and hills to ride.

  • Have you had any nasty crashes? If so how did the worst occur and what were the consequences?

In almost 50 years of falling off bikes I have never broken a bone from a crash. Probably the nastiest crash was the first time I went over the handlebars. I was 5 years old. I left half my face on the pavement. It explains a lot, doesn’t it?

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

Favourite stop… oof this is a toughie! It really depends on what area I’m riding in! I’ll try to stop at:

  • Kondi if I’m doing an Adelaide Hills ride
  • Harvest Mylor (for a SOUP BOWL of coffee!!!) if I’m riding past.
  • Clarendon Bakery or Dolce Vita if I’m messing about Piggot Range area.
  • Terre Cafe if I want a coffee in Willunga;
  • Cottage in The Vale.
  • When I’m down on The Fleurieu I stop at Normanville Bakery and Inman Valley General Store.
  • Jack’s when I’m in Strath.

 

It really just depends where I am.

What do I normally buy as a treat… Dude, just LOOK at these photos!

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

“I’ll be back by noon honey!”

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

Besides that mythical bike I mentioned earlier? Well, you’ve seen photos of the skin suit that looks like muscles? Yeah, I’d wear that in a heartbeat!

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  • Is there a local cycling outfit/company/cycling club/cycling group/person that you would like to plug?

Any cafe or bakery that has a bike pump for use! The ones I know for sure are Harvest Mylor, Clarendon Bakery, and Oxenberry. I’m sure there are others though.

  • What is your non-cycling go-to place when Interstaters/oversea-ers come to Adelaide?

Two main ones. Winery tour of McLaren Vale with me being the designated driver so they can get as silly as they want to get. The other is Belair National Park because I’m a great koala spotter.

  • Is there anything else you feel like talking about?

Be safe, be seen, be friendly! Don’t get so intensely into your riding that you forget just how much FUN it is to be out on a bicycle.

Oh Pffft. I could go on all day.

 

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Cheers Dave

 

Its people like you that make life so much more interesting, and fun.  Take care in the roads and looking forward to our next ride.

 

Well, thats it for another Wednesday Legs

till next time

tight spokes

iPib

 

 

Bikes are better in front of Murals

Street Art – Kent Town

It’s scientifically proven that bikes look 15.7% better when photographed in front of a mural, so last weekend, after a coffee at Tell Henry’s on Saturday, I coasted over to Little Rundle Street in Kent Town to have a closer look at the street art that has been slowly covering the lane-way walls.

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Kent Town – top right of this map

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Brilliant eh?

And its not just Kent Town where there are some stunning pieces of Street Art, the city’s lane ways are dotted with them, and there are some spectacular murals out in the burbs as well, particularly down Port Adelaide.

The below map is a little outdated, but they are all still there, along with new ones popping up on a regular basis.

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There is a fabulous Facebook site called Adelaide Street Art showcasing the murals and the talent behind them, well worth a visit.

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Over at Le Velocita a few weeks back they asked for and received over 130 pictures of bikes n street art from across Australia. There are some pretty cool murals out there.

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The Bicycling 2016 F*#k it List

This is a list of 29 bikes Bicycling Magazine have labelled as the must have bikes (2016 – ok, I’m a little slow, but not much would’ve changed since then). I have taken the mountain bikes out of the list to make it easier for you.

A few of the bikes  on the list surprised me, they’re not all the most expensive, the lightest, the sexiest, the sleekest or the fastest. Each has it’s own unique characteristics that make it a standout in it’s own way, whether it be handling on the tarmac, or bouncing around on the white roads of Tuscany, its there for a very good reason, apart from the fact they probably contr$buted to the review?

28 – BH G7 Disc Ultegra

According to BH the G7 is more aero, lighter, and stiffer than the G6 even with the addition of disc brakes, which sit flush to the frame with the new, clean-looking flat-mount standard. Other additions include thru-axles front and rear for a little added stiffness, more consistent brake alignment, and a safer, more reliable connection to the wheels.

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You can find this bike on Pushys  

26 – Focus Izalco Max Ultegra

The Izalco Max is Focus’s top-of-the-line frame, raced in the Tour de France.

There are few bikes on the road that perform as well, or are as balanced.
This bike is stiff. Stomp on it, throw it around, pitch it daringly into corners, and feels well balanced. But this bike is also smooth and compliant. It damps out most road noise, but leaves just enough feedback to give the ride character. And it’s very light. Oh, it handles very well too.

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23 – Titanium Litespeed T1sl

A high-end titanium road frame that is remarkably light at around 1,150 grams, stiff at the front end but with a toned down resilient liveliness and a performance-oriented personality.

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20 – Colnago CX Zero Evo

This road bike combines stiffness, compliance, and a dash of special sauce for a super-versatile ride.

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19 – Fuji SL 1.3

This blazingly fast, super light race bike has throwback touches you’ll appreciate.

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18 – Diamondback Airén

An affordable women’s bike for the budget-minded rider.

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17 – Felt ZW3 Disc

This women’s endurance bike is zippy and reactive, but feels as comfortable a those old leather gloves. The Felt engineers, through the company’s Fit Woman concept, have developed specific carbon layups for women that reduce the frames’ stiffness and make for lighter, more compliant bikes.

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16 – PInarello Gan RS

This Pinarello has a nearly identical mold as the Dogma F8, but has a different carbon blend that saves money. It’s slightly heavier, almost as stiff, not quite as smooth, but still looks really sweet.

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15 – Bianchi L’Eroica

Rather than enslave itself to the era (this bike has a ten-speed cassette, for instance) Bianchi instead referenced its own top-level racing machine of the 1950s and ’60s in designing and aesthetizing this lugged, Columbus Zona steel-framed beauty that has chromed stays and fork tips, custom-made Campagnolo derailleurs, 32-hole Ambrosio tubular wheels, Dia-Compe centerpull brakes, a quill stem, cotton bar tape, and Brooks saddle. Best of all for some: The L’Eroica is approved for use in L’Eroica: Just swipe your credit card and travel back in time.

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13 – Ritte Ace

The Ace was built to be as close as possible to Ritte owner and longtime bike racer Spencer Canon’s perfect bike—and Canon’s litmus test is the kind of technical, twisting descending that can be found in the mountains above his home in Los Angeles. As he explains it, that’s when a bike has the most stress put on it. And: “I love descending. I think it’s one of the most enjoyable feelings on a bike. Can you be more free?”

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12 – Specialized Dolce Comp Evo

This affordable women’s adventure bike is built for bikepacking and fun on rough roads.

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11 – Wilier GTR SL

GTR stands for “Gran Turismo Race,” and it essentially continues the company’s previous Gran Turismo line (and replaces the Zero.9). With taller head tubes, shorter top tubes, and slacker head angles compared with the race bikes, the GTRs use all the standard tweaks to get the rider into a slightly more upright position on a bike with a slightly longer wheelbase and more stable handling.

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9 – Cervélo R3 Disc Ultegra

The Cervelo R3 Disc Ultegra little late to the party. The R3 was picked to be the first Cervélo disc-brake bike because, “We wanted it to be accessible. The 3-series still represents the most well-known and recognized models in our family, so it was clear that we needed to offer our first disc race bike there.”

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6 – Cipollini NK1K

Built for two things: going real fast and looking real good. With the same carbon fiber, a noticeably stiff bottom bracket and pedaling feel, and a relatively short head tube compared to some competitors, the NK1K retains much of the pure-speed-machine RB1000’s growl, throttle, and Matrix-bullet-time ability to move quicker than most things around it.

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5 – Marin Gestalt 2

The alternating butter-smooth and crappy pavement of northeast Pennsylvania; riverside towpath (a mixture of cinder, rutted dirt, and cavernous washouts); groomed singletrack; slippery, leaf-covered concrete rubble; gravel roads; muddy lanes; the parking garage of a local casino (don’t ask). I climbed a ton, and bombed down twisty descents. And I sought out new places to ride, getting lost intentionally a few times, just to see what the bike would do.

It whispered to me –  “Dude. That all you got?”

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3 – BMC Team Machine SLR02

With the SLR02, BMC pulled off something special: It made a not-crazy-expensive carbon bike with a complete Shimano 105 group that is comfortable and incredibly exciting to ride.

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2 – Trek Émonda ALR 6

An aluminum bike that is low weight, high value, and incredibly fun.

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1 – Jamis Renegade Exploit

The versatile Renegade Exploit stands tall against the formula that you always need n+1 bikes, n being the number you already own. No, you don’t need a million bikes—you need only one if it’s as well-rounded and hopped up on energy as this one.

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Rider of the Week – Victoria Veitch

 

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Victoria Veitch is the manager of the local Mercedes-Benz Adelaide Blackchrome team, and has been five years, taking over the team when they were still the Clipsal Cycling Team (essentially a men’s team).

Victoria had a vision for the team, a pretty unique one.

The first thing she did was begin a program for vision impaired cyclists, sourcing pilots from the team, as well as bringing on some younger trainee pilots. (Tandem Project)

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The women’s team began two years later, and was evolved from a domestic team to a NRS team with riders contracted from across Australia.

As a day job she’s a vestibular and Neurophysiotherapist in private practise, meaning she deal with disorders of the peripheral and central balance system (vertigo, dizziness, imbalance) and ALL things neurological (brain injury, stroke, neuro-degenerative conditions, complex and chronic pain – the list goes on and on).

Her husband Simon and her are on a growing list of people not having kids ( saving the planet 9000 tonnes of carbon), she’s not shy of her opinion on kids and is very happy without them. They adopt rescue dogs instead.

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If you follow them on Facebook, you’ll see they are very active in promoting animal support and dog adoptions.

This is Victoria’s storey.

  • How long have you been cycling?

About 8 years – a typical late comer to the sport

  • What got you started in cycling?

I hated running – more to the point I hated my husband outrunning me – I have these stupid short legs, and Simon has very long ones, so when we would run together, we’d get to the last km and Simon would just effortlessly put down the accelerator and leave me gasping in his wake. I needed to find a sport to put my vertically challenged legs to good use.

That was the reason I started riding, and the fact that I saw a pink bike at Norwood Parade Cycles. The guys working for Phil Mittiga were so nice to me. Not patronising, not dismissive, and they invited me along to their shop ride. I did turn up – first female EVER apparently. I spent nine months training so that I wouldn’t embarrass myself, then turned up in my black bike shorts and sleeveless running top – in retrospect it’s a surprise they even talked to me. The Mittiga crew turned out to be long-term friends and mentors from that point forward.

  • How many bikes do you own and what is your main go to bike?
    4 bikes: Training bike is a Daccordi Grinta – same as Simon. I race a De Rosa 888 – only De Rosa in the NRS peloton. I also have a Daccordi tandem, and Cervelo TT bike.
  • What bike do you covet?

I don’t covet bikes – I’m terribly out of the loop. I still couldn’t tell you what crank length I have, what gears I ride. I’m generally the only NRS rider on the start line without a Garmin – mostly because I don’t use one to train, and have often forgotten to charge it or put it on my bike the night before.

I don’t care though – I just keep asking the riders around me how far we have to go. Like the final 20km of the first road stage of the Tour of Margaret River 2016. I had broken away at the start line on the 100km road stage, and stayed away until Holden’s Erin Kinnealy came galloping through and worked with me for the last 20km – I was so far into a pain cave by then that I was practically asking her how far to go every km until the finish – I’m sure this didn’t annoy her at all!

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  • Can you summarise some of your achievements in your cycling life so far?
    • Started the Tandem Project
    • Team co-manager for five years
    • Began the domestic and NRS elite women’s division of the team
    • Three years of NRS riding despite being a super old chick.
    • 2016 strongest season and my last at Elite level:
      • Elite State RR champion, Winter Series equal winner, Skinny Lattes Series winner, Tour of Margaret River QOM and GC leader, second in the Super Series with two stage wins, five most aggressive jerseys, Masters Jersey and QOM Jersey
  • You’ve ridden in the WTdU, can you tell us a little about that step up and what it as like riding with some of the best women riders in the world?

The 2017 TDU was always going to be my last Nationals/TDU – the amount of training when working full time and managing the team was taking its toll and just wasn’t going to be sustainable as I approach late 30’s.

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I’ve never enjoyed NRS or TDU racing – I have always found it incredibly stressful and have felt completely out of my element and confidence zone. I only had crack to see if I could make the cut despite the late start. Having said that, the jump up in quality in the 2017 TDU resulting from the 10 World UCI teams made the racing technically easier. The peloton was so smooth and confident. But I wasn’t used to seeing so many riders in front of me! I had previously finished the TDU within the top 30 in previous years, but this year I was mid pack, and probably pretty lucky to be there.

  • Whats changed with womans cycling since your involvement, and what are some of tits challenges moving forward?

The TDU made incredible advancements in quality and organisation over the three years. Crowd sizes were also much better this year. Locally there are some very passionate people pushing to increase participation in women’s sport, but at the NRS level – the situation has been pretty underwhelming. Event cancellations and a pedestrian approach to releasing the racing schedule for the year makes planning very difficult.

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The lack of any PR for the women’s events has also made it a hard sell to get sponsorship. The recent reports of Cycling Australia defunding development opportunities for women, and the selection of only five riders for the World Championships, accompanied by incoherent misogynistic rationale, leaves me thinking that I’m pretty much done. I’m not the only rider of my team who will likely not renew my CA license next year. I just can’t justify my nearly $400 going to an organisation with no transparency and a seemingly ‘who gives a fuck’ attitude for women’s participation and development.

  • Who has been the main influence on your cycling career?

Being able to beat my husband is really the only consistent motivation I have. In all seriousness – I don’t have a cycling career. I have a career, and I just happen to cycle. I actually don’t take my cycling all that seriously, but I have a natural aptitude for training hard.

It doesn’t upset me to walk away. And I don’t really have a choice to step down anyway. I’ve been crushed by adrenal fatigue this year with a total breakdown after the Santos Tour. Overnight I went from being able to produce 340Watts for four minutes across five intervals, to not being able to produce 200watts for two minutes.

After five months off the bike, I’m no-where near the rider I used to be. I still struggle with lacklustre power and limited threshold endurance – the line in the sand between being unfit and having lost power is very difficult to differentiate from the warning signs of fatigue. The tip-off is generally mental instability accompanying the weakness. My husband can attest to this. I basically go bat-shit crazy at the slightest provocation and there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s like having an out-of-body experience where you can see yourself acting like a total banshee, but you are powerless to rationalise your way out of it.

I’m slowly getting my resilience back, but 2018 will be a back-to-basics year. I’ve had to rush my body back to some form for the Super Series and I’m already getting red flags, so what racing I do in 2018 will be pretty limited, and probably only on a Veterans licence.

  • You are quite active in the Adelaide cycling scene, what keeps you busy?

People couldn’t fathom what has to be done to run a team. Some of my work days are 12 hours straight. On top of that I maintain a training load to keep me in respectable racing condition. The team needs sponsors courted and kept, regular race report presentations sent out to all sponsors (these can take three hours to put together) – these are loaded onto a website and then cross referenced to our team Facebook site as well as the visitor post section of all of our sponsor’s Facebook pages.

NRS documentation and registration, logistics, accommodation bookings, nominations and payments. During an NRS round, the schedule for each day is prepared the day before, with race reporting done at the end of each tour – all of which is very hard to do when you are looking after riders and racing yourself.

The Tandem Project took three years and $65,000 to set up with equipment purchase and a major shed storage overhaul. Pilot allocation and training session occur on a weekly basis – this is the first year that we determined to use winter as an off season. In previous years, our pilot (including myself) would pilot week-in and week-out. My fatigue gave me the first insight in five years on what it is like to have a few hours each week just to read, or to be completely up-to-date with my clinical correspondence.

  • Can you talk a little about the Tandem Project, what your involvement is and what the project is about?

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The Tandem Project is a program which develops vision impaired riders from beginner level, right through to international-class athletes. We started with three old tandems and now have a stable of 15 tandems – the purchase of new equipment and the total rebuild on our existing equipment cost a fortune. We train both the pilots and the vision impaired cyclists, and then provide a network of pilots to get our VI riders out every week across Spring and Summer.

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This program is often the first encounter our athletes have where they are completely integrated into an able-bodied team, rather than competing in sport that has been engineered as vision-impaired specific. It’s an incredible experience to be a part of, and as my participation in the elite women’s competition steps back, I can expand my time on the tandems again.

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  • What do you love about cycling?

Riding in the hills with my husband or my women team members – I love the beauty of the Adelaide hills and I love the comradery of my friends. Mind you I love the solitude as well if I need it. Even when I was fatigued and I couldn’t get up Norton unless I was in granny-gear, once I put the crushing frustration aside, returning to the simple enjoyment of riding my bike kept me sane during my recovery.

  • If you could have dinner with 3 people, who would they be, why and where would you take them to eat?

This is very un-cycling – I just don’t really care about cycling personalities. I couldn’t think of anything more awkward than imposing my company as a cycling no-body onto anyone of any importance in the cycling world. I’d take my husband and my friends however to The Edinburgh or anywhere that has sweet potato fries. More recently though, I would probably like to shout Chloe Hosking or Rachael Neylan to a dinner to congratulate them on standing up to CA in what can only be described as an appalling slap-in-the-face for Australian women’s cycling after their original non-selection for the World Championships.

  • What are your fondest cycling memories?

Simon and I had a cycling trip to Italy and France. I cannot explain what this trip meant to us. We had just been through 12 months from hell. Simon’s mum Helen had had a horrendous 12 month battle with motor neuron disease. To call it a battle probably isn’t the right description. It’s not a battle really – just relentless, heartbreaking defeat and the crushing of an entire family. Our trip was several months after Helen passed away, and for Simon and I, it was the first time for 12 months that we could breath and just support each other.

  • Have you had any nasty crashes? If so how did the worst occur and what were the consequences?

Worst crash was a tandem crash with Kieran Modra – three months before he went on to win another rainbow jersey for the pursuit. Tandems crash really hard, and when you’re a pilot, you’re responsible. To think i could have broken Modra’s collar bone and cost him a championship still leaves me cold. We both lost a lot of skin.

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

Nannos with the tandem crew. Fruit salad is a treat. But with my fatigue, heading straight home for a sleep is my preference.

  • What is the biggest cycling lie you have told your partner (Simon doesn’t read this, so your safe)?

No lies between us really. Simon knows how hopeless my riding is right now so no point making stuff up.

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

If Simon buys me anything bike-related for my birthday, he knows the foul look he’ll receive!! Simon buys me a new ‘Camilla’ for my birthday……or else! (Eds note – if you don’t know what Camilla is – you really must lift your game – Camilla is a high-end clothing brand. Victoria is obsessed with them and would never sacrifice money to bike stuff when her wardrobe comes first)! That is her modelling a Camilla in an earlier photo.

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  • Is there a local cycling outfit/company/cycling club/cycling group/person that you would like to plug?

The most brilliant company to work with – Blackchrome who produces our kit. Absolutely fabulous people and so supportive of our whole team, but worked with us tirelessly to produce a women’s kit that fits brilliantly.

I think club wise I just love Port Adelaide Cycling Club and the Adelaide Hills Masters CC – these people make riding and racing worthwhile even if you’re having a bad day/year.

  • What is your non-cycling go-to place when Interstaters come to your town?

Anywhere in the hills – they’re so beautiful and so close.

  • Have you read any cycling books that you’d recommend? I don’t watch cycling and I don’t read about cycling. Like I said – I’m just not a bike-person.

Thanks Victoria, you lead a very busy and fulfilling life. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours with the Tandem project and the team as you wind back from the elite women’s competition.

Anyone wanting to support the Tandems project or enquire about piloting/stoking, Victoria would be pleased to contact her by email on

victoriav@adam.com.au

 

 

till next time

tight spokes

iPib

Titanium – What can I say!

Wednesday Legs Cycling Kit

Our first Wednesday Legs Kit hit the roads a month back and has been a treat to pull on.

Made from top end Italian material from Nat over at Spin Cycle Clothing, the Wednesday Legs colours, the chevron logo and typography have been used to create a unique stylish design with splashes of bold bright colours at strategic locations on the shoulders, the back and the leg bands.

I undertook my usual research of suppliers in the Australian Marketplace, and to be fair, there were quite a few I could have chosen from  and received a good product.  I have gone for a quality product, price is obviously an issue but it’s not the main driver. This kit is seriously good.  I’ve ridden an earlier version of the Spin Cycle Knicks over a few summers now and they are some of the most comfortable I’ve ridden in.  The legs are slightly longer than the norm, although that seems to be more the norm these days…..

The kit is equivalent to the Spin Cycle Clothing Pro 2  kit – further details Spin Cycle Clothing – Pro 2

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Hers a shot from the recent Adelaide Dirty Dozen.

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These will be available for a short time. Confirmation of intent to purchase via email back to me will close on Sunday 15th October.

To keep the pricing down, there will be a minimum order of 5, so if we don’t get to the minimum number, we will not be proceeding.

Once we close out the orders, I will be back in contact to finalise purchasing and delivery.

Pricing

Individual items.

  • Jersey = $200 + GST
  • Knicks = $200 + GST
  • Wind Vest = $155 + GST

Kit

  • Jersey + Knicks = $360 + GST
  • Jersey + Knicks + Vest = $495 + GST

If we get over 10 orders in any garment, that garment will be reduced in price by 10%

Postage will be charged extra.

Size chart available from the Spin Cycle site here – Sizing

As this is managed by me, there will be no refunds unless there are issues covered by The Australian Consumer Law, so please make sure you are comfortable with the sizing, which is a race cut so your normal sizing may need to go up a size or two depending on what you are used to.

Feel free to contact me by email if you want further information. wednesdaylegs@gmail.com . 

Ouch

Great Britain junior rider Lauren Dolan crashed during the junior women’s time trial suffering lacerations to her leg, but exhibited toughness never seen on the grassy sporting fields by jumping on a replacement bike to finish the ride.

If your’e squeamish, look away now.

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Dolan was one of the early starters for the race, and posted a quick time through the first intermediate time check as the rain fell. However, she crashed heavily after reportedly hitting a pothole at the mid-way point of the 16.1-kilometre course around Bergen, Norway.

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She slid on her right side, lacerating her thigh and knee and sustaining road rash. Dolan got up and then completed the course on a road bike as her time trial machine was damaged.

Chapeau Lauren

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The Belgie

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Belgium, a small country in the centre of Europe, is a place where cycling is not a sport or a pastime, it is a passion and a lifestyle.

If you have ever raced a true Belgian Kermis, dreamt about it, or simply been engulfed by the cobbled Spring Classics, then you will clearly understand the meaning of a “Flandrien”.

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In Belgium, a Flandrien is the highest compliment bestowed upon a cyclist who embodies the country’s humble blue collar beginnings.

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Belgians are renown as being the ‘hard men’ of cycling. When you think of Belgium cycling, you think of E3 Harelbeke,  Gent–Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders, La Flèche Wallonne  and  Liège–Bastogne–Liège. When you think of Belgium, you think of cobbles, rain, the cold, the wind. When you think of Belgians, you think of Eddy Merckx , Tom Boonen, Thomas De Gendt and Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet amongst many others.

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And then there’s The Belgie.

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Named after and designed for the infamous Belgie ride – a multi-surface smashfest over the cobbles, tracks and grassy knolls of Melbourne – the Belgie’s aggressive race geometry paired with slightly longer chainstays offer cobbled compliance, enhanced rock-skipping traction and shitloads of speed.

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I was in the fortunate position to borrow one for a few weeks from the awesome people from Bio-Mechanics Cycles & Repairs, arranged for me by the just as awesome people over at Curve Cycling.

I must admit, I’ve been pining for a ride on a Curve Belgie for quite some time now after seeing a few locals strap themselves onto it this last year or so.

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Look at it, it reeks of style and class in a very much understated way. It’s that bike that sits quietly in the corner minding its own business, keeping quite,  until it is chosen to play on the team. That’s when the little guy comes out to play. It’s smooth, its steady, it laughs in the face of Adelaide’s infamous hills. It eats bitumen like it was dark chocolate, Belgium chocolate of course.

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This bike is the riders equivalent of a single guy borrowing a cousins baby and taking it for a stroll down the crowded park. It turns peoples heads, it makes them stop you in the street to ask you your name. It is beautiful in a classical way, but it is more than that, it is such a beautiful bike to ride.

 

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Thanks Keith for reminding me to horinzontalise the crank and verticalise the valve stems.

Riding out the shop and up through the hills was a little daunting.  As a loan bike, I was responsible for it, and at approx $9k and a bit, it was a big responsibility. One that played on my mind, particularly on some of the descents on the damp mornings of that first weekend. Something I didn’t tell Mrs Wednesday until halfway through the loan period.

My impressions – well, it is an absolute dream to ride.  It didn’t take long for me and the bike to be at one. It was comfortable, it wanted to be ridden, it didn’t matter what was thrown at it, it just smiled back at you.

On the road, it has a solid feel, something a CF just doesn’t give. It provides a level of surety on the road that I haven’t felt before with a bike, a degree of confidence that if you point it in a direction, it isn’t going to argue with you, it will just do it.

It ignores those vibrations on Adelaide rough heavy roads like a big brother ignores his little brother like he’s not there.

OK, it’s definitely no weight weenie, with titanium being heavier the CF but lighter than steel, but for this old stallion it is really the difference between a decent steak n chips and a few beers, or a salad and Sauvignon blanc the night before.

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The finish on the bike, as you can see from the pictures, is close to perfection. The raw titanium finish coupled with a little high gloss painting provides a bike that is proud of what it is and doesn’t need to boast. The exposed welds and attention to detail throughout are nothing short of exquisite and add to it’s stunning looks.

OK, its definitely no weight weenie, with titanium being heavier the CF but lighter than steel, but for this old stallion it is really the difference between a decent steak n chips and a few beers, or a salad and sauvignon blanc the night before.

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On the road, it has a solid feel, something a CF just doesn’t give. It provides a level of surety on the road that I haven’t felt before with a bike, a degree of confidence that if you point it in a direction, it isn’t going to argue with you, it will just do it. It’s lively but not flightly.

It ignores those vibrations on Adelaide rough heavy roads like a big brother ignores his little brother like he’s not there.

Considering I hadn’t been measured and sized for the frame, the medium frame suited me just grand.  A bit of height to the seat and deslamming the stem had it feeling just dandy.

So why titanium. Well, titanium is an exceptionally hard, durable and corrosion proof material. When you speak to Ti owners, not only do they swear by it, they quote that often used line that it is a lifetime frame material, a bike that puts up with abuse better than any other material.

Titanium is an exceptionally hard, durable and corrosion proof material. It is a lifetime frame material that puts up with abuse better than any other material.   Hand-made from 3Al – 2.5V Grade 9 Aerospace grade titanium tube-set (alloyed with 3% aluminium and 2.5% vanadium), this grade is optimal for the manufacture of bicycle frames and provides great stiffness and durability.

So, after a couple of enjoyable weekends riding in the Adelaide Hills with this close to perfection steed, I am sold.  I will, when my current steed is retired to the pastures, seriously look into a Ti replacement.  This will be my last bike, honest luv!

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The Stelvio

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The Stelvio Pas, official the third highest in the Alps at 2757m, is one of the most dramatic mountain passes to drive in the European Alps. Top Gear voted this the best driving road in the world in 2008. This of course means that it’s one of the busiest of the ultra high passes in the Alps.

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The north side of the Stelvio Pass is the iconic, legendary climb. The south side is also quite tough, however. The Stelvio is Europe’s second-highest paved pass. Only France’s Iseran, at 2,770 meters, is higher.

The north face has 48 numbered switchbacks, but you have been climbing for a while out of Prato allo Stelvio before arriving at the countdown’s beginning. This is a monster climb of stunning beauty.

The numbers for the north face, approaching from Prato allo Stelvio are:

Average gradient: 7.4%
Maximum gradient: 11% (in the last kilometer)
Length: 24.3 km
Elevation at the start: 950 meters
Elevation at the crest: 2,758 meters
Elevation gain: 1,808 meters

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Its also the audacious name given to a new Alfa SUV, the first SUV Alfa have developed.

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Ballsy.

The is no mistaking Alfa’s intent of the car, positioning it as a class breaking, eye turning high performance devils machine. A car with which Alfa are trying to frighten the likes of BMW with its X3, Mercedes-Benz (GLC) and Audi (Q5).

In a car-mad country taking on board the name of one of the county’s most mystical mountain passes, it had better perform.

The mid-sized Alfa Romeo Stelvio crossover in its most potent and outrageous Quadrifoglio “halo” guise, and recently made a sparkling world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

There are 3 models, the top line Stelvio Quadrifoglio , with a the 375kW 2.9-litre V6 bi-turbo petrol-engined, accelerates from standstill to 100km/h in close to 4.0 seconds. The all-aluminium bi-turbo V6 engine stacks up as rather special, with a flat torque curve offering 600Nm between 2500 to 5500rpm.

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All engines are hooked up to a paddle-shifting eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

The range-topping Stelvio Quadrifoglio has exclusive high-performance and functional exterior design elements, plus performance suspension, brakes and wheels.

Its cabin has leather and Alcantara front seats, featuring 12-way power and adjustable thigh support, a Quadrifoglio-exclusive leather-wrapped steering wheel with accent stitching and performance contours; leather-wrapped instrument panel with accent stitching; and carbonfibre interior trim.

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All Stelvios have a drive model selector called Alfa DNA with three unique driver selectable modes (Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency) which can be used to fine tune the driving experience by adjusting throttle response, boost pressure, and suspension settings in Stelvio and Stelvio Ti.

The Quadrifoglio adds a fourth mode – Race, which activates the over-boost function, opens the two-mode exhaust system, turns off the stability control and delivers sharper brake and steering feel with more aggressive engine, transmission and throttle tip-in calibrations.
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Australian pricing and launch time are yet to be set, but it is anticipated to be in the low 60s to mid 90s for the various Stelvio models, with a 2018 arrival.

I’m looking forward to the ALFA Dirty Dozen model to come out in time for next years ADD.

In all seriousness, if anyone as any contacts at ALFA, let me know, I’d love to “test” drive along a collection of the ADDs

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Rider of the Week – Richard Bowen

I first met Richard on my recent cycling trip to France with Unique Cycling Tours (if you missed my write up, where have you been – check it out here). In fact, the front page of the Unique Cycling Tours web page has a photo taken by Beardy McBeard of our group in Provence, that’s Richard front row outside, and me second row inside. And no, it wasn’t a particularly steep climb, we were posing.

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Apart from the fact that after a long days riding Richard help drag me back to our hotel on more than one occasion, there are a number things I remember about my time with Richard, these being – He can’t descend for crap, but he is a strong climber, he’s lousy at directions – so don’t trust him when he says follow me, and he’s a passionate Richmond Tigers supporter as evidenced by him watching a Richmond match one morning on tour – that was when Richmond were getting flogged.

This is Richards story.

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Cycling has always been part of my life.

As a young kid we lived in a court in Aspendale and I’d spend hours drawing racing tracks in chalk on the court and then race around those tracks.

We moved to Brighton, opposite the Town Hall and Municipal Offices, so on weekends I’d again be racing around, this time on the paths and gardens of Brighton’s town hall – my bike then was a Malvern Star SuperMaX BMX bike.

That bike then carried papers in a milk crate for my paper-round, but it’s final incarnation was towing my sailboard to Brighton Beach. The universal joint on the mast formed a flexible hitch to my bike. They were pretty carefree days!

As a Melbourne Uni student I lived in Carlton and rode both a heavy MTB and a single speed with drop handlebars pointing up.

That single-speed bike remained my choice of transport as a young solicitor. Suit and tie riding a single-speed from Carlton into the city – yes, I was a hipster way before hipster was even a word!

It was around this time that I met my wife, Anne-Marie. We were like-minded on bikes and enjoyed cycling around Melbourne, a great camping/cycling trip to the Barossa and then a 3- month cycling/camping trip around Europe.

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With three kids our riding has again changed. We have a lot of bikes – road, MTB, CX, track and a couple of Dutch bikes. Last time I counted there were 17 in our garage. Not bad for a family of five!

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We encourage the kids to ride to school, whilst I’ve often been fortunate to have consulting roles that have allowed me to commute to work. In 2009 Bicycle Network profiled my family in Ride On magazine.
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Eight years later and everyone has grown up a bit since then. Although we’re still all riding!
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I initially became involved with Carnegie Caulfield Cycling Club (CCCC) and racing as a parent. Our son joined their Junior Development Program and so we spent many hours on the side of a velodrome or road. This was great fun, and we certainly saw much of Victoria! A State title won by my son Zach in J11 was a highlight.
Standing on the side of the CCCC Glenvale criterium course I discovered that a few of the other parents had started having a go at the crits. It didn’t take much to get me to pin on a number. And what a great excuse for N+1! My bike is a Focus Izalco Max running SRAM Red.
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I started in D grade, then made it to C grade and towards the end of the season I was hovering around the Top 10 for C grade. Hoping that I’ll be able to snag a C Grade podium at some stage this summer (2017/18).

Whilst I did a couple of Cyclocross races last winter, the 2017 winter was all about a trip to France to climb hills, so maybe I’ll roll out for more Cx in winter 2018.

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That trip to France has also been the reason I haven’t done much MTB riding. My best bike is a Cannondale Scalpel with a lefty fork. It’s amazing and incredibly light, but we’re not near MTB trails and it just doesn’t get enough use.

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The trip to France was initially a trip to Italy, but the timing of the Unique Cycling Tours trip to France aligned best with school holidays so off to France I went. Such an amazing trip! Apart from meeting Ian (Eds note: aw shucks) the highlight was definitely doing 3 ascents of Mont Ventoux on the same day. Pretty chuffed with myself. There’s 12 hours condensed into 11 minutes on a video I made of that day.  Link Here  The Bowens of Hampton

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Back home I’m fortunate to live in Melbourne’s Bayside suburbs. We have Beach Rd on our doorstep. I used to ride socially with some mates on a Thursday evening – the Hampton Huffers – we spent 60 minutes riding, then 90 minutes having a beer afterwards!

Right now I have a group of like-minded mates who are regularly out riding at 5:30am (but always with coffee afterwards!). Our group meets on the corner of Teddington Road and May Street, so when I casually started calling us TedMay.cc the name stuck. A few years ago we decided to formalise our bunch and we now have 14 men and 7 women all wearing the TedMay.cc kit.

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Our bunch rides solidly, but we are very much a social group. Conversation is lively and I’m a strong believer in the mental benefits of our group rides.

I also believe strongly in the politics of cycling. In the 2014 Victorian State election I was lead candidate, spokesperson and strategist for the Australian Cyclists Party. With policies focusing on planning, infrastructure, transport and health we went very close to putting me into the Victorian State Parliament. Another 2000 votes and I would have been Richard Bowen, Member of the Legislative Council!

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Whilst I wasn’t elected I was very proud of the team we assembled and the way we were able to raise the profile of our policy areas. Selected media from 2014 still puts a smile on my face:

  • Cycling Tips
  • Crikey
  • 3AW Neil Mitchell (who hates cyclists)

I guess you could also say that I’m into pro-cycling. Most years we’ll go the big track meets in Melbourne, whilst I think we’ve been to the Tour Down Under six times now. Being in Europe this year we went to Dusseldorf for the start of this year’s Tour de France. That was fantastic, but in many ways the annual experience of Adelaide and the Tour Down Under is a better experience – the whole town pumps cycling and it’s all so accessible.

The final thing I should mention is the online business my wife and I run.

Bags in Motion

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Bags in Motion started when I was trying to obtain a replacement part for my M-Boye backpack. As well as obtaining the part we also picked up distribution rights for this product. I still use this backpack today – designed by an Australian cycling commuter it’s perfect for our conditions – and we still sell it.

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In fact, if you’ve read this far we’d be happy to offer you a special deal on the M-Boye backpack … until 30 Sept 2017 enter the code WEDLEGS50 at checkout and it’s yours for $50, delivery included!

 

And if you’re interested, I can be found on:

Thanks Richard. I don’t k now how, but I spent 10 days with you and didn’t hear one word about your ACP work. Well done on your involvement and great to see the enthusiasm you and Anne-Marie have for cycling has spread across your family.

 

 

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Until next time.

tight spokes

iPib

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