Chris Heeson

When I had hair, for a good cause

I first met Chris just over a year ago in Provence on the Unique Cycling Tours France Tour. Chris was both a rider and the chef for the first 5 days of the trip.  All i can say is Chris, your cooking was absolutely top notch and kept some very hungry cyclists well satisfied.

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That’s Chris in the Orange jersey

The first full day we rode Ventoux. I did the one ascent, you did the two and a few others ascended 3 times.

Two times up Ventoux, time to get the dinner on

After a hard days riding, I can remember watching you preparing a 3 course meal, with duck as the main course. Brilliant work mate.

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Cooking in Provence
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The peasants at rest

After the first 5 days in Provence, we moved over to the French Alps, Alemond, not far away from Alpe d’Huez, where Chris and I spent 5 nights together in a hotel room/ I can tell you, Chris is a unique fella. That’s all I’m saying………….

 

So, here is Chris’s story.

Well Ian, thank you, you promised me the Wednesday legs stage many moons ago late one night in some bedroom in Europe Ha-ha November edition?? The quietest cycling month of the year!!! Or is my interview a backhanded compliment as to keep your fans entertained in this bleak Cycling month??

  • Just to get you in the mood. Yorkshire and Aussie humour at it’s best.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhoSqtwtwYI

PS Connor Swift the new British Road champion and cousin of Ben Swift has finished the year as a Stagaire for Dimension Data, I hope to get a ride in with him if he comes downunder and make him a right brew!!

So here we go, a couple of reds in and I’m ready to let leash my slant on cycling and life, remember be warned I’m oldskool, speak a different language. YORKSHIRE!!

You can tell a Yorkshireman but you can’t tell him much!!

What a year, not only did I make it into SA Life I’m now in Wednesdays Legs!!

SA Life and Wednesday legs in one year
So, firstly there are 3 things in my life the girls, cycling and Huddersfield Town.

I_m off to work honest
I’m off to work honest

I can say they’re in that order!

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But I have to say. I owe everything to my long suffering wife Helen, she has done the entire school drop offs, pickups, Saturday morning school sports so I can fulfil my passion.

Riding my bike!! But before all the do gooders start getting excited I do my fair share around the house I also have to give a big shout also to my in-laws (there’s a dad joke later) they also pitch in with school runs but also Vic does ALL my DIY, what a guy. I do feel a little embarrassed when I roll home and he’s up a ladder painting. But here’s a true story. My mate Dicko who I will mention later, before we we would go on the evening chain gang his dad would be round mowing the lawn so he was fresh for the ride. But he did his own painting!! LOL
So, that’s the into, here we go into the real questions

  • What got you started in cycling, when and where?

That’s a long time ago, 1980 I remember we were having an extension at home and the builders dad was helping out, we got chatting and he saw I had an old racer, he told me he was the local champion in his day and rode with Barry Hoban who was a local rider and British Champion and TDF stage win and a real gentleman, he married his mates wife when he passed away, his name was Tom Simpson!!

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You can do the homework. He rode for a cycling club called Calder Clarion. so being a fit young lad , school cross country champion the football season was over so I thought I’d go down and have a look with my mate David Bottomley a right Yorkshire name.

So in those days cycling was just time trials on summer evenings, Saturday afternoons down busy A roads, Sunday club runs, hill climbs in autumn and cyclocross in winter along with circuit training in the clubhouse, very little racing. So I loved it exerting lots of energy, I had lots, but no talent. That’s what it said in my school report from my sports teacher, ha-ha. But on a serious note I wonder with the weather here things could have been different, I just loved sport and the being outdoors we had to ride 5km to the nearest local park to play Tennis. Can you believe that??

Now this was a time when we wore wool shorts, your mum stitched in a chamois and you had to rub a lot of chamois cream in to make it supple! Shoes had wooden soles and you had to nail cleats in and toe straps. Woolen jerseys that could soak up 2 stone in weight when it rained or 4.4kg. Reading cycling weekly in the library and drooling over the mail order adverts by Ribble cycles and what the English speaking riders where doing in Europe.

So in Saturday’s local paper it would say where the club run was going to. This was planned at the start of the year, regardless of side wind, head wind, pissing down, that’s where we were heading so, as a 12 year old I’d ride 6 km to meet this group of middle aged blokes some older and ride an 80km loop with a café stop for a cup of tea and a toasted tea cake along with a few mars bars, they were big in those days. My parents had no idea who I was with but that’s how you rolled in those days.

Eventually I upgraded to a Peugeot cromoly frame, simplex gears and 19mm rigida rims. Phil Anderson, Allan Pieper and Robert Millar (now Pippa York after gender swap) were my heroes.

I met Phil at the TDU a few years ago and in one of those awkward moments I had to say hello otherwise I would have regretted it. Allan I’ve met and rode with on many occasions here in Adelaide and also on winter training camps down on the Costa Brava, Calpe it’s now where all the pro teams go in February. Anyway when he was a little bit lost in life he signed up to make some easy money being the star rider on a mates winter training holiday business, Baxter sold out for millions but he was taking coach loads of cycling mad fans all round Europe for the classics and enticing ex pros to come and ride for 6 weeks in Spain. Clubbing in Benidorm dancing on tables with Alan is certainly a cycling highlight. But spending a week with another hero Millar (he was a miserable bugger) always sick of getting half wheeled by chippers. You could see the writing was on the wall when he sat on his balcony with his hair in pig tails!! But what a talent.

Lastly, freezing your balls off in February trying to get fit for the training camp in mid-March was well worth it we were like kids on Christmas day unpacking our best bikes in the sunshine and riding in shorts and no arm warmers. Stuffing our faces at the breakfast buffet with croissants, Nutella, strong black coffee and fresh fruit salad, not the stuff the came out of tins, but oil on your salad??!!(remember it’s grim up North) It was well worth the effort to get wrapped up and spend hours on the trainer in the garage!! We would ride 4 hours every day for 10 days have a massage then sleep all afternoon, Dreaming of how we would have one up on our rivals when the racing season started next month For me, if only . For Dicko it would be another season full of 1st’s.

  • My cycling Palmares

Skinny legs not much power, time trials wasn’t really my thing but the Sunday runs I loved. The cyclo cross was good fun there was a lot of running and jumping over obstacles as well as riding which I enjoyed. Unfortunately as I started at Catering College I didn’t have time to ride a bike so I gave away all my gear to the young boy next door and didn’t ride 6 years. Work was full on so apart from a running a game of football and gym work that’s all I could fit in till I moved to the Cotswold’s and started to tap out the miles on an afternoon.  Days off were spent doing a 350 km round trip to see Helen that seems like nothing now. Eventually when I moved back and got married I bought my handmade Woodrup cycle (it’s somewhere in Adelaide now) and joined a club Ravensthorpe CC, still there were very few people riding bikes so you had to join or ride with a club, and get trained in cycling etiquette and this was 1995.

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The Thorpers as they were known, it had been going since 1891 and its famous member was Brian Robinson the first Englishman to win a stage of the TDF and finish the race In the 50’s (he’s still riding his bike round Mirfield aged 87).

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I bought my Colnago and had a go at racing and training on the local chain gang, I was hopeless racing in a peloton of 50 it was so hard to stay up the front and before you knew it you were out back and race over. Eventually I got a few placings but it was hard work. When I wasn’t racing we’d meet at the local bike shop Sowerby Brothers and go ride 100 miles about 10 of us they were great times. My dad suddenly passed away from a blood related illness which was weird as my Mother died from Leukemia so I wanted to raise some money for the fund. I was fit I could ride a stage of the TDF so I called Baxter on got on his Etape de Tour trip 1998 Grenoble to Les deux Alpe. Riding in the Alpes at 30C was totally different, the route ups the Croix de fer, Col de Telegraphe, Col De Galibier and finishing up to Les deux Alpe. I wanted to enjoy it and take photos, with a camera! But I was massively under trained. But finished .

A few more years of racing and along came Olivia; a shock to the system and with working, riding and teething something had to give. My health – Glandular fever. I didn’t or couldn’t ride for 14 months. Only when we got nearer to emigrating did I start riding again so from leaving the UK in -5C to 35 C in Adelaide it was a big shock to the system. I remember going up the freeway 25 minutes to Eagle on the hill, anyway with no work for a month I was able to get fitter. I rode the Coast to coast ride and finished but I won’t forget it was like a scene of my cycling film breaking away in Goolwa the red Cibo train came flying past. Not sure how I was in front of it, but I got on and they told me to f**k off. So I’d made good progress with the heat etc.

I started racing with southern vets before I broke my Collarbone. I won a few races but the highlight was winning the State road championship in 2011 cat 40-45. Now I’m no sprinter but to get one over on 6 of them was hilarious. It was a new course Flaxley to Macclesfield then back up the hill to Flaxley. I didn’t have good legs but on the last time up the hill I was at the back and decided to attack, shit or bust. As I passed I could see their faces, I’m not chasing, you chase, and I’m not taking you to the line Ha-ha. I just buried myself for 4kms as I came to line everyone’s shouting. I daren’t look round I won by a cats cock hair so funny.

By the way the girls couldn’t have cared less. 3 peaks done it, that was my goal after stopping racing but shit that was hard and the training, I did once 5 loops of Greenhill, Crafers, Freeway and back up Greenhill.

Another funny story. We hired a minibus I was well organized dropped off bike and suit case night before. Gavan didn’t move my case just left it next to his car, thought nothing of it. Next morning Stu comes round with his suitcase and we walk to cross road to get picked up I’m clutching my pillow. Why you got that Chris? Oh I read that SKY talk about marginal gains. Sleep better with your own pillow, yeah good thinking. On we jump we put Stu’s suitcase on the trailer. All’s good, he’s telling the lads about marginal gains I tell them that all pro’s put their shoes in hand luggage as you can’t ride without them. 3 hours into road trip Gavan’s missus calls. Somethings not right. Gav pulls over Chris your suitcase is still in the garage. But don’t worry I’m looking at using a courier F**king marginal gains!! As I’ll say Stu’s such a nice guy he persuaded his wife to pick it up and drive to Tailem bend, we did a Uway for an hour and we got to falls creek at 11pm. Rest of the gang were pissed off. Guess who was on cooking duty??

Race day I get to the front with Stu and BIG Rofey all 6.5 ft. of him (great windbreaker) I’m no descender as anyone will tell you so after 30km of going downhill I’m well, well back but slowly I make time up but burning lots of matches. I saw the boys at mount Buffalo feed station and we rode together, well until we hit Falls. 30C it was carnage,  every man for himself. 9.18 over the finish line never again.

Never again, 3 peaks
Never again, 3 peaks

Last story, on the back of our very successful Deppasser TDF nights. BMW was on every team jersey. LOL. A mate who had a cycling tour business asked me to come on board and support the clients on the road and then cook dinner. I’m in, so bike and knives packed I flew into Milan the boys picked me up along with Beardy McBeardy the legendary cycling photographer and gun on two wheels.

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Chris and Beardy somewhere in Provence

We headed to Lyon to pick up the guests. Then off to the Villa or Super Marché for me.

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What a fortnight, first a double ascent of Mont Ventoux, maybe three if Ferg the Frog hadn’t raised the pace on the first one.

Anyway had to get back to cook 3 course dinner and get the beers and wine chilled!!

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Once my cooking duties were over I could focus on the road in the Alp’s, Alpe D’huez, Croix de Fer again and the beautiful Col de Glandon and that beautiful Blueberry Tart.

I re acquainted myself with the Telegraphe and Galibier it was a little easier.

Then up to Lake Como and more cycling history the Ghissallo, the Sormano and of course Bellagio with my personal tour guide Redliners Steve Sanders.

Steve Sanders, his favourite place

The views were amazing. All done.Sorry Lastly with my job I’m lucky enough to get 6 weeks off in December and January this gives me the enviable opportunity to be able to ride with the pros when they arrive.Some guys are really cool and friendly some are real knobs but I guess you already knew that. The highlights sat having a coffee talking to G when he rode for Barloworld, talking to Cadel outside Subway in Stirling and sat chatting at the back of the group with Froomey. But Lacchy Mortons got to be the friendliest guy happy to ride and chat about anything as long as he’s going up hill.

 

  • You are from Yorkshire, at what age did you come out to Adelaide and what brought you out?

2005, well I’ve moved around always through work as a parent I wanted the girls to be brought up in an area that was safe and had opportunities, Yorkshire wasn’t the same place as when I grew up. So fortunately having the skills that were needed down here we were able to migrate here very easily. Mind you I did sweat a bit when they asked for a police check!! Ha-ha.

Helen and I had a holiday here in 2001 to Queensland, Sydney and Adelaide and enjoyed the lifestyle so we were always were keen to come back. We thought of going to Canada, French Alps and open a chalet business, but being an outdoors person Adelaide ticked all the boxes. I’ve been cold and I’ve been hot and I know which one I like best.

It took over a year to process the visa and likewise for the outlaws, I mean in-laws. But we did have a bit of a drama as we left. The plan was to arrive here a few days for the TDU and the in-laws a month before to organise a rental, a very nice one too in High gate. But as were busy packing we hadn’t noticed Charlotte (6 months old) had a temperature. So we locked the house up ‘checked into the hotel, ready to catch the train to Heathrow. Helen went to the doctors and his advice was not to fly, come back in the morning, he still said don’t fly so we didn’t. We had to stay with my mate for a week no winter clothes but I did get to see another Town match!!

Arriving via LA and a bomb scare, Brisbane Int, Brisbane (and a bit of taxi rage) they held the plane for us and we landed into Adelaide as Luis León Sánchez put on the Ochre jersey, next day I rolled down to Glentelg in 38 degrees with a map in my back pocket, I had a map with me for the first 2 months.

  • We’ve ridden a few times together and you waxed lyrical about riding in Yorkshire, how would you sell cycling in Yorkshire to outsiders?

I think this video says it all

 

Now then, I’ve found this one Too, Pint a Black Sheep. Nectar

Awesome.

Surely you watched the TDF stages, the crowds, and the passion. I know I’m biased but with its terrain, views and history it has everything but to cycle in Yorkshire you have to be tough not just for the terrain but for the weather, arm warmers are a must all year round. I think to be able to get the tour de Yorkshire up and running off the back of the TDF tells you how much cycling is ingrained in the culture of Yorkshire a working class region a bit like Belgium and northern France.

We did have the Leeds Classic for 3 years when we had the cycling world cup in the 90’s. I saw a young brash Lance and rode with Andrei LEGS Tchmil and Steve Bauer another tough nut. We also had the Milk race the Kellogg’s city centre racing on TV, that’s when Liggett and Sherwin got to cut their teeth in TV commentary.

  • Are you heading back to Yorkshire next year for the 2019 UCI Roads?

The girls are keen, but they think money grows on trees!! We went back 3 years ago and they loved it, putting names to faces and the shopping!! But Yorkshire in October the weather could be anything. But I would love to be there and have a chat with Rohan and watch him defend his title, what a champion.

  • How does Adelaide cycling differ from Yorkshire?

So firstly.

Adelaide: Weather December – March bloody hot, April to June gorgeous, July to September dark, cold and wet, and October to November beautiful.
Yorkshire: November to February dark, wet and freezing, March to April, mild and wet, May to August warm and maybe dry, September warm and dry, October ?

Terrain, well I am blessed living in Urrbrae I’m straight up to the hills which I love and ½ an hour down to the beach for a flat ride. In Mirfield, Yorkshire where I last lived, same, straight onto the moors unbelievable views, quiet roads but like here choose the right time. But no beach loop. I suppose going back to my early riding days you would see very few people on the roads but you would always acknowledge passing riders as a way of saying you’re as daft as me going out in this weather. That doesn’t really happen over here.

But cycling has always been about poseurs, one upmanship regarding frames, components. But an old campaigner once said it’s not about the bike it’s all about the legs. Never a truer word spoken as I found out when I started racing on a fancy Colnago Master Olympic with full campag record.

Well Ian you wanted the warts and all so here I go not just in cycling but Adelaide is very clicky, on the school run, net ball club, cyclings the same in the UK you would join a club and ride as a group maybe in different speed groups. But I don’t think they understand cycling etiquette over here, but I understand it doesn’t have the same heritage as Europe. But hey The TDU has done wonders for cycling; by the way I did watch it before I moved here and saw the stage when Michael won the stage in the Barossa on a spectator’s bike. But talking to my mates who are over racing now they use what’s app but still they meet at Sowerbys cycle shop in Mirfield and roll out at 9 every Sunday like they have done for 20 years. I suppose as a migrant it’s always going to be hard to integrate into a new group, especially with a weird accent and a strange sense of humour !! Ha-ha. Next

  • What’s your profession and where do you work?

Well, I suppose if I want to keep it real I have to say a chef, but I work at TAFE teaching training the next Marco. Having stuffed up my exams(there was always a football match on in the local park, morning ,noon or night) I left home after finishing catering college and went to London to work at Claridges, a different world, but I missed the fresh air and watching Town and it was full of cocky southerners.

So back up north and to work for an International Hotel group which I stayed with for the rest of my career moving around the Country, back to London, Oxford, Yorkshire but the highlight was working in Toronto which was cut short due to the sudden passing of my Mother, but I was lucky to have another opportunity to work overseas this time in Paris at the world famous George V, I would have stayed longer if Town hadn’t got promoted!

Well my next job was a life changing move as it’s where I met Helen who was a poor student trying to earn some money. I had a red VW Golf the rest is history ha-ha. No actually I buggered off to the Cotswold’s for my first head chef job, when she went back to Uni. Not that I had many afternoons off but this is when I decided to buy a new bike and start riding again. Things had changed clipless pedals and STI gears??I was hooked again. Eventually I came back up north, Town were going to Wembley. I worked locally till we moved here.

Anyway back to TAFE. I look after the apprentice program passing on my skills and passion to them. We’ve had a bit of a rap this year but hey we have the best skilled lecturers and go far and beyond what the training package says just because we believe in giving the students the skills needed to work far and beyond Adelaide. With my International experience I was very lucky to tee up the job when we applied to migrate here. I must say it’s a very satisfying job to see the guys grow in skills and confidence and the 10 weeks holidays are a cycling bonus.

But I do keep my skills current having my own catering business whether it be for a dinner party at some ones house, a cocktail party or a wedding in their garden. I also help my mate out in the Festival Centre kitchens regularly where I’m ordered around by an old apprentice, which is awesome.

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

Only 2, a cervelo R3 and a Cervelo r5. As I mentioned earlier I treated to myself to a Colnago Master Olympic, I brought this over along with a hand built Reynolds 531 Woodrup bike again check website.

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There are many frame builders in Yorkshire this one made frames for Barry Hoban, Tom Simpson, Beryl Burton. I sold both firstly I didn’t need a winter bike then wanted to go carbon, what a difference especially when I started racing again. I wish I hadn’t sold the Colnago, I wanted to put flat bars on but my mechanical skills didn’t extend that far, cest la vie. The Cervelo R3 hardly gets ridden but it’s always there If a mate has a problem.

  • What bike do you covet?

A new R5, I took one for a spin at the TDU awesome

  • If you could live anywhere overseas, where would it be other than Yorkshire?

Two places, having lived in the same place for 13 years I’ve got itchy feet but there’s not just me to consider. My career has taken me to London, many parts of Yorkshire, the Cotswold’s, Paris, Toronto and Adelaide. But having done a six week family road trip to California (love TAFE) I reckon Santa Barbara looked ideal and I know they hate the Rosbifs (French nick-name for the English – the Roast Beefs)  but I’d have to say France, somewhere on the Cote De Azur, great climbs and scenery a round there and of course the food and wine.

  • Is there anything you can share with us that your cycling buddies wouldn’t know?

Wow that’s a deep question. Huddersfield Town come first ha-ha. No, I ride to work every day, I get a lot of time to think. I am a very deep thinker and mental health issues are very much in my thoughts the stresses of day to day life are something that we need to take more seriously and support our work colleagues, friends and family members. I’m very lucky with my annual holiday allocation but I’m done by the end of the year.

  • 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?

I think I can answer this question pretty quickly, three of my heroes of the 80’s.

Greg Lemond.

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In this era he kicked all the European riders arses and changed cycling forever with his yurn for new technology, to come back after being shot, where he nearly died.  He was a freak not mention all the skullduggery with Hinault.

Allan Pieper

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A great guy. His autobiography is a great read what a tough cookie.

Lastly Sean Yates.

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He’s even harder than Allan His legs wow and what a motor, he know has a pacemaker and last year I think he fell off a ladder and was somehow impaled on.

Now, where to dine? Having dined at Pierre Whites 3 star, Alan Ducasse in Monaco and proposing to Helen at Paul Bocuses restaurant I can’t really top any of them.

As a chef you can eat anything any time of the day but to sit down and someone to cook for you is divine whatever it is you’re just grateful. So we would eat outside at home to start we would have my Grandmas Yorkshire puddings and onion gravy (yes they are an entrée) followed by my Mums prawn cocktail (only ever served on Christmas day) not like the prawns we get here unless you go to ikea!!

Next my mother in-laws meat and potato pie and more Yorkshire puddings, with braised red cabbage. In my early courting days, working my balls off me would go round to Helen’s parents for dinner and eat 2 plates of this.

For dessert, Apple pie we’d go round and pick my Grandma up on a Sunday morning and she would have made this. The pastry was so light, heaven.

To drink; sorry it’s got to be French wine. I can’t afford it – well the descent stuff. I had to leave/drink all my collection before migrating as they couldn’t guarantee it arriving here intact.

After that culinary journey we’d retire to the lounge and watch a Sunday in Hell followed by Breaking Away, two great cycling movies.

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

Ohh two, both hurt. First one took a wet corner too fast ended up under the front of the car looking up at the number plate. Surreal. Not sure who was more stressed me or the driver. Anyway dislocated collarbone that hurt even more so when some little Indian doctor started to force it back in. A month doing nothing.

Next one, here racing, my kind of course. Broke away on the climb, big gap guy who couldn’t sprint brought group back that pissed me off. Now I’m no sprinter and we had been told we could only use one side of the road. Bloke tried to get through a gap; no chance went down, nowhere to go. Collarbone broke. Got to Flinders Hospital no pain, waiting ages rang Helen again and again no answer. I rang my mate for a chat, 2 hours later sorry Charlotte had put my phone on silent. After mate rang up to see how I was. Back home lots of Endones. Next day back at Flinders. Saw a Dutch Student doctor his words were “oh if you were a pro we would pin it but you’re not so we’ll let nature take its course”. Helen loves telling that story. Anyway what a month to break your collarbone the Olympics were on and the TDF. Being a stubborn bloke I managed to put the bike on the trainer and after a week I got back on the bike one handed 30 minutes on the trainer shower breakfast then rest watching TV and no alcohol for a month, I reckon that’s the fittest I’ve ever been.

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

As a tight Yorshireman I usually take food with me .ha-ha snicker sandwich Nutella and peanut butter. Depending on the groups route we may just come back to the city. I know that sounds boring but I’ll have a good long black. Jesus if you’d seen the cafes we went to in Uk you’d die. In Otley its true Jimmy Saville would come in and wander around in his shell suit and unlit cigar. Everyone would ignore him. But he was a very keen cyclist, amongst other things, he rode for UK when younger!!

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

Well I turned 50 in August and was lucky to get some new wheels dura ace 24s, castelli nicks, and POC sunglasses. I’m not a real techy guy.

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

That’s a big question. I’ve been in lots of groups. Not sure if it’s me or them. Ha-ha in the UK Dicko and Birdy are my two mates who I interact on Strava.

Depasser on tour, Dicko and Birdy
Depasser on tour, Dicko and Birdy

Birdy calls a spade a spade and is real oldskool, Dicko is the most talented easy going cyclist I’ve ever known and a great mechanic. They’re always handy. He rode for the UK as a junior but decided to get a trade. Over here I mainly ride with two groups the SOBS (Sons of Bitumen) originally we were team o’grady, we raced in the the southern vets but also rode with the youngsters who were supported by Stuey and his manger Max Stevens. One of the riders on that program was called Rohan he’d come out with his dad . What a champion, he’s certainly done the hard yards along with his parents Debbie and Brenton. I don’t get out as often as I used to with them due to work.

After racing I was introduced to a group called team BMW. These guys were guns. I’m one of the oldest and I remind them regularly but this was a solid workout. 100+km in the hills. In the early days most Saturday afternoons I’d get caught lying on the bed. Ha-ha. We have a few social nights through the years and the highlight is a TDF night at my place with food and lots of wine from the region of the stage.

Persons I’d like to plug there’s two there my best cycling buddies, both younger I might add and they very rarely got the better of me ha-ha. Shannon Hall, he arrived at work was a keen cyclist we would finish work at 3, alright we started at 7 and would train up in the hills most days for a few hours even do the mega crash ride on Saturday, crazy. I was fit then and could eat and drink what I wanted. We once smashed it down Anzac highway at 55km on the front, we got to Brighton road and he asked me what did you do last night? stayed in, how much did you have? Couple beers, G and T when Helen got home, ½ bottle white making dinner and a red while watching TV. This guy next to us nearly fell off his bike. Happy days.

Stuart West the nicest but hardest rider I’ve ever known, I knew him through The SOB’s then he moved around the corner he got me into the BMW team, he used to talk about his time riding with the AIS while studying in Canberra, he wasn’t making it up. Another great mechanic. He’s moved to Perth, we all miss him. Especially when I get a puncture.

Lastly Craig from Buckit Belts is a real cool guy who makes an awesome unique cycling products and one hell of a rider.

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

No one’s ever been over to see us!! No you have to remember it’s a long way to come for two weeks. But Helen has a friend who loves the sun and comes every other year she sits by the pool looks after the girls and I go riding. Perfect ha-ha.

No my brother has been twice, on his own and with his family. I think it’s closed but he went up to Lobethal and took his daughter to that dolls world on the left as you get to the top of the hill. She needed counselling after, crazy

  • If you had 10 minutes with the incumbent State Premier, what would you tell them?

Sort the roads out. Riding to work every day it really cheeses me off where should I be on the road. My routes from Urrbrae to Regency Park. Fullarton road and Greenhill 3 lanes to 2 it’s so aggressive. Coming home aquatic centre to robe terrace 4 then to 5 lanes I want to go straight on, which lane should I be in?

  • What keeps you busy when you’re not riding?

With a 17 year old it’s an ongoing taxi service and we bought her a car!!Charlottes rowing at school so that fits nicely into my training routine, 5 o’clock starts = brownie points.

Cycling and rowing perfect pair

Then there’s Archie we want a dog dad we’ll walk him and pick up his poo. He’s my best mate I enjoy my Saturday post ride walk through WAITE with him and he loves watching town in the early hours of Sunday.

Did you know they were in the premiership, only team in Yorkshire? (Eds note: lets have a chat about that at in 6 months time:-))  Now that was a miracle.

  • Is there anything else you feel like talking about?

Maybe just to reflect on how lucky I am. How much joy Cycling has brought me. To be able to ride all year round and the beautiful routes, the special memories and places I’ve seen on two wheels and the friends I have made through this great pastime.

As you know I was lucky enough to help a friend with his business Unique Cycling Tours supporting him on the road and cooking for the group in the Alps and Provence, I was in heaven, the best job ever. I rode the TDU and again supported the group on the road and cooked dinner for them, having being touched by cancer on numerous occasions it was really humbling to help the riders who had sacrificed so much of their time to fund raise and to listen to their stories and the tireless work the support staff did was unbelievable. I’ll leave it there.
Ride safe. I hope your readers don’t think I’m too much of an arsehole , at least I didn’t whinge about the weather !! Ha-ha
Ps Good luck with your Beat Cancer ride

Up the Terriers
Tarra

 

Thanks Chris, a very entertaining read, it’s been great riding and drinking with you, and here’s to a few more in the future.

For our readers, I’ll remind you I spent 4 nights in a tiny hotel room in a hotel without air conditioning during a heat wave with this geeza, for a quiet shy guy, he just wouldn’t shut up. But he was a very entertaining character and I loved every minute of the trip   🙂

Oh, if you want to get yourself a great chef for your special occasion, get in contact with Chris at chrisj.helenv@optusnet.com.au   Mention Wednesday Legs sent you, I may get a free meal out of it?    Then again, he is from Yorkeshire 🙂

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