Rider of the Week – Felicity Salkeld (Flic)
I first met Flic out on the road at the top of Forest Range, and as you’ll discover below, she loves a chat.
Flic is a 40yo woman new to road cycling, and by all accounts, is having the time of her life. She has done a smattering of mountain bike rides over the years but was never really committed to the bike, however tat all changed a few years back and has fallen hard for gravel grinding, which isn’t too surprising given her trail running background.
One of her ambitions is “to eventually be strong enough to be able to ride with most people, and I’m pretty much always looking for the next adventure and challenge”.
This is Flics story.
- How long have you been cycling and what got you started?
I come from the Dark Side – trail and Ultra running. After injuring my leg at work at the beginning of 2014, I went through a year of patchy rehab and recurring running injuries. Thankfully my ex introduced me to road cycling as a way to cross train, and despite lots of moaning about lairy lycra kit and clicky clacky shoes I knew I’d love the actual sport. 2 years later I have a wardrobe groaning with kit and spend a lot of time trying to manage training in both sports without complete burnout.
- How many bikes do you own and what is your main go to bike?
2 road bikes and a CX bike. I spent most of last year feeling very Ti curious, so when I spotted a used Lynskey R140 on Bike Market this January it took me about 12 minutes to part with my dollars. It has replaced an exceptional little Bianchi Intenso I started out on and probably would’ve never outgrown. I also ride a Flanders Blade CX bike, primarily for gravel/adventure rides, but sometimes for clumsy and terrified attempts at CX racing.
- What bike do you covet?
Ah – perhaps the One Bike That Does It All, a mystical creature that is fast and light up sealed roads and can take big gravel tyres for back road adventures..and with disc brakes too for my chubby kid hands. Oh and then there’s those Bastion bikes too.. and Rittes.. and Baums and Curves..so many nice bikes in the world.
- How do you store your bikes?
I’m lucky to have a spare room that I can dedicate to sporting goods – its been dubbed The Pleasure Room, which is not weird at all. Now my houseguests sleep in a tent in the back yard if they want to stay. It works well.
- Do you do all your own maintenance or do you use a LBS? If so, which one?
Big shout out to Treadly who have gone above and beyond more than once for me, I still have a box of vegan chocolates to give to Jake for actually lending me his own bike once – exceptional. ( Vegan chocolate sounds terrible to be honest and I might just slide it under the door and run away) I’ve also really appreciated the service at Road Rage and Parade Cycles.
- What cycling specific tools do you have in your “bike shed”?
Basics like a chain wear tool, a set of Allen keys, and a mobile phone
- What is your favourite piece of cycling kit or accessory?
My phone – I take an inordinate amount of pics on a ride, its sort of out of control.
- What do you love about cycling?
Travelling through the landscape under my own steam. And I know everyone says this, but its the people I’ve met through riding. In my first year of riding I only rode about 600-800km. I didn’t have anyone to ride with, I was intimidated by traffic and mechanicals, and was lacking in confidence in just about every way. Luckily I persisted and met some of the best people I know in 2016. The people that are encouraging and patient, despite being stronger/faster/hotter in lycra, are the gems. Eventually you find them.
The other thing I love is the D&Ms. I’ve had some of my most satisfying debriefs and philosophical discussions on the bike, there’s just something about it. At the other end of the scale ridiculous banter is always welcome.
- What annoys most about cycling?
There are some aspects of the sport that are pretty regressive – attitudes to women is one. And if you’re too pro to say hello, you need to take a long hard look at yourself. Really, we all just like to ride bicycles.
- Other than yourself, who is your favourite cyclist?
(I should probably say Merckx) But besides my partner, I’m going to have to say Rach – whom I’ve dubbed my cycling wife. She is a trail running bud who took up cycling a year ago, and took to it like a duck to water. We are really closely matched in strength, and banter, so we are a great team. And we have recently started a little kit business together called Project Rads (find us on Instagram! #shameless) I hope we can always find time to ride together.
- If you could have dinner with 3 people in the cycling world, who would they be and why?
Kenny van Vlaminck; the King of the Cobbles (or Matt Stephens if he can’t make it), Lord Sagan, and Jens Voigt. I may struggle with the accents but I’m up for the challenge.
If none of those guys can make it then Sam Jeffries, James Raison and Sarah Hammond -after they’ve done the Indy Pac. I’ve read somewhere that James and Sam have made a pact to cross the line together holding hands, I’d love to hear about what keeps their relationship alive after so many hours in the saddle.
- Where would you take them to eat?
Etica in the city, I love their pizzas and wine list
- What are your craziest/fondest cycling memories?
Last year Rach and I got an invitation to our mate Paul’s annual trip to Bright – I’m never going to forget that week.
Our first ascents of all those peaks there, and the Hotham day was my clear favourite. The group was made up of about 10 blokes who are all quite experienced, and Rach and I the relative beginners, but they were so good to us.
We were blessed with mild weather except for the sleety hail on the first day’s ascent up Buffalo. The boys instructed us to stay in the stone hut at the top rather than descend in the wet, and were lucky that there were 2 rock climbers up there who gave us hot tea and an emergency blanket while we waited for the super soignier Paul to come back with his car. Legend. We’ve managed to swing a second invitation to Bright so we’ve made an impression.. of some kind.
- Have you had any nasty crashes? If so how did the worst occur and what was the consequence?
Look, I haven’t even had a puncture yet, touch wood. As for crashes, I’m allergic to pethadine so I hope there’s something on offer a lot stronger than the green whistle.
- What is your favourite post ride coffee/tea spot, and what would you normally buy as a treat?
I have a fairly long list of coffee spots, but I do love our midweek ride that finishes at Ballaboosta with a substantial dinner and beers. We know how to treat ourselves.
- Do you have a favourite overseas country in mind you’d love to take your bike to?
I’ve loved my travel in Japan and New Zealand, and think they’d be really suited to a cycling trip. And, like most, Europe is on my wish list too- I hope to go there in the next couple of years. My friend Paul is riding the Dolomites this year and I’m busting to see and hear about it.
- What is your favourite local training route?
I crave variety on my rides, but I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the ride down into and then up out of Clarendon. And Montecute Rd and Little Italy are gems on the edge of the CBD. We are really spoilt for choice in Adelaide.
- What is the biggest cycling lie you have told a partner?
I don’t mind if you go ahead
- What cycling related thing would you like for your next birthday?
A cycling trip – the company, not the funding!
- Is there a local cycling outfit/company/cycling club/cycling group/person that you would like to plug?
I think Cycle Closet are doing a great job of sourcing the best kit from around the world and combining it with friendly service. Its so difficult to compete with online retailers but they are definitely doing quite a few things well.
- From a non-cycling perspective, what do you love about Adelaide?
The food and wine scene, and the size and accessibility of the city. I lived interstate and overseas for years after Uni and am so happy to be home to live.
- What is your go to place when Interstaters come to Adelaide?
The West End for the laneway bars and restaurants, you can hop back and forth within about 4 city blocks.
Thanks for your time Flic, sounds like you’ve well and truly been converted. I love the Victorian Alpine country as a cyclo-holiday destination, one of the reasons I keep heading back there each March with mates, but we are so terribly fortunate to have gods own in our backyard, or in your instance your front yard to.