Rider of the Week – Bria Smith
I’ve seen Bria’s face pop up on a number of cyclists social media pages, the standout picture was when she took a bike selfie with Benny JJ doing one of his insane 12 Everests last year. Poor Benny JJ was curled over his handle bars grind upwards once more, Bria was upright, smiling and looking fresh as a daisy – brilliant.
Enjoy this weeks Rider of the Week. Oh, and be warned, there are some blood and gore photos, so if you are squeamish, rule #5………………………………..
I am a 27 year old Paramedic with the SA Ambulance Service. I got my first road bike around 2007 and started dabbling with group rides around 2008. I’m a super active, outdoorsy sort of person. When I’m not working or riding my road bike I also spend a fair hunk of time skydiving and sometimes riding my mountain bike, rock climbing at the gym or doing other activities.
I’m currently putting in a bit of training for my first ever triathlon, a half Ironman in Kangaroo Island in November with a view to do a full IM next year. I love travel and exploring and do that whenever I can. I am currently saving for my first home, and really need to stop spending money on bikes and fun things so I can afford a deposit 😛
- Can you remember what your first bike was?
I had a few hand me down bikes from my big brothers at a young age and eventually got my own mountain bike for my 14th birthday I think it was! It might have been a giant yukon if my memory serves me correct (or maybe that was the second one and I had some repco thing first!)
I know my first road bike was an Avanti carbonario with a 105 group set. I got rid of that one crashing it at 60km/hr down from lofty!
- What got you started in cycling?
As kids we were an active family and often went on rides all together when we were at the beach house. I always laugh that I can remember dad promising me an ice cream at Victor Harbour if I rode from Goolwa with him, now days I promise him a coffee at Glenelg if he makes it!! how the tables have turned!
I got my first road bike when I started uni to ride into the city on and to supplement my fitness training for hockey as running so much was giving me brutal shin splints! A couple of other friends got bikes at a similar time and we started doing what we thought were big rides from the city to Henley!! These mates soon after joined the Lakers triathlon club and I started riding with their group rides which really changed riding for me and was probably the true start of me being a cyclist
- At a guess, how many bikes have you owned in your life?
Ohh a few kids bikes, 3 proper dual suspension mountain bikes and I’m onto roadie number 4.
- What is your main go to bike?
Currently I only have the two, and it depends on if I am heading to the trails or the road!
One mountain – a top spec Lapierre Zesty AM
And the roadie, an ENVEed up cannondale hi mod super six Evo with e-tap! (refer to cannot afford house due to liking nice toys comment haha).
I am hoping to see if Cracked Carbon and Bicycle Express might be able to mend my much beloved Lapierre Xelius 800 and throw some cheaper wheels and groupset etc on to rebirth him as a commuter (I feel a bit dirty downspecing my special bike but I figure its better than retiring him completely, on that note anyone selling decent alloy wheels cheap? hahaha!).
Ohh, I don’t really have any particular thing I have drooled over since forever, I really like smooth, sleek looking bikes in general. I guess if I had to pick one it would probably be a Pinarello Dogma F8 (or F10 now), yeah, I would like one of them, I wouldn’t be caught riding Campag on it tho!
- What do you personally get out of cycling?
A clear head, a smile on my face, and an excuse to eat a donut!
Mountain biking really is a bit of fun, kinda fills the no snowboarding in Adelaide hole in my life, lets me get some flow, adrenaline and hi fives into my life, it also gets me out into nature, on the dirt, away from the city, which I love about it!
Road riding is super satisfying, I love how I feel after a solid ride through the hills, its a good kind of salty! Sometimes work or even just life can be a bit stressful or get me down and I find heading on a ride really makes everything seem a bit less heavy on my shoulders and gives me a clearer view of how to deal with what might be on my mind.
I have also met some of my favourite people in my life through road cycling, so that’s pretty tops too 🙂
Obviously its pretty good for my general health and fitness too, being fit and healthy is important to me! I definitely feel better for riding, some years back I injured my knee snowboarding and had to have a few months off, it wasn’t until this point i realised exactly how important riding was for my general mental health and mood! (long story short, no riding for Bria = grumpy bria).
- Do you do all your own maintenance or do you use a LBS? If so, which one?
Haha hell no!
I used to bake cupcakes to get my LBS to do minor maintenance for me! I’m a classic for just riding in and going “its making a strange noise” or “something feels wrong” at the end of a ride, lucky they seem to tolerate me doing this! The best I do is a hose off, towel down and bit of lube on the chain! (and I might start checking my pivot bolt torques on the mtb after it fell out and I nearly crashed the other week!)
Bicycle Express on Halifax street do a pretty good job of looking after me and my bikes (I always get more than one hug per visit), I have been a loyal customer to them and they do their best to keep me happy (sorry Ben about all the times I text you out of hours – you probably should have never given me your phone number :P)
- What is your favourite piece of cycling kit or accessory?
I can tell you what my least favourite is, the bib knicks we had for the Beat Cancer Tour, being made to ride in mens knicks for the whole TDU had me super appreciating all of my nice usual kits! (#flapchat will forever be a thing now).
My current favourite kit is probably my velocio, my favourite gadget is probably my Garmin (even if it made me ride 10 more laps than Rob Greenwood for the same elevation in our everest – actually I hate my garmin, its evil, why would it do that!) and I am loving the SRAM e-tap on my new bike.
- If you could have dinner with 3 people from the cycling world (living or dead), who would they be and why?
I really have no idea on this one, I don’t really have any cycling idols as such! I always enjoy when I’ve been lucky enough to hang with Annette Edmondson or Patrick Jonker, they are top humans.
I’ve a pretty funny story about meeting Lance Armstrong and George Hincapie when I was out drinking with friends as an 18 yr old too! I found George a super genuine and friendly guy, I’d happily have dinner with him again too.
- Where would you take them to eat?
I’d get Nick Filsell cook them some ace pizza at his Lost In a Forest restaurant in Uraidla
- What are your craziest/fondest cycling memories?
Melbourne to Adelaide ride in 2010 for Butts on Bikes for bubs, well I think it was 2010, around about then! That was a crazy motley crew of such different riding abilities but somehow we made it all the way and raised enough to buy the Flinders Medical Centre a fancy new crib for their neonatal unit (which very cooly ended up housing the baby of one of our crew down the track!)
Riding with the Beat Cancer Tour riders every stage, every day as their Medic last year. The opportunity to be a part of the tour and ride with some of the most inspiring people I have ever met is certainly something I will not forget. It was a huge week and really took it out of me as I was a late inclusion when their original medic fell through so my preparation was very sub par, but got through (admittedly with a small push from organiser Bade on the last lap of Willunga Hill which he will NEVER let me forget 😛 ) and loved the experience so much.
Completing an everest attempt I never intended to do (thanks to everyone that peer pressured me into that one……I think….and a special mention to Benny JJ for setting me up for success with it and to Anna Puckridge and Stuart Brand keeping me going on the day – lots of people helped me but these guys really went above and beyond)
But I think the pick is definitely getting my sub 10 hour 3 peaks Falls Creek last year.
I had put in a lot of early mornings, huge kms, verts, and never ever visited Mt Lofty summit so frequently as the months leading up to that event with my super best bike buddy Rob Greenwood. I totally owe him for this achievement, he kept me motivated through training, believed in me when I thought it wasn’t possible, gave me a plan for the day and was waiting for me on the finish line after completing the event himself. I don’t think I have ever felt as elated as when I crossed that line at 9 hours and 53 minutes and Rob wrapped me up into the biggest/saltiest hug I’ve ever had (then force fed me about 5 cups of Hydralyte).
I had plenty of battles on that ride, and to get across the line in the time I thought was a pipe dream was the best.
(WL Note – the time board at the finish line shows the elapsed time from the time the first rider crossed the line, not the individual rider times, therefore Bria’s ride time is less than the board time).
- Have you had any nasty crashes? If so how did the worst occur and what was the consequence?
Haha oh I’ve had plenty, none TOO bad luckily.
Roadie wise I dropped that original Avanti down the old freeway from Lofty at 60km/hr (yep, that awkward camber left hand sweeping corner not long being devils elbow), I had some epic gravel rash down my left butt cheek and leg and felt pretty sore and sorry for myself but was super lucky to not break anything but the bike!
Daily visits to the doctor to further debride gravel and lycra fragments out the wound for a week but apparently I heal super fast and they were surprised I got away with no skin grafts (winning!). For the record you also get a lot of attention edging a rather broken bike down a hill with a bleeding arse hanging out the back!
I was also knocked off by a car riding into uni but lucky only did some minor shoulder and leg damage, the lesson learnt from this one is adrenaline lets you think you are not hurt and its not until you continue your ride into uni that you realise your front wheel is buckled and your body hurts and you probably should have got that cars details!
Mountain biking the crashes are endless, sometimes I go a bit hard haha. I’ve been through a few helmets and mild concussions, plenty of abrasions, last year managed to get 5 stitches in my ear in one crash and 7 in my chin and 3 in my arm from another. (I cracked the shits after that one and stopped riding mtb for a bit but am finding my flow again now!
LOOK AWAY NOW!
- What is the biggest cycling lie you have told a partner?
I am currently single, so I don’t have to lie to anyone ;P
- What cycling related thing would you like for your next birthday?
Weren’t we talking about that Dogma earlier? 😉 haha honestly I’d be stoked with some new bottles that actually fit in my smancy Enve bottle cages (matchy of course). My cannonade ones wobble around and my camelback ones get stuck, it makes me a bit irrationally annoyed when I’m tired on a ride!
One of Flic and Lobos RAD hats would be ace too.
Or if we are talking mountain bikes I’m super eyeing off a lightweight full face enduro helmet, something like a MET parachute (I have chin fear after last year).
- Is there a local cycling outfit/company/cycling club/cycling group/person that you would like to plug?
Oh I guess I’ll give a shout out to the guys and girls who look after me at Bicycle Express. I’ll also say HI to Nat from Spin Cycle coz he’s a champ, and everyone should get on board with Flic and Lobos next round of caps when they release them (which I believe is soon!). (WL note – too late, they’re sold out already).
Also cheers to the Lakers Triathlon Club, the Redline Cycling club and the Hells 500 Adelaide crew who provide me with all my decent group rides.
Lastly to Rob Greenwood and Anna Puckridge for being my best bike buddies ever and supporting me in any silly bike related idea I might ever have.
- From a non-cycling perspective, what do you love about Adelaide?
Its an awesome place to live! I love how accessible everything is, in really not much time you can be down the beach, in the nature parks feeling like you’re miles from anywhere, in wine region, really almost anywhere you want to be! We have lots of super cool places to eat and drink and the best coffee, so many spots to get top coffee (which for a bike riding, shift worker is a HUGE plus).
- What is your non-cycling go-to place when interstaters come to Adelaide?
My family has a beach house at Goolwa and I love taking people down there, or sometimes taking them to Langhorne Creek and sharing my other little amazing world I have there, as you’ll see in the next answer!
- You participate in another outdoor activity that has you hurtling at a speed around 190kmph. What is this insane activity and what do you get out of it?
Haha! I recently completed my 400th solo skydive a few weeks back. Honestly it is the best thing ever. People always ask me why do you skydive? Its sort of one of those things you can’t explain to people who haven’t done it, to put it simply, it makes me happy, while I am there almost nothing else in the world matters. Sure it doesn’t solve any problems but somehow the time I spend there adds such quality to my life that I feel like my problems are never such a big deal after a couple of days with the amazing crew there.
Its a real sky family, and skydiving is just pure bliss. You can really make it what you want, depending on what kind of jump I do it can either be adrenaline pumping, hi five inducing insane fun or really peaceful experience. I’m really just starting to learn more about performance flying my canopy too and am really enjoying that dimension of the sport as well now.
I think you should probably come with me for a jump and then you might be able to answer the question better for me! On that note if anyone from the Adelaide Cycling family wants to come for a skydive, flick me a message on Facebook and I’ll be able to organise mates rates for you at SA Skydiving!
Thanks Bria, a great read. I had to google a few of the terms you mentioned – #FLAPCHAT and Debride.
The first had me in stitches, and to be honest, I’m not sure how I’m going to get #FLAPCHAT into a sentence, but I’ll give it a go after a few drinks.
On the second, debride, it had me cringing
“To remove dead, contaminated, or adherent tissue and/or foreign material. To debride a wound is to remove all materials that may promote infection and impede healing. This may be done by enzymes (as with proteolytic enzymes), mechanical methods (as in a whirlpool), or sharp debridement (using intruments)”
Looking back to a face plant i had last year, whilst the staff at Wakefied didn’t call it debriding, or not that i can recall anyway, they debrided me but decided it would be best for me if they gave me some twilight anesthesia so i wouldn’t remember what they did to me. Thnak god for drugs.