Something a little different, we’ll start off with the rider of the week

Rider of the Week – Felicity Salkeld (Flic)

Flic with Rach and Mark at the TdU

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.

Gravelaide 1

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 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.

Flic coming into Bogong


Tawonga Gap
Flic going up Hotham
Flic and her obsession – taking photos

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.

Flic and Rach

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.



I’ve been ramping up the rides over the last month as part of the teams 3 Peaks training. I’m not riding, but have been setting out the routes for the lads.

I am continuously astounded at what we have to offer here in the hills.

Its true to say I have been struggling this year. I was cramping up in a big way for a couple of weekends there as we ramped up the distances. I’m sure my ride preparation and fueling strategy is right up the Thomas Crapper.

Last weekend we rode out to Mt Pleasant, then wrapped around and headed South out towards Strathalbyn via Brukunga.


I didn’t get all the way out to Strath, i headed home at Flaxley to give me a 180km ride, with a few others heading to Meadows and 3 others going all the way. Great effort by all.

Here are some of the photos from the ride.


The gradual descent ino Brukunga


I’d never ridden through Brukunga before, but i would have to say the descent into Brukunga from the Woodside side along Military Road would have to be one of the prettiest darn sections of riding road around the Adelaide Hills.

Lovely rolling hills, large gums, good road, very little traffic.  Brukunga is a strange ol town some 40 km east of Adelaide.


Its name, derived from Barrukungga in the local Aboriginal language, means ‘place of fire stone’, or the ‘place of hidden fire’, and is associated with the Kaurna ancestral being Tjilbruke.


As you ride through the town, you get transported back to the 50’s with the fibro shacks lining the carefully manicured main street. The waste from the old pyrite (iron sulphide) mine fill the Western horizon as it awaits the full rehabilitation

Between 1955 and 31 May 1972, iron sulphides (mainly as the mineral pyrite) were mined at the Brukunga Mine and transported to Port Adelaide for the production of sulphuric acid and superphosphate fertiliser.


Oxidation of pyrite in waste dumps and the exposed quarry face led to formation of acid mine drainage containing high levels of cadmium and other heavy metals into the adjacent creek, triggering health warnings by the Environment Protection Agency. Since 1980, rehabilitation of the mine site has occurred.



We had the pleasure of welcoming a new rider to the Saturdays ride last weekend, Paul. Paul is aiming for a sub 9 ride this time after an unsuccessful attempt last year. We found out that Paul’s 3P ride last year has a startling backstory. He crossed the line in the back of an Ambulance after being found doubled over his bike with stroke type symptoms with only 2 kms to go. Literally at the wall of the dam.  Jeez. Bundled into the back of the Ambulance but survived to fight another day.

So, in the discussion with Paul, we got to talking about ride nutrition, preparation, carb loading and other crap you talk about on the road. Paul mentioned that he was cramping and suffering quite badly on the longer rides, not too dissimilar to what I was experiencing. Paul was put in touch with Jason at Foods for Life , a small health food shop in Gawler Place near Rundle Mall.


Foods for Life is not just a health food shop, it is also a cafe with some good healthy foods. But that’s not all. Jason is a Triathlete, understands what is required to look after a sporting body. His shop has all sorts of Sports Nutrition food with a heavy weighting towards Hammer Nutrition, Maxine, Max’s, All Natural Product and Optimum Nutrition products.

I had a good chat to Jason who walked me through a number of options and recommended the Australian Institute of Sports website for some additional sports nutritional information. One of his recommendations was the need for proper fueling before the long distances, specifically carb loading up a minimum of 2 – 3 days before the longer rides. He basically said that i should have bread up to here (gesticulating the neck) by the time the ride day comes around.

So I took  look at the AIS website ( ), and apart from some other really useful sports nutritional information, the info backed up what Jason was saying.

The AIS Fact Sheet on Carbohydrates recommends that Carb Loading start around 48 hours before the event, so that means that most SA Riders will need to be fueling for the ride on Friday Morning, i.e. the day you drive over.

“Carbohydrate loading Preparation for events >90 min of sustained/intermittent exercise 36-48 hours of 10-12 g/kg BM per 24 hour”.

So what does that actually man. My take is that for an 80 kg rider, you will need to be eating the equivalent of 24 thick wholemeal slices of bread in each 24 hour period to give you around the 800g of required fueling carbs. Or 16 litres of unflavored milk. Or 24 mars bars. Or 32 bananas (hey, I’ve heard something similar somewhere else?).  But don’t take my word, check out the fact sheet for further information and make your own assessment.




And I always considered the carb loading the night before with a big bowl of pasta sufficient.

Anyway, back to Paul. He appears to have his Nutritional fueling issues sorted, and is on track for a sub 9 ride. Good luck Paul.


Spring Classics

Hard to believe the Spring Classics are just around the corner. The race that marks the start of the classics – the first Flanders Classic, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, takes place this weekend in Belgium.Some photos from last years oomloop to get you ready.Omloop Het Nieuwsblad153720_570655883Omloop Het NieuwsbladOmloop Het Nieuwsblad


And also starts the last classic season for Tom Boonen who will retire in 48 days time.


Business of the Week – Williams and Taylor – Artisinal Hampers



I bumped into Neil Williams from Williams & Taylor at a function at the SA Press Club TdU lunch a month back, and as you do, we got to talking about the Cycling, the Adelaide Hills and the great produce that it produces. And naturally he mentioned his business, Williams & Taylor Artisinal Hampers.

And being a supporter of all things Adelaide Hills, i thought I’d add them into this blog one day.

Williams & Taylor is all about pulling together some beautifully crafted hampers showcasing the produce of the Adelaide Hills, the  Fleurieu Peninsula and McLaren Vale. They set about sourcing the finest ingredients across the region to offer superb, value for money gift hampers – the epitome of the slow food movement.

100% of the produce in their hampers is sourced from local providores, passionate about their foods and wines, and curated to offer a delightful insight into the amazing tastes of the local region.

They target corporate clients as well as those seeking a thoughtful gift for that special occasion.

Some of the hampers on offer include:

Fit for a Vintner


  • Yangarra Estate Old Vine Grenache 2014
  • The Lane Lois Blanc de Blancs
  • Lake Breeze Bernoota Shiraz Cabernet 2013Mordrelle Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Red Cacao chocolate selection
  • Frantic Whisk almond delights
  • Port Willunga Fine Foods smoked almonds
  • Kris Lloyd artisan flower crackers
  • Two Hills and a Creek dukkah
  • Hardings Fine Foods marinated olives
  • Hardings Fine Foods olive oil

Out of the Orchard


  • Fine and Dandy Teahouse spiced apple crumble
  • Mordrelle Pink Lady cider
  • Gourmet Entertainer fig paste
  • Vale Brewing Dr Pilkington cider
  • Hardings Fine Foods verdale olive oil
  • Kris Lloyd artisan flower crackers
  • Hardings Fine Foods apple chutney
  • Port Willunga Fine Foods smoked almonds

And this little beauty – The Providore


  • Lake Breeze Arthur’s Reserve 2012
  • The Lane Reunion 2012
  • Flavours of South Australia coffee table book
  • Mordrelle Blanc de Blancs
  • Baylies rosemary lavash
  • Hardings Fine Foods apple chutney
  • Port Willunga Fine Foods olives
  • Port Willunga Fine Foods smoked almonds
  • Hardings Fine Foods pistachio oil
  • Two Hills and a Creek dukkah
  • Frantic Whisk almond delights
  • Baylies of Strathalbyn muscat gourmet cake
  • Bald Hills Olives olive oil
  • Willabrand chocolate enrobed figs
  • Red Cacao chocolate selection
  • Red Cacao mixed berry
  • Buzz Honey triple treat of honey
  • Honey dipper

Salivating yet?

Check out further offerings here:



till next time

tight spokes


Cycling in Adelaide is Shite

Jeez, where has the year gone. Almost halfway through February and I’m just getting around to my first posting for the year.  Nothing wrong, just struggling with Lifes lethargy. Had a great holiday, just bumming around, a bit of this a bit of that. Riding the hills, drinking and eating in the Barossa, the Vale, the Hills and at home. Entertaining, being entertained, sleeping, just what holidays should be about.

Oh, and following a little bike race in Adelaide that is the same age as my daughter. Hard to believe that a young Stuart O’Grady won the TdU back in 1999.


As usual, the Adelaide weather played a little have with the tour, something over 42 degC on the opening stage to the Barossa played havoc with the cyclotourists who were hoping to take a casual ride to the Barossa, it was hell out there. Its been bloody hot today as well, topping 42 deg in Adelaide, with the high 30’s forecast for a few more days.

So I keep on wondering why anyone in their right mind would ever come to  Adelaide to cycle.

The weather can be insufferable in the summer.




The beach rides are bleak and boring


2015, Tour Down Under, tappa 04 Glenelg – Mount Barker, Sellicks Hill

The are hardly any hills, and those are flat and too far away from the the city





18-01-2017 Tour Down Under; Tappa 02 Stirling - Paracombe; 2017, Bmc Racing Team; Porte, Richie; Paracombe;

The roads in the hills are so busy you wouldn’t bother risking your life on them




The city lacks culture


Adelaide is good for wine, but the local brews are crap



Adelaide is boring, nothing ever happens


It really is a wretched place to come with your bike




So why come to Adelaide and ride? Really, why, you’ve got to be off your rockers.





22-01-2017 Tour Down Under; Tappa 06 Adelaide City Council; 2017, Orica - Scott; 2017, Bora - Hansgrohe; 2017, Team Sky; 2017, Uae - Abu Dhabi; Ewan, Caleb; Sagan, Peter; Van Poppel, Danny; Kump, Marko; Adelaide;20-01-2017 Tour Down Under; Tappa 04 Norwood - Campbelltown; Campbelltown;


22-01-2017 Tour Down Under; Tappa 06 Adelaide City Council; 2017, Bora - Hansgrohe; Sagan, Peter; Adelaide;


19-01-2016 Tour Down Under; Tappa 01 Prospect - Lyndoch;






18-01-2017 Tour Down Under; Tappa 02 Stirling - Paracombe; 2017, Orica - Scott; 2017, Movistar; Ewan, Caleb;


Indian Pacific


By now you probably would have heard about that insane bike ride across Australia. The Indian Pacific Wheel Race. This is a solo, single-stage, unsupported, 5,500km road cycling race ocean-to-ocean across Australia.


The race starts on 18 March 2017 at 6:00am in Fremantle, Western Australia and finishes at the Sydney Opera House whenever the rider gets there. The clock does not stop. There is no prize money. Total distance is around 5,300km, with something like  33,500m VAM. Sweet mother of Lord they cant be serious. I cramped up a few weekends back riding consecutive centuries. I cant start to imagine what this will be like.

Riders will travel on the Eyre Highway, a 1675km long road that takes two days in a car, across the flat and takes approximately two days to cross cross the Nullarbor Plain which includes a 150 km section of completely straight road. Riders will need to watch out for Kangaroos, emu’s, wombats and even camels, of which there are an estimated 100,000 lining the Eyre Highway calling the Nullarbor Plain home.


On the up side, the route passes through the rolling hills of the Clare and Barossa Valleys before hitting the Adelaide Hills. Riders will then travel across SA down to the Great Ocean Road before heading up to the Australian Alps and the Blue Mountains before hitting Sydney

Entries will be open until the total number of registrations again reaches 100, or until 12 March 2017. See here for the roster of riders.

Have a close look, to the best of my knowledge, there are at least 4 South Australians riding, Sam Jeffries , James Raison, Davin Harding and Chris Barker.

Sam is using this ride as an opportunity to raise funds for the WCH. From Sams Go the Mo fundraising page


Sam and I (Becky) are hoping to heaps of money to buy bikes for the Adelaide Women’s & Children’s Hospital Rehabilitation Department. “Oh yes . . . why?”

Well let me explain . . .

Our funny, happy and beautiful 8 year old daughter, Hannah, had a terrible accident in 2016,  it’s only thanks to the skill, dedication and kindness of the WCH neurologists, doctors, nurses, OT’s, Physio’s, Speech Therapists, Psychologists, Health Assistants and all other staff that we have her back, at home, smiling and healthy again.

Hannah was in PICU for 3 weeks in April 2016. The PICU doctors and nurses were incredible and she received round the clock care. When she woke from the coma she was unable to walk or talk, the injury had damaged her very badly and she needed to learn to walk, swallow, speak, and control her movements again. However, despite everything that she needed to re-learn she remained (mostly) cheerful and positive.

Hannah spent months in the Rehabilitation Unit at the WCH, the kindness and support of the staff there is something that we can never repay. They have given us our lovely daughter back and we can never thank the WCH enough.


Hannah’s dad, Sam, is an awesome cyclist and in March 2017 is racing from Freemantle to Sydney, non-stop and unsupported. He is taking part in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race, a crazy ‘Cannon-ball Run’ style race which careers across Australia durning March and April. If he avoids rogue Aussie wildlife and survives living off meat pies for a month he should reach the Pacific Ocean after 5,500kms of pretty much non-stop riding.


We would love it if you could support his ride and help us donate funds to the WCH Rehabilitation team to buy bikes for children like Hannah.  After being in PICU Hannah was on a ward for a long time. When she was able to get on a bike as part of her rehab and go outside she felt like she was really getting better. After being stuck on a ward for so long to get outside in the fresh air and ride a bike was brilliant for her.

What we want is to help other children, like Hannah, have as much fun as she did whilst they’re working so hard to recover from illness or injury.

The WCH would like to buy 2 bikes, one for younger children and one for older kids. They would also like a scooter and some safety accessories, helmets and training wheels.

If we can smash our (very optimistic) target the WCH would also like to buy a FES (Function Electrical Stimulation) bike.


This incredible bit of kit gets kids with paralysis moving again. As you can imagine it’s pretty expensive but if we all chucked in $20 then it will only take 1,500 of us to buy one (as you can see they are VERY expensive).

Sam would like to thank Adelaide’s Cycle Closet for their fantastic sponsorship for this ride, thanks to them Sam has a terrific POC helmet, glasses and Gore Apparel kit. Which look cool AF.

Please, jump onto the “Go the Mo” fundraising page here GtM and open your wallet.

Good luck Sam, James, Davin and Chris, and all the others. We’ll be following you closely and cheering the two of you on from the sidelines.

Further details here

Or you could take the train which runs twice weekly from Perth to Sydney and takes 3 nights to cover the 4352km journey. For riders trying to do the old sneaky and jumop aboard, the signposted train stations are  in Cook, Adelaide and Broken Hill, so not much chance there to skip ahead.


Rider of the Week – George Fuller

I have know George for a little over a year now, but left for a work stint in New York before we could get out for a ride together.

I managed to catch up with George recently, this is his story.


I am 38 years of age and grew up in country Australia in a small town called Gundagai. I have always been into cycling in one form or another, mostly mountain biking but in recent years I have done more road riding. An accomplishment that I am proud of is the Three Peaks Challenge in Falls creek a couple of years back, just getting under the cut-off of 13hrs. I also did a small Europe tour with a friend a few years back where we put road tires on our mountain bikes and road around a few countries, an experience that every cyclist that like to travel should embark on. I have always wanted to follow the Tour de France and maybe with a bit of planning, it is something that will happen one day…




  • What first got you started in cycling?

I have always been interested in sport and grew up with bicycles and motorbikes, so it always felt natural to have a bike.

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

I have two bikes, one road and one mountain bike. Both are Merida.

  • What bike do you covet?

I like trials bikes and dual suspension mountain bike with long travel suspension. I don’t have any specific bike that I need to have.

  • How do you store your bikes?

Leaning up against a wall in the living room.


  • Do you do all your own maintenance or do you use a LBS? If so, which one?

I tend to do all my minor maintenance and anything major I would take it to a shop.

  • You’ve been in New York for a while now, have you formed an opinion of the differences between New York and Sydney riders?

I couldn’t say that there are any defining features that I have discovered about New York riders in comparison to Sydney riders. I have noticed that New York drivers are a bit more mental than Sydney drivers, which may cross over into the cycling community

  • What do you love about cycling?

The simplicity and freedom that you feel when riding. I really enjoy riding on open country roads as you get to see the world at a better pace than whizzing by at 100km per hour in a car. I also like the challenge of hill riding, really pushing myself to get to the top. Riding on the flat tends to bore me a little.

  • What annoys most about cycling?

Saddle soreness. I consider myself a recreational rider and it can be quite some time between rides.

  • Have you had any crashes?

Nothing major. I had a small crash which was my own fault turning into a road way that had tram rail grooves. My wheels got jammed in the rail groove and down I went.

  • Other than yourself, who is your favourite cyclist?

Anyone Australian that is riding in the Tour de France

  • If you could have dinner with 3 people from the cycling world, who would they be and why?

I guess, Lance Armstrong would be the first that comes to mind. I would probably ask him about doping in sport. As for the 2nd and the 3rd persons, anyone that would like to be part of that conversation.

  • What are your craziest/fondest cycling memories?

My craziest would be riding in France and not understanding the road rules. My friend and I were escorted from a major freeway in France, being loaded into the back of a van and taken to the nearest regional road. This ruined our planned trip by adding more time than we had allowed for in the trip from the port of Le Havre into Paris.

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

Any place that looks like they make good coffee. I tend eat anything as I justify that I am burning lots of calories.

  • If you could, where you you like to go on a cycling holiday?

I would probably go back to Europe, not sure where though.

  • What is your favourite local training route?

I ride around Prospect Park in Brooklyn which is only a few minutes from my house.


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

Haven’t told one yet.

  • What would you like for your next birthday?

A new set of cycling shoes, the one’s which you mold to your feet.

  • Is there anything else you feel like talking about?

Having moved to New York, I am now starting to look for riding challenges, whether that be a mountain ride or a road endurance event. Something challenging!


Thanks George, have a great one and speak soon.

Thanks for your patience at the start of Giros 100th celebration, have a safe year and speak to you again in a few weeks.


till next time

tight spokes




Oh, FYI, Cycling in Adelaide is not Shite – it is the bees knees.

TdU 2017 Calendar of Events-The Adelaide Spectacular

As a local Radelaidian I look forward to the TdU week, not just because of the pro cycling, but because it is a chance for us Radelaidians to show off what Adelaide has to offer and  take in the spectacle that the local cycling community put on for one and all. It really is a feast of events covering that don’t just focus on cycling, but also provide entertainment for all the community.

The hills, the beaches, the cosmopolitan lifestyle, the central location of the tour village, the new faces and colorful kit, the events, the parties, the coffee, the streetside bbq’s – it is just a fantastic week.

This page provides information on the the spectacle and events around Adelaide that make up the 2017 Tour Down Under. It is definitely not comprehensive, but has picked up the main events.

The below shows the results of my casual searches for TdU information on Facebook, Twitter and other sources.  It is not comprehensive, so if I have missed any events, please notify me on and I’ll add to the list.

Rolling updates can be found on the Wednesday Legs Facebook site here –

I have also set up a temporary page in this blog showing  event updates –

Friday 13th January

  • Join the riders of Team KATUSHA ALPECIN for a 2hrs training ride, 10am sharp at the main entrance of the Hilton Hotel Adelaide. Don’t be shy, it’s the “rest day” of the guys

Saturday 14th January

  • Santos Women’s Tour – Stage 1 – Start 11am – Hahndorf to Meadows. – santos-womens-tour-stage-1
  • Team Lotto NL Jumbo Cycling Meet ‘n’ Greet @ Mega Bike Rundle Street, Adelaide, 10AM to 1PM
  • Trek-Segafredo Team Meet ‘n’ Greet @ Caffe’ L’Incontro Adelaide Arcade 12PM to 1PM
  • TdU Teams Presentation – 6:30pm – Victoria Square
  • Free Concert after team presentation with Birds of Tokyo: 8:30pm – – Victoria Square
  • Love Velo Seaside, Silver service beach side dinner at Port Willunga – love-velo-seaside
  • Harvest Festival McLaren Vale -11AM – 7PM ,

Sunday 15th January

  • The Brompton Urban Challenge – Scavenger Hunt, Adelaide, 10AM to 4PM
  • 2017 People’s Choice Undies Run for Bowel Cancer – 5PM to 8PM
  • Norwood Cycle Club Super Series – Stage 1 – Rapha Uraidla Kermasse – Grades A, B, C, D, E, Sign on from 9AM Uraidla Oval. First race starts 10AM. Last race starts 11:25 AM
  • Hells 500 TDU – People Classic Prelude Ride, 2PM,  Red Berry Espresso Coffee Roastery, 2 L’Estrange Street, Hills ride.
  • RSL Active TDU People’s Choice VIP Marquee, 6PM to 8:30PM, Adelaide Oval Bowling Club, 58 Dequetteville Terrace, Adelaide –

Monday 16th January

  • Santos Women’s Tour – Stage 3 – Tanunda to Lyndoch Start 11AM Tanunda
  • SA Press Club – TdU Luch at the Grand Chancellor  – 12 Noon – Phill Ligget and Paul Sherwin
  • Unley Gourmet Gala Street Party –  McGowen Avenue, Unley – 4PM to Late
  • Norwood Cycle Club Super Series – Stage 2 – Giant Super Criterium – Victoria Park, Adelaide. Sign in from 5PM. First race starts 6pm. Last race starts 7pm
  • Hells 500 TDU Non-Stage-Day Monday, 8 AM – 2 PM, Red Berry Espresso Coffee Roastery, 2 L’Estrange Street, Hills Paddle

Tuesday 17th January

  • TdU Hostworks Stage 1, Unley to Lyndoch, 10:30 – 2:27PM
  • Santos Women’s Tour – Stage 4 – Victoria Park, Start 6:30PM
  • Port Adelaide Cycle Club – Roller Frenzy IX – Kings Head Hotel
    357 King William Street (corner Sturt Street), Adelaide –
  • Norwood Cycle Club Super Series – Stage 3 – Swiss Wellness & A’QTO Criterium – Victoria Park, Adelaide. Sign in from 5PM. First race starts 6pm. Last race starts 7pm
  • Tourrific Prospect Street Party, Tue 6 PM · Prospect Road · Adelaide
  • Hells 500 TDU Stage 1 – 8 AM, Red Berry Espresso Coffee Roastery, 2 L’Estrange Street, Williamstown/Lyndoch

Wednesday 18th January

  • TDU Staging Connections Stage 2, Stirling to Paracombe, 10:45 AM to 2:29PM
  • Hells 500 TDU Stage 2 – 71kms, 1750vm, 5 race viewings, 8 AM – 11 AM, Red Berry Espresso Coffee Roastery, 2 L’Estrange Street,
  • Beer, Pizza & Adventure Riding Tips By MAAP & Treadly –
  • “Shut Up Legs 3”, with Stuey O’Grady and Jens Voight – @ the Velo Precinct 7.30PM to 10PM –
  • Glenelg TDU Street Party – Mosley Square, Glenelg – 5PM – 11PM

Thursday 19th January

  • TdU Hansgrohe Stage 3, Glenelg to Victor Harbor, 11AM to 2:51
  • Trek Women’s Ride – 8AM to 10 AM, start at Bicycle Express,124 Halifax St, Adelaide
  • Social ride Garda Bike Hotel & Alé Cipollini Team through the Adelaide hills with the premier Italian ladies pro cycling team Alé Cipollini Team . 8AM Cibo Cafe, Hutt Street, Adelaide. The ride will head out to the foothills before returning to Glenelg via the coast in time to watch the start of Stage 3 of the TDU.
  • Hells 500 TDU Stage 3, 7:30 AM – 10:30 AM, 160km’s, 2000VM’s, Red Berry Espresso Coffee Roastery, 2 L’Estrange Street
  • Norwood On Tour Street Party – Norwood Parade – 5PM to 10PM

Friday 20th January

  • BUPA Challenge Tour, Norwood to Campbelltown, 6:30AM to late
  • TdU BUPA STAGE 4, Norwood to Campbelltown, 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM
  • Thereabouts 3: Colombia – Official film launch party: 6PM – 8:30PM Palace Nova Rundle Street –
  • Festka Ride to TDU Stage 4 – 8AM to 3PM – Start at the Whistle and Flute Cafe
    136 Greenhill Road, Unley –
  • Zwift OZ TDU Catch Up – Bici Espresso e Pasticceria, 259 Hutt Street, Adelaide. 6:30PM to 9:30PM
  • Hells 500 TDU Stage 4, 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM, Checker Hill, Red Berry Espresso Coffee Roastery, 2 L’Estrange Street

Saturday 21st January

Sunday 22nd January

  • TdU, Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6, Adelaide, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
  • BUPA Mini Tour, 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
  • Tour de Fork – Elder Park – 11AM to 4PM
  • Team Astana Meet ‘n’ Greet, Bike Bug Whippets Espresso
    11 Stepney Street, Adelaide, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Keep on Peddling

A big year for Wednesday Legs, and if my master plan rolls out the way i hope it will, there will be some new features in the new year.

Targets are (and by writing it down I hope to “force my self to follow them through – some are in motion)

  • Update the styling of the blog to make it an easier read
  • Development of a Wednesday Legs logo and colour scheme
  • New regular contributors providing further insight into cycling in Australia
  • Expanded reviews
  • Content modification. You may have noticed a phase out over the last 3 – 4 months of certain content. The TdU have picked up on my change and themselves have implemented as similar approach. Some readers (or should I say ex-readers) have already provided me with feedback over the last few months, and I have passed these onto the complaints department to deal with. 🙂

For all those who have participated and contributed to the blog, a big thank-you.

For all those who will be contributing in the future, thanking you in advance.

Putting this blog out on a consistent basis takes time, effort and a lot of thought to get it down into the blog.  Some weeks have been better than others, but i think this year the bar has been raised and there have been some terrific articles that hopefully have either inspired you in one way shape or form, or has given you some ideas to do something different.

The comments and feedback I get from you certainly give me inspiration to carry on, so please keep the comments, thoughts, recommendations coming on in. Even if they are negative, it doesn’t matter as long as they’re not personal comments, just keep them coming in. I’ll try to respond to every piece of feedback.

Some highlights for me this last year, in no particular order are:

  1. The Riders of the Week. I’m constantly amazed at the response I get from everyone I ask. The level of effort put into the responses are at times quite extraordinary. At times the rotw has poured their heart into it and revealed personal things that I wasn’t expecting, so thanks again to all who participated.
  2. Trialing the Cannondale Slate, that fun lefty that is assured on the road and more so on the gravel and trails. Thanks to Keith over at VÉLOPORTE for the lend of the bike. see the review here – Slate
  3. After purchasing a second hand gravel bike, I tok part in Gravelaide’s first organised ride in Adelaide, a 100km loop east of Mount Torrens. It was a shocker of a day with howling winds that detracted from the scenic beauty of the Adelaide Hills, but it turned out, like most rides where you need to push through your personal limits, it was an awesome event and I can’t wait for the next installment in 2017. See link here – Gravelaide
  4. In February I posted the 150th edition of Wednesday Legs, who woulda thought eh! See that posting here.  Print it off, get me to sign it next time you see me – it’ll be a collectors item 1 day, trust me, I know these things. See link here.  150
  5. Peaks Challenge – Falls Creek. I don’t ride it these days, but i head over each year with mates and have a fantastic time. The weekend is the highlight of my year. The bike cones with me and I get out for a few rides in some of the most spectacular Australian scenery outside of the Adelaide Hills. And it’s not just that weekend, the training with the mates leading up to the weekend is sometimes fun. See my link to the last weekend here – 3 Peaks 
  6. Mathew Hayman’s win at the 2016 Paris Roubaix was an incredible ride, particularly after 6 weeks after breaking his arm (radius) at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. His 16th attempt – woohoo! Link here – Hayman win
  7. Everesting – there has been a bucketload of Everesting attempts this year in Adelaide, not sure why there has been so many, but its been extraordinary, and the support of the local Adelaide cycling community, as mentioned by this weeks Rider of the Week later in this posting, is pleasing to see. What a  community we have. I’ve posted the Everesting Hall of Fame for SA – 2016 below. Will your name be there next year?
  8. Social media taking the piss out of Chris Froome and his sprint up Mont Ventoux, see link here – Run Froome Run
  9. Not an enjoyable time of the year, but certainly memorable, my fall from grace finishing with a face plant and 6 weeks of the road recuperating from an innocuous fall riding through the parklands on a dark stormy night – Link here to some not too pretty pictures – Face Plant – followed by trialing the sufferfest indoor training app whilst i was in recovery mode – link here – Sufferfest
  10. The Adelaide Dirty Dozen is always one for the books. I’ve completed 2 of them, and taken photos in two others – both times forced out through injury. The first one was a broken bone in a foot, this year was the aforementioned face plant.  The conditions were woefull this year, cold, bucketing rain – its amazing so many finished. See my writeup and photos here – ADD2016
  11. The Long Wet. Adelaide had a long long winter, which to be honest didn’t affect me too much as i was indoor training, but there were several storms that damaged the road infrastructure in the hills and has left hillside scars that will take some time to recover. Norton Summit Road has only just opened back up after being partially rebuilt on the last climb. Montacute road had to be rebuilt down toward the bottom, Gorge road required repair in parts and a section of Burdetts Road is still closed to traffic awaiting repair. Link here – Storm Damage
  12. Charity. I knew that cyclists in general are a giving bunch, not the cockroaches that is portrayed in social media. The world would be a better place if car drivers committed the same amount of time and effort in raising funds for charitable causes as cyclists do. FFS. My research into charity rides around Australia blew my mind. I think i was only scratching the surface in my article here – Charity Rides


TdU – 2017

If your coming over to Adelaidefor the TdU or live in Adelaide and want to catch up, drop me a line, I’ve got a good portion of January off so I’d be more than happy to ride with you. If your looking for suggestions on what ridesa re out there, drop me a line, I’ll do my best to help.

And as always, I’ll be stationing myslef at the top of Wilunga Hill on the Saturday, look for the Wednesday Legs jersey.

Or if your heading to the Legends Dinner, I’ll be there as well.


Adelaide Everesting 2016

Wow, just wow.  The below list is a copy from the Hells 500 web page, and for some reason the SA filter has filtered out some riders, BJJ for fact has completed 12 this year, not the 9 noted below. So sorry if i missed you.

Benny JJ ☁️  Monalta Drive 258 03/12/16 153.42 15:51:00
Benny JJ ☁️  Hillrise Road 134 19/11/16 159.68 17:29:47
Chris Cirami  Burnell Drive 167 22/10/16 236.23 21:03:41
Benny JJ ☁️  Burnell Drive 166 22/10/16 233.69 16:18:53
Sonja Jansen  Burnell Drive 167 22/10/16 236.74 19:54:19
Iron5 for55  Burnell Drive 166 22/10/16 239.33 14:45:56
David Bills ☁️  Burnell Drive 165 22/10/16 237.79 18:46:45
Mark Slee ☁️  Burnell Drive 164 22/10/16 232.60 19:06:29
bria smith  Burnell Drive 171 22/10/16 241.51 20:42:18
Rob Greenwood ☁️  Burnell Drive 161 22/10/16 238.53 18:42:09
Sam Morphett  Lobethal to Deviation Road 45 22/10/16 229.96 16:02:02
Adam Bowey  Lobethal to Deviation Road 45 22/10/16 231.59 16:02:09
Nathan Dowie  Lobethal to Deviation Road 45 22/10/16 240.95 16:04:43
Adam Williss ☁️  Methodist St to Bangor Rd 33 15/10/16 194.40 16:07:03
Demonic Dan V  Bundarra Road 217 23/09/16 79.67 18:54:00
Demonic Dan V  Mt. Marino Wall 255 27/08/16 109.61 17:25:39
Benny JJ ☁️  Kalyra Road 134 27/08/16 149.56 15:03:53
Benny JJ ☁️  Boronia Avenue 191 13/08/16 140.31 15:35:52
Benny JJ  Marina Avenue 229 21/05/16 155.12 18:19:23
Guy Stoddart  Gleneagles 84 05/05/16 244.20 20:54:26
CloudChaser (Aaron Lau)  Devils Elbow to Bollards 32 30/04/16 362.88 1d 01:47:26
Marshall Anderson  Devils Elbow to Bollards 34 30/04/16 383.24 21:21:45
Mark Day  Devils Elbow to Bollards 33 30/04/16 379.07 1d 01:03:01
Luke Moffat  Devils Elbow to Bollards 32 29/04/16 366.71 23:53:52
Benny JJ  Fox Creek Rd 93 09/04/16 230.02 1d 00:00:29
Tim Ely  Fox Creek Rd 81 09/04/16 187.49 1d 02:05:49
Ivan Clark  Old Carey Gully Road 100 02/04/16 307.61 20:09:19
Richard Mackenzie  Old Carey Gully Road 100 02/04/16 306.71 20:09:19
matt hawthorn  Old Carey Gully Road 100 02/04/16 304.62 20:12:42
Andrew Speer  Stock Road 52 24/03/16 319.72 1d 00:56:20
Alex Louca  Knox McBeath 62 24/03/16 247.70 22:38:46
Mark Perts  Mc Beath Road 62 24/03/16 247.66 22:38:46
Rob Wood  Sheoak Road 119 19/03/16 124.74 13:58:13
Durianrider VEGAN POWER! เจ  Gill Tce 99 18/03/16 120.28 14:53:30
Demonic Dan V  Sunnyside Wall 132 17/03/16 131.70 15:24:59
David Bills  Lindsay Terrace 201 13/03/16 294.63 22:24:07
Benny JJ  Jacobs Ladder (Gill Tce) 122 12/03/16 145.65 21:05:48
Benny JJ  Coach Road 37 27/02/16 179.18 18:45:30


Belgium commuting

Who woulda thought. Getting paid to ride to work. What a novel and progressive idea.

According to a report in the De Tijd, more than 400,000 Belgians received compensation for commuting to work by bike in 2015, an increase on previous years.

The payment each cyclist receives is dependent on the commute distance. The total cost to the Belgian government last year was €93.3 million. The average distance a cyclist traveled to work per annum in 2015 was 1,045 km.

Hmm.  I live close to the city, so my annual travel would be in the order of 1000 km, which is close to the Belgium average.  Whilst I’m not certain, it appears that there were 385,000 compensated riders, so under the Belgium scheme, that would see me be compensated somewhere around €245, or $350.  Better than a kick in the teeth. It would certainly encourage more cyclist onto the road, increase health, reduce arterial clogging, which by weight of numbers would provably force the pollies to more with the infrastructure – a win win win situation.


As Koen Timmermans says  “THE FUCK”


That being said, we’re not Robonsn Crusoe over here in Australia when it comes to grievances over the road infrastructure.



The 1 Hour Climb

Cannondale – Drapac’s Joe Dombrowski, wants to create an uphill hour record.


Dombrowski’s idea is simple, a tally of elevation gain in 1 hour, in meters, on a climb of the rider’s choice.

It would take place on an open road, open to weather, gradient, wind, road surface and traffic.

“It’s sort of limiting in that you’re probably looking at, for a one-hour, flat-out effort on a perfect climb for it with good wind, good weather, like 1,900 VAM (vertical meters gained per hour).” (Jesus – that would make a 4 1/2 hour everesting attempt (not allowing for fatigue)?

Dombrowski is already considering which climb could be used to make his first attempt. If he is targeting 1,900 VAM,  in one hour he’ll need a long climb such as Tenerife, the volcanic climb often used for altitude training, or maybe the Stelvio, though he’s not sure the latter is long enough.

Definitely no long sustained climbs like that in Adelaide.


Cycling Photograph of the Year

If your looking for some photographic inspiration, have a look over at the Cycling Tips – Mark Gunther photo of the year awards here. 

Here’s just a few submitted.

Loose gravel
Nathan Shneeberger, United States. “2016 JJoe Martin Stage Race, Deans Market, AR – Alizée Brien from Team Tibco-SVB had a 30 second lead on the peloton during Friday’s Road Race until hitting loose gravel on a tight chicane. Ironically the tight chicane was added last minute as part of a course reroute to avoid a prolonged stretch of fresh pea-gravel on US Highway 71.” DSLR. @snowymountainphotography
Beauty & Danger of Racing
Stefan Feldmann, Canada. “Beauty & Danger of Racing – Unfortunate crash during the Womens 2015 Gastown Grandprix. Lindsay Bayer crashed on the hairpin corner but walked away from it and ended up finishing the race.”


Sky Salmon

Earlier this year Gianni Moscon won the Arctic Race of Norway, and with his stage 3 victory in the race, he won a prize of half a ton of Norwegian salmon. During a training camp in Mallorca this week, the prize was delivered.


Moscon celebrated the prize with his Team Sky team mates and 80 guests over a four-course dinner served by seafood chef Adrian Løvold from Trondheim in Norway. The menu consisted of grilled salmon, Norwegian Christmas herring and sashimi of scallops and fresh salmon.


Did You Know – Maple Syrup

Did you know that maple syrup belongs in the superfood category?. An inhibitor of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, plus all the electrolytes, amino acids, and antioxidants you could shake a stick at. Or so Ted King says.

I’ll need to eat more pancakes, all in the cause of improving my health of course.



Bicycle Posters

I love the vintage posters, particulalry those chianti classico ones. The vintage cycling posters are pretty neat too, so of anyome is looking to get me something next yer (Too late for Christmas this year), one of these classic posters would suit nicely thanks.




Rider of the Week – Benny JJ

This week we get to delve into the mind of Beny JJ, a cyclist who only a few weeks ago completed an absolutely incredible 12 everests in 12 months.  Please sit back, grab a craft beer and take your time reading Benny’s story.

  • Can you tell us a little about your cycling background and what first got you started in cycling?
Growing up in the town of Clare, Souh Australia a population of about 1000 everyone knew everyone. I like a lot of small country town kids the primary method of transportation and fun was get on your bike, ride all day, make sure you home in time for dinner. Get hungry, ride home, get fed and get back on your bike.
I would think nothing of riding to Sevenhill, Farrel Flat, Burra, Blyth. Knowing kids in all the surrounding small towns meant you would pre-organise with your mates where we were riding on the weekend. Come Saturday morning after breakfast I was off, me a few mates, the 10 speed flat bar banger (back when 10 gears was nothing short of awesome).
As an adult for health reasons, another string to my bow as I was already running and swimming.
  • You’ve recently completed 12 Everests in in 2016. I’m sorry, but why? Wh at was going through your mind when you decided 12 in 12 would be a good idea?
In short: A way of keeping myself mentally accountable through a physical discipline and vice versa.
The long version: Naturally it started with one, Old Belair, the story behind that is simple.
It was the first longer sustained climb I rode great than 5/6% after starting cycling in May 2015. I knew about everesting & what an awesome idea it was, got about half way, legs were BURNING, I had to pull over and rest, at that moment I thought; I’m going to Everest this sucker HELL OR HIGH WATER! Being one of those disgruntled thoughts that most times we pass off. The idea didn’t go away.
At the time I was running a fair bit but doing A LOT of swimming for mental health reasons. To be honest, depression and anxiety had knocked me badly and keeping active was a great tool in recovery and recuperation.
January 30th 2016 comes around I get to Old Belair Road and start spinning 7am not having a bloody clue! I had asked a few questions on adelaidecyclists, a few known riders commented. I took what little I had learned I rode.
Unfortunately I was getting called from work all days which prolonged the day but who cares. I finished! The sense of achievement and a culmination of a long battle with poor mental health I had started to get on top of that was something else.
Post Old Belair the high within myself drove me to do another one, like a dog collecting a thrown stick. Still really having no idea of the caper & the naivety of it all I saw someone on Strava had ridden Coach Road commenting how much of a belter it was. Curiosity got me. I rode it a couple times and said yep I’ll give it a go. Knowing I have 1 weekend a month completely free I set myself 4 weeks to recover and go again.
Looking back now being green to cycling and especially everesting helped with Coach Road. I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it the same as Old Belair. Holy mother of all things cycling
Coach Road is horrible just once but I kept on keeping on.
Growing a severe hatred for the middle section about 600m of 15% that never seems to end not to mention the &%$!# wall. A fellow was riding by in a Hells500 jersey whom I knew of and his Everest. I sheepishly asked who he was, we chatted for a bit saying you need crew out here, put something up on the socials and get some help. Eventually I conceded at 6000 vertical meters posting on Facebook and goodness me crew came out.
Cyclist from all over Adelaide 99% of them I have never met who put in some solid time on the bike with me, helping where possible, dribbling in my ear making me laugh, telling stories. These people literally got me to the summit. Learning what #crewgotcrew was all about. That person who encouraged me to get some crew just so happens to be one of the most a we some people I’ve ever met & I’m glad to call them a mate.
12 in 12 was still not a thing as yet but I had thought setting myself a goal of using that one free weekend a month is a way of keeping myself mentally accountable through a physical discipline and vice versa which stemmed from a mental health perspective and drive to stay healthy.
Then comes Gill Tce, Fox Creek, Ridgeland Drive, clearly a trend was in full swing.
Gill Terrace
Gill Terrace
Gill Terrace
Gil Terrace
Reflecting on #5 , Ridgeland, the small thought of 12 everest in 12 month is possible, maybe, really? I’m feeling strong & riding up and down a hill more than ever kept me accountable mentally and physically with the greater goal of continued improved mental health and strength. Hence 12 in 12 was born. By now I knew the drill, it had become be diligent to the process which in short is eat, drink ride a whole lot & repeat.
Ridgeland Drive
Ridgeland Drive
Ridgeland Drive
Ridgeland Drive
  • That’s tough going and painful, but  was there any particular “favourite” Everests?
Baronia or Fox Creek.
Fox Creek Hill was great as Sherpa numbers were awesome all throughout the day, I was attempting with a good mate, conditions were great, people showed up from all over the place, coffee and bakery runs into Lobethal & Cudlee Creek. Sherpa starting their stints at past midnight. The day & night was done in the spirit of everesting, both riders on the day got through on an honest 10% average. Just a top day out on the bike with good people on a good hill.
Fox Creek
Fox Creek
Fox Creek
Fox Creek
Barona although 13.9% average it was straight up and down, very little run off. I did it on the quiet as the previous Everest (Col du the Parade) I disliked pretty much the whole thing. I wanted to rock up to Baronia and ride the day lightouts out of it.
Baronia Avenue
Baronia Avenue
Baronia Avenue
Settled into the 34/28 all day & just rode. Although quite a bit of the day was on my own I was in a great head space after the last attempt, was reaching good vert amounts per moving hour. It did rain for the last couple hours but I didn’t care. A mate rocked up to help ride it out, friends and family bottom of the hill for the last few hours. What I set out to do that done was done to a tee with a smile on my face all day.
  • And vice-versa, any one that was just the absolute bitch?
Col de la Parade – that section of hill can be swallowed up by an earthquake for all I care. It had been raining quite a bit leading up to it, I get there, setup the deckchair, esky etc its foggy, the road is slick. I set off down the hill for the first time and immediately find a line not to take, how I didn’t come off I don’t know. Get to the bottom of the hill
and hit start on the garmin. First ascent passing through the 20% section I am spinning on the spot, this happens for the first couple of hours doesn’t matter what line I take. The descent is slow due to conditions. First hour goes by and I am only at 650 vertical meters. I’m a little surprised but think ride to the conditions. It got colder, the road got
worse to ride on. Everything slowed down. Sherpas in the morning which was good, a couple in the afternoon but mostly on my own.
The hill never allowed me to just ride and settle into a groove. I had to be switch on at all times so I didn’t come off the bike. A few rocked up with hot chips around 6pm and could see I was not in a good head space. Physically fine but I didn’t want to be there.


A mate and fellow evererester said to me, come on Benny you know the drill head up finish this tucker off.
It was dark, alone again on the bike fighting inner daemons, the mind full of really dark parts of my life, everything closed in on me especially thoughts when living through a long-term domestically abusive relationship. I got to the top of the hill more foods and fluid, looked over the city lights and cried. No feeling of self-worth just alone and about 2500 vertical meters to go. Next thing I remember is riding again listening to music telling myself everything ends, every meter gained is a meter less. I had got into a better headspace with a drive of ultimately why I am doing this. For my son. To be a sound example of mind and body, to show adversity can be over come.
Then out of nowhere a Sherpa arrives. I didn’t really know this person at the time but they gave me 2000 of the finest vertical meters. We spoke about literally everything. He really really had to get back home but had got me well into the eight thousands. He left and I still continued to slip at the same steep section, had to be 100% engaged at all times on the down hill. Hands, wrists and forearms, shoulders and neck were hurting but I knew what to do; keep on peddling.
Gee the last handful of laps were extremely slow but looking back what matters
is I got from to bottom to top and repeat till complete.
  • You received a lot of support throughout your climbs. For future Sherpa benefit, what type of support helped you through the tough times?
Someone just being there, a wheel to hold onto, someone who is intuitive enough to see what you need & get it, do whatever possible to keep you spinning and gaining vertical meters. This is where those who have everested before & know what you’re going through is absolute gold! When your deep into the ride & you are beginning to hate with
every ounce of your being sections of the road. You hear the sound of a bike chasing you up the hill, look back to see that Hells500 jersey. Its sweet mental relief knowing that they know the drill, what your going to need & likely when.
This by no means discounts other cyclist who roll some laps or those on the sidelines throwing a lolly snake or few at you but there is a wonderful community within those who have everested and the knowledge mentally and physically what it takes.
  • What surprised you most about Everesting during those first few attempts?
How fantastic the Adelaide cycling community is. Everesting is a pretty crazy thing to do that can take quite a lot of time to finish, I’ve been hard pressed to not come across a decent person who is willing to come to a strange hill all hours of day or night just to support you in your crazy quest & have met some of the best humans through not just
my own everests but sherparing others on their attempts.
  • You had an accident on one that prevented you from finishing. What happened?
Hillrise Road, the conditions were just the worst, I was 3000 vertical meters deep and despite the persistent heavy rain and wind I was flying. I’m just about to hit the 20% section of the hill and the chain snaps, there is that horrible ½ a second you know this is likely not to end well, I wasn’t going quick and fell awkwardly sideways landing on my ribs
mostly with my wrist bent under me. Yeah that hurt, nothing broken just some very bruised ribs, sprained wrist & seeing stars for a few moments. I tried to get going again with repairing the chain but the chain pins both snapped (I’m now very agreeable with quick links) Ran through all my options but couldn’t brake with my left hand and
breathing hurt A LOT. I rested at the top for 1 hour hoping I would come good but no dice.
Fortunately I went back out to Hillrise at a later date and gave it a sufficient smack dropping a sweet Everest on it.
  • Whats on the cycling horizon for you now?
For the short-term give the body some rest then look to put some times up. Use that free weekend to just ride ride ride with good people explore some new roads.
As far as doing some crazy stuff on a bike … keep on eye out some cool things planned for 2017. But mostly looking forward to sherparing Everest attempts.
  • What advice would you give to people thinking about giving Everesting a go for the first time?
Do it, ride lots to prepare hit the hills get some verts into the legs, pick a hill, work out the numbers on it.
Esky full of food and drink. Tell a few people, tell lots of people. Ride ride ride.
Physical preparation knowing the hill absolutely helps but for those who have everested all say for their first attempt there was some naivety but that completely works in your favour. Just ride and ride lots.
  • Do you do all your own maintenance or do you use a LBS? If so, which one?
Kim @ North Adelaide Cycles has been an absolute champion giving a lot of his time in not just keeping the two-wheeled machine moving but talking about the balance of on and off the bike time, mental approaches to time in the saddle. The guy really knows his stuff. Highly recommended.
What is your favourite piece of cycling kit or accessory?
Bikes and gear used?
Without a doubt the spin cycle featherlight kit, absolutely rock solid. I’ve everested 10 times in that getup & hasn’t let me down once. Honestly go to and do yourself a favour.
I feel lucky that Spin Cycle have asked me to test some of their new cycling kits, Nathaniel the owner, designer, the everything of Spin Cycle is really into bikes, gear, kit etc & just so happens to be a champion of a person too.
Accessory probably my $5 sunnies from ebay, the blue ones. A staple of my everesting setup.
The first 2 everest I used a Reid Falco Advanced running a 39/53 to 11/30. I did Coach Road on that…what was I thinking!
The next 10 were on a Boardman SLS9.2 which I got mid-week, had it put together by Kim at North Adelaide Cycles then everested on the Saturday. Compacts up front to an 11/28, post Gill Tce and 32 was put on and quickly.
  • What do you love about cycling?
My immediate thought is it saved my life, brought me into a better place mentally and physically plus the many many awesome people I’ve met who share a passion for a healthy life style. They just get it, whatever it is they want it too. You can find this it on a bike on your own or with a group of other like minded people.
  • What do you love about Adelaide?
After having traveled around Europe and Australia I found the simplicity of the Adelaide life style, we really do have it good here. Plus the Adelaide Hills are the best in Australia to ride around.
  • What annoys most about cycling?
The very little money allocated to cycling within Adelaide. We could be one of the best cycling locations in the world.  A dedicated variable crit & CX crack for starters.
  • Other than yourself, who is your favourite cyclist?
Myself, laugh, certainly not. I’ve always like Contador how he is out of the saddle so much, something I have follow suit for some reason. Some say it is because I come from a running back ground??
But aside from professionals the people in the Hells 500 community. I’ve
learnt a lot about technique, mental approaches to cycling, how to be a better cyclist at certain types of riding. Adelaide has some absolute big dogs who are seriously fast around the hills short and long climbs. Those guys are tops & have been fortunate to ride with them and will continue to.
  • What is your favourite post ride coffee/tea spot, and what would you normally buy as a treat?
Big fan of Kitchen 2C in Hahndorf.
The pecan pie at Ottos bakery Hahndorf is on point
E for Ethel in North Adelaide for the best banana bread going round.
  • What is your favourite local training route?
A training route, not so much. For an Everest I do ride the hill
for an hour block in the morning and night to see what vertical meters are achievable and in different conditions.
Wow, thanks Benny, an inspiration to those considering an everesting attempt, it’s even got me thinking about something, but i might try a sneaky. I’m ok with failure, but its something i like to keep to myself. The mere fact that you only took up cycling again in 2015, nothing short of extraordinary.
Thats it for another big year.
I’m looking forward to the TdU in 2017, hope to see you here.
till 2017
tight spokes

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