Ghently does it!

I’ve been living a very secluded lifestyle because I just cannot believe I haven’t seen any of this before. It’s just insane! The Ghent 6 Day racing. Google it, Facebook it, Youtube it, Instagram it, or whatever you choose, just have a look at it, it’s just finished in Belgium with a last-minute almost last lap win by a couple of very famous cyclists.

Before i have a look at Ghent, I’d like to introduce you to the wonder that is 6 Day racing.

Six Day Racing

Six-day races started in Britain in 1878, funnily as a bet, spread around the world, were brought to their modern style in the United States and are now mainly a European event.

The six day events did not become popular in the States until 1891, when the first Six days of New York were held in New York’s  Madison Square Garden. In the main ‘chase’ or Madison sessions, both riders may be on the track at the same time, taking it in turns to race, hand-slinging each other back into action.

Why 6 days? Races lasted six days rather than a week to avoid racing on Sunday. Of course.


The success of Madisons in America led to their introduction in Europe.

The first was at Toulouse in 1906, although it was abandoned after three days because of lack of interest. Berlin tried, three years later, with success. Five races were held in Germany in 1911-12. Brussels followed in 1912 and Paris in 1913.

Six-day racing was popular in the United States until the Second World War. Then the rise of the automobile and the Great Depression brought a decline


In October 2016 a Six Day Series was announced for the 2016-2017 season, including the Six Days of London, Amsterdam, Berlin and Copenhagen, culminating in a one-night final to be held in Palma, Majorca in March 2017.

The aim is for the Six-day races to be contested in a festival atmosphere by teams of two across a range of disciplines, with the winners being the pair with the highest cumulative points total.


Teams will battle for points across the four Six Day events, with the top 12 qualifying for the final event. The women’s racers will share top billing with the men in Mallorca with the top 12 across the season also qualifying for the final event.

And of course, the entertainment won’t be far away with a track centre DJ and entertainment at all events.

And the reason for my interest, well, i came across the Ghent 6 on the interwebby thing the other day – as i said above, it looks insane, it’s a social event that goes on for 6 days in downtown Ghent. Have a look at some of the pictures below.


Ghent Six Day




The Ghent Six Day is an annual track cycling event held in the Belgian town of Ghent at the Kuipke velodrome November of each year.

So, what is the Ghent 6 and what is it all about?

Well, as noted above, Six Day racing first gained popularity in the late 19th Century at New York’s Madison Square Garden – hence the Madison – and for many years the racing really was 24-hour a day stuff. Teams of two raced round the clock for six days and nights, with one member of the team racing on the track at any one time, the other resting.

The format survived in Europe until the 1960s, but it had become stale. It become common for teams to neutralise the racing in the small hours, the crowds lost interest and dropped off, so eventually the format it was dropped.

Now, the Ghent Six Day runs for five evenings from Tuesday to Saturday, and a Sunday afternoon, and consist of a series of track events contested by pairs of riders.

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There are a combination of events including:

  • 60-lap points race: Points on offer every ten laps
  • Flying-lap time trial: One team member winds up the pace and then hand-slings his team-mate who is timed over the last lap
  • Elimination races: Raced as pairs and individuals, last man over the line on the designated sprint laps is eliminated
  • Derny races: Motorcycles pace the riders
  • Scratch: races A basic free-for-all, first over the line wins
  • 500m time trial: Fairly self-explanatory
  • Madison: Racing as pairs, one rider in the race at a time, the riders swap over by hand-slinging each other into the action. Aim is to lap the field to increase the chance of winning the final sprint

Calculating who wins can get complicated but basically it’s about trying to gain laps on the rest of the field, typically in the Madison races.

The winning team is the team to have covered the longest distance at the end of the competition, meaning that they have cycled the greatest number of rounds, of course a bonus round is allocated for every one hundred points that a team achieves.

If two teams have cycled the same number of rounds, then the winning team will be decided based on the points. These points can be won in all the events on the programme of the Six-Days.


Points are awarded for every race, as well as sprint laps during the races. But there’s no point being half a dozen laps down with a stack of points – you’ve still got to keep up. For every hundred points won, the team is awarded a free lap too.

Riders are in and out of the race so frequently typically lapping at around 11 or 12 seconds, covering hundreds of laps a night.Behind the dernys, riders will do this in as little as nine seconds.  In a week each rider will have covered not far off 1,000 kilometres.

Got that?

The rules are crazy – see here

Riders can drop out, teams can drop out, new teams can form throughout the competition. The leader can form a provisional team Races can be neutralised for 1.5 km through recognised mechanical issues or crashes. The race doctor may neutralise a rider for a maximum of 36 hours, after which if the rider cannot rejoin he is taken out of the race

The Kuipke velodrome has an aura no other velodrome in Europe possesses. For a start the short 166-metre track makes it a tight, intimate venue, and its tumbledown, slightly worn-around-the-edges feel only adds to the charm.

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Loosely translated as the Dish, Het Kuipke is wedged into a big hall that smells of stale beer on the city’s busy ring road, the boards here are used only for the Ghent Six Day event. Across town, a 250m indoor velodrome serves all other local track cycling purposes.

Under your wheels, the boards creak and groan like an old ship. In places you feel it sinking beneath you. Other spots are just plain rough.

The crudest of the Kuipke’s impurities are the cracks of the giant door cut into the banking at one end.

201115/ Lotto 6 daagse  Vlaanderen Gent /201115/ Lotto 6 daagse  Vlaanderen Gent /

Then there’s the aroma – broiling hot dogs, beer, cheap perfume… And that’s just the riders!

The Ghent Six Day may not be the slickest but it’s the most authentic and the fans turn out year after year to pack out the arena. It’s noisy, boozy and exhilarating.

The first Ghent Six was held in 1922 and was won by Marcel Buysse.

Every day starts with the Memorial Noël Foré (“Future stars six-day event”) for cyclists under 23 years of age.

The women will compete against each other in the Ladies Three-Day Omnium on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Omnium is organised according to the Olympic formula: six disciplines in three days, two disciplines a day.

Every day the main programme consists of the relay race, the elimination, the time trial and the spectacular derny.

It looks awfully confusing and a busy program over the 6 days, so just to give you a feel ive posted the last days program from this years event.

Time Race Category Info
11.30hrs Time trial: lap of the track Sprint Cup Flying start (4 riders)
11.40hrs Time trial: 500m AVS Cup (U23) Flying start with relay (based on yesterday’s results: 12 -> 1) + ceremony
12.05hrs Sprint (1/2 final) Sprint Cup 2 rounds (1st & 4th time trial, 2nd & 3rd time trial) with 2 riders
12.15hrs Madison AVS Cup (U23) 240 laps with sprint after 50, 100, 150, 200, 210, 220, 230 and 240 laps + ceremony
13.15hrs Sprint (final) 2 rounds (for 3rd & 4th place, for 1st & 2nd place) with 2 riders
13.20hrs Ceremony final: yellow + green jersey AVS Cup (U23)
13.25hrs Presentation of teams Elite Presentation of teams, cycling on the track (12 -> 1)
13.45hrs Points Race Elite 50 laps with a sprint every 10 laps + ceremony
14.00hrs Points Race Elite 50 laps with a sprint every 10 laps + ceremony
14.15hrs Team elimination race Elite 1st drop off after 10 rounds, followed by every 6 aps + ceremony
14.30hrs Tempo Race Ladies Omnium 45 laps (1st sprint after 5 laps, followed by every 2 laps) + ceremony
14.50hrs Scratch race Elite 30 laps + ceremony
15.05hrs Time trial: 500m Elite Flying start with relay (based on yesterday’s results: 12 -> 1) + ceremony
15.30hrs Derny race Elite 1st round : 60 laps + ceremony
15.45hrs Supersprint Elite 6 x drop off every 6 laps, 10 laps with sprint + ceremony
16.00hrs Derny race Elite Second round : 60 laps + ceremony
16.15hrs Time trial: lap of the track Elite Flying start with relay (based on yesterday’s results : 12 -> 1) + ceremony
16.35hrs Break
16.40hrs Start final Madison Elite 60 minutes (last 50 laps with sprint every 10 laps : 5 x 10-6-4-2 points)
17.40hrs Arrival final Madison Elite
17.45hrs Final Ceremony Elite
18.00hrs End of the sixth day

And this years winners – some old familiar faces. Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish took out the overall Gent Six Day by stealing a lap in the closing minutes of the event’s final chase.

The British duo went into the last race, an hour-long Madison, well behind the the leaders Kenny De Ketele and Moreno De Pauw in third place.

A flurry of attacks popped off the front, and each time the Madison world champions took a lap, they were answered by their rivals. Eight times the top three teams lapped the field, and looked to be locked into position heading into the final minutes, with De Ketele and De Pauw holding a slight lead over Viviani and Keisse on points.


But with the laps ticking down, Wiggins made the move that would propel his team around the field, being declared lap leaders with just five short 167m laps to go.

There was no time for the other teams to respond, and the Britons, despite being a full 65 points in arrears, won the overall thanks to that single attack.


Further event  information here.

Australian Six Day History (Readers Digest Version)

Not surprisingly, Australia has a significant albeit spluttering history of 6 day events, starting right back in 1881. It gained a lot of popularity in the 60’s, was on life support overt the 70’s and 80’s, flat lined in the 90’s, 00’s and has just had a revival in Melbourne on the 5th November , with the BOHDI Australasian 6 Day.  Attendances were light on and that would be expected, but lets hope BOHDIand the organisers have a long-term view and it gathers support and momentum in coming years.


  • Adelaide Six Day.  6 editions from 1960 to 1967.
  • Bendigo – 1 edition in 1960
  • Brisbane – 1 edition in 1932
  • Gold Coast – 4 editions between 1975 – 1978
  • Launceston – 21 editions between 1961 – 1987
  • Melbourne – 18 editions spread between 1912 – 1983
  • Maryborough (Qld) – 3 Editions between 1961 and 1967
  • Newcastle – 3 Editions between 1961 – 1970
  • Perth – 5 Editions between 1961 – 1989
  • Sydney – 17 editions between 1912 and 1974
  • Townsville – 1 edition in 1962
  • Whyalla – 3 Editions between 1966 and 1968



The winners of the 2016 BODHI Australasian 6 Day were:

  • 1st Kell O’Brien & Matt Ross 0 Laps 387 pts.
  • 2nd Cam Scott & Nick Yallouris-1 lap 465 pts.
  • 3rd Cooper Sayers & Alex Morgan-2 laps 218 pts.
  • 4th Jarrod Drizners & Braden O’Shea -3 laps 304 pts.
  • 5th Ross Freeman & Callan Douglas -4 laps 194 pts.
  • 6th Tyler Spurrell & Sam Lane -4 laps 167 pts
  • 7th Bailey Goltz & Luke Knox -8 laps. 30 pts

Not quite the same atmosphere, but it’s great to see the format reappear in Australia, and hopefully it will continue on and buildup.

So, if you can give whatever support you can to those who are getting behind this reformatting of a great event. Including BOHDI, who make some pretty fine cycling gear.


Theres a nice little symmetry behind BODHIs involvement with the Aus 6-Day and the Ghent 6-Day – “Our premium Italian fabrics will provide you with the greatest of comfort, the best protection and pure Belgian craftsmanship. All that to make you give your whole on that bicycle.”



Cycling Infrastructure – San Sebastion Bike Tunnel


San Sebastion, the basque city on the Northern coast of Spain, is home an 850m long dedicated bike tunnel on this planet.

The bicycle tunnel itself is a part of a 2 kilometre section of former railway that connects two neighbourhoods in the city and is part of the ongoing commitment of the city to encourage people to choose the bicycle as transport.

For a city of around 200,000 people, its quite remarkable the city invested over $3.5M for this one section cycling infrastructure, part of their overall commitment to encouraging people to commute. Insert big sigh here!

The tunnel features 29 security cameras, a public address system and closed circuit camera link for the Municipal Guard.



Travel Logging

OK, I’ve got a mate who’s travelling overseas at the end of this week, and he showed me Polarsteps, the travel log app he’s going to use on his travels around America.


Polarsteps, is an app that lets travelers automatically track their route and places they’ve visited while they are travelling. Trips are shown on a realtime map that can be shared with friends and family, so they can follow along with the globetrotting of their loved ones like they’re in the back seat.

The concept of Polarsteps is simple: schedule your upcoming trips and the app will do its magic. It checks your location from time to time, and plots the results on a colorful map where your family and friends can follow your adventures. As you approve suggested ‘steps’ and add photos, the travel log populates itself. The app also offers a wide range of statistics, such as trip duration, countries visited and distance traveled.

Because Polarsteps is optimized for travel, travelers can even track their trips without cell coverage or data roaming. The app synchronizes its data whenever there’s a pocket of cell reception — or after logging in to the Wi-Fi at the hotel at the end of a day of travel. Polarsteps uses energy efficient technology to track your location, which means that a full day of tracking only takes a few percent off your battery.


Further details here.


Rider of the Week – Rob Greenwood


This week i take a ride with Rob down along Adelaide stunning coastline.

Rob is a 39 yo parent to two boys,  Zach and Finn.  Amazingly he has only been riding for about 4 years and fits riding in between his active kids and work as a Mobile Lending Manager for Credit Union SA. I say amazing because he he’s achieved one of the most coveted goals in Australian cycling, more of that later.
Rob has a passion for Cannondales, the colour green and coffee.
Although he came to riding pretty late in life (I wouldn’t call 35 late though Rob) , but he has certainly tried to make up for lost time !  Rob has dabbled in racing, but prefers the longer endurance hills rides. He is an Ambassador for 3T Cycling and can be found posting on Insta from time to time!
This is Robs story.
  • What first got you started in cycling?

Weight loss mainly, I was fairly big guy and was faced with back surgery for a bulging discs and pinched nerves or get healthy. That was early 2012. So long story short , joined a weight loss group (very intimidating) over a couple of yrs lost close to 30kgs… (that’s a great effort Rob).

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

I own 3 currently , main go to bike is a 2015 Cannondale High Mod Evo. Other bikes are a CAADX Ultegra disc and my MTB is a Trek.


  • Are you a roadie, or do you cross over to other disciplines?

I do a bit of CX riding, recently found a love of gravel, but I would identify as Roadie really


  • What bike do you covet?

I try not to covet bikes, it’s an expensive habit as it is. Apart from the new Evo disc, I’m really liking the new BMC range and I have a project on the go at the moment which is really different for me (Well that’s got me curious Rob)

  • How do you store your bikes?

My Crossie and Roadie have the spare room in my house and my MTB lives in the garage.

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

I do the basics myself, but for services I use mainly Bicycle Express on Halifax Street. I use Tailwind at O’Halloran Hill when I can’t get to town.

  • What cycling specific tools do you have in your “bike shed”?

Lock ring remover, Chain whips, Torque key

  • What is your favourite piece of cycling kit or accessory?

My Hells 500 Grey Stripe kit or my Falls Creek Challenge sub 10 kit ( 2016) purely for the sentiment behind them.

I’ve really found my comfort in long endurance rides but these two particular events pushed my mental strength to places I didn’t know I could go .. They opened my thoughts up what can I make myself do- which led me in to running half marathons this year too.

What do you love about cycling?

All the opportunities that have opened up, the people I’ve met, friends I’ve made, the freedom it gives you, massive sense of achievement – It has changed my life really

  • What annoys most about cycling?

Our sport is meant to be inclusive and welcoming – some people are not..

  • Other than yourself, who is your favourite cyclist?

Peter Sagan – his bike handling skills alone are mind blowing


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

Phil Liggett – just to pick his brains really.. could listen to the man talk forever
Eddie Merckx – the stories that man must have would be gold
Anna Meares – no explanation really – she’s a legend



  • Where would that dinner be?

Farm Shed in Hahndorf – just excellent tapas and amazing win list!


  • What are your craziest/fondest cycling memories?

There are so many- so I’ve picked a few

  1. First 100km ride – Amys Ride 2012
  2. First 3 Peaks ride – was one of the best days on the bike in my life – on my CAAD10
  3. Seeing my mate Bria cross for her Sub 10 at this years 3 Peaks – We trained a lot together leading in to the event and it turned out to be a bloody tough day- amazing to see her do that.
  4. Redline Classic 2014 – with my mate Ben, day two, on the road from Yankalilla to Victor. We ended up off the front with Pat Jonker, burying ourselves to keep up. That afternoon was something that I’ll look back on for a long time and smile…an amazing experience, and
  5. The two Everestings I’ve completed ( so far)!
  • What is your favourite post ride coffee/tea spot, and what would you normally buy as a treat?

Paddys Lantern ( Gilbert Street) Treat – just more coffee generally!


  • Have you traveled overseas with the bike? If so, where?

Yes, to the UK, this year.

  • Do you have a favourite overseas country you’d love to cycle in?

I really like Southern France, would love to go back with the bike

  • What is your favourite local training route?

Up to Mt Lofty via Chandlers Hill, Iron bank. Its only about 35kms from my place to the summit but has some great climbs can get in about 1000vms


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

Haha – I won’t need to upgrade for a while

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

Some Northwave Extreme RR shoes – It’s in Feb.. I’m 40, if anyone is feeling generous !


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

Yes absolutely – Redline Cycling – a great club for info checkout the group on Facebook or Insta

Bicycle Express – Halifax Street/TheParade- We all prefer our own LBS, but these guys have gone above and beyond for me since I started riding

  • Is there anything else you feel like talking about?

Not really – apart from next time you are on your bike and pass another rider…. wave….

Thanks Rob, it was great to meet and ride with you, you’ve come a long way in 4 years, I’ll be interested in seeing what your little project is.


So, that brings us to the end of another Wednesday Legs. Hard to believe there’s only 2 more before Christmas.

till next time

tight spokes





I’m not an evangelist, but, if you are looking to upgrade your current road bike, you really need to seriously look at getting a decent cx or gravel bike instead of a road bike. My next upgrade of my road bike will be

For most of us, a tripped out high spec bike is nice to look at but something that would just be a plain waste. Have a look at Graemes excellent discussion from the Sticky “Its not about the bike – the illogical nature of performance upgrades

A gravel or cx bike will open up up your riding opportunities multi-fold without having a noticeable effect on your day-to-day riding.  The cx/gravel will provide you with tyre clearance that will get you up to 42mm and maybe more, and that will get you to just about anywhere except the mountain bike trails. About the only issue is what you shod your bike with.  The 2H cx bike i picked up came with two sets of wheels, so I’ve put some gravel tyres on one, and have standard road tyres on the other.

There are some excellent tyres in the market place that perform well on the gravel and aren’t too limiting on the road, so you could get away with the one set, or if you’re happy changing tyres, the one set of wheels will do.  For convenience, pick up a set of second wheels.

So, to show you what you can get out there, and this is just a very quick look at whats available in Australia, I’ve been exploring the intrawebbything and found these gravel/cx bikes.


Gravel Bikes

A brief sampling of some of the different brands in the cx range.

Curve – Grovel CXR Titanium Frame


Frame only – $2,599.00

Frame spec for building your CXR Frame –

  • Double Butted 3AL 2.5V Titanium
  • 12mm x 142mm Rear Dropout
  • External cable routing – We opted for top tube cable routing
  • Configured for 1 x drivetrains only. 2 x set ups please contact us.
  • Threaded 68mm BSA bottom bracket.
  • Custom machined 44mm head-tube. Press-In cup – type headset helps eliminate unwanted creaks.
  • Hard wearing, easily refreshed raw Ti finish. Our standard finish is the two-tone, brushed/bead blasted finish with the asymmetric Curve artwork. Paint is an optional extra.
  • Replaceable hanger.
  • Tyre clearance – up to 700 x 38
  • 12 x 142mm Skewer with grub screw supplied

Australian collaborators that can help you build your ti cx bike are here.

Local collaborators in Adelaide are   and

More details on Curve here –


Bombtrack H3


Bombtrack are a German company based in Cologne making some pretty rad bikes.

The Hook 3 is a little different to their standard  steel bikes, this is a much lighter carbon fiber CX race machine. The drivetrain is a SRAM Force 1×11, with its clutch derailleur and wide/narrow chainring working together to eliminate dropped chains. This steed is provided with Clement MXP folding tyres wrapped around the tubeless ready DT-Swiss R23 wheels.

Internally routed Force hydraulic brakes provide excellent CX stopping power


Further information here –

The Bombtrack dealer in Adelaide is 




The Norco Threshold Rival1 is a 2016 carbon CX with full SRAM gear components. with disc brakes, thru-axels on both the front as well as rear wheels. The Norco comes set up with a 42-tooth chainring and an 11-32 cassette, which may be a little limiting on a steep loose climb.


It’s shod with Clement Crusade PDX 700 x 33c over A-Class rims and hubs and that are tubeless-ready.


The single chainring for CX is a good option as theres less opportunity for the mud to get and play havoc with a front derailer, and with a thick-thin chainring and clutch mech mean there’s no chain slap or dropped chains.


Further information here –

The dealer in Adelaide is 99Bikes, and is on sale at $2,499, down from standard retail price of $3,799.




Niner—an American brand whose bread and butter is 29” mountain bikes, offers up the RLT 9 (that acronym stands for ‘Road Less Travelled’) in either alloy ($1,690) or steel ($2,390) variants, both supplied with a carbon fork.

Niner's RLT 9 Steel Disc Cross Bike with Ultegra Hydro

Offering abundant tyre clearance with plenty of mounting points for touring and bikepacking purposes. You can spec it in a multitude of ways, you want a rigid drop-handlebar mountain bike, you can fit up to 29×1.75” tyres, depending on the model). If you want a touring bike, great—there’s mounting points all over, and if you want a road bike, spec it with narrow tyres and road gearing. Options for drivetrains are suitably catered for, from single-speed to triple chainring cranksets all the way up to Di2. You can slice and dice it in all sorts of ways, and it promises to be pretty capable no matter which you opt for.

With a Force 1 build, it comes with a 10-42T cassette and a 1 x 40T Chainring. Rowney Sports (the Australian distributor)  have this priced at $5,490.  It also comes with a massive 4omm of rubber with the Maxxis Refuse 40mm.


Niner's RLT 9 Steel Disc Cross Bike with Ultegra Hydro


Surly Cross Check


The Cross Check is a cyclocross bike by category, has lots of space for fat tyres and fenders.

The frame nor the component spec of the bike has changed much since it was introduced almost a decade ago. The frame tubing is CroMoly steel.

There are two versions of the Cross-Check complete. One is a 2×10, with drop bars, cantilever brakes and traditional bar-end shifters. The other is a singlespeed, geared 42/17, with a Salsa Motoace riser bar, Avid V-brakes and 42mm Continental Tour ride tyres

Australian Distributor here –

Priced at $1,900.





Superlight, super stiff, sure foot controlled handling and comfort are just some of the attributes designed into the CXR frame and fork. Add in the versatility that mudguard and rear rack mounts offer and you have a platform that is equally at home on the international race circuit as it is in the toughest sportive.

The CXR 9.4 is a pure race spec cyclocross bike, ready to race straight out of the box. With a super light, super stiff thru-axle carbon frame and fork, combined with the brilliantly simple and effective Sram Force CX1 groupset, you’ll have more headspace to focus on making smooth turns and accelerating cleanly out of every corner to chase down your nearest competitors.

Pushys have this at $3,500 spec’d with Sram Force CX1, 38T chainrings, Hydraulic brakes,  11-36 cassette and FSA Team Issue chains.



The pictures here are the Di2 – sorry




The Psychlo x RSL is a light, stiffest, high-performance titanium cyclocross bike.  It’s not cheap at $7,069 for the frame only at cycling edge – see here

But it does look sweet.


Seven sizes and seven designs, all angles, tube lengths, tube diameters and wall thicknesses are size-selected to create the perfect ride. As their website says, “Pure Cyclocross performance— quick handling — pinpoint geometry — balanced under pedal and on shoulder — the bomb proof ride of Ti”




Trek – Boone –


Scott – Addict –


Canyon – Inflite –



Kinesis – Crosslight –


Cannondale – CAADX –



Specialized – CruX –


Focus – Mares –


Ridley X-Night SL –




Jeez, there’s heaps out there and I can’t do them any justice at all, so do yourself a favour, seriously, do yourself a favor. Next time your walking through your LBS, walk on past the road bikes and wander on over to the cx bikes. Get out of your mind how clunky they look with the knobblies on them and picture yourself out there on the open (gravel) road, wind in your hair (although most cyclist don’t have any), seeing things that you probably would never have seen before.

Better still, take a drive up in the hills, take a drive across the gravel roads, do some exploring, back of Forest Range, beyond Woodside, West of Kersbrook, take a gander, stop the car, get out and just have a look. All it takes are some decent wheels on a cx bike.  Go on.  Do it.

Oh sorry – can’t forget this – the Cannondale Slate 105 as reviewed last post.


Which leads me nicely into the following.




So, i participated in the inaugural Gravelaide ride a week and a bit back. This was the ride that tipped me over the edge to getting a bike suitable for gravel riding a few months back.

In short, it was a ripsnorting ride, it had almost everything, it was one of the toughest rides I’ve ever ridden. I think the 3 Peaks was harder, it played games with the mind, but even though Gravelaide #1 was only 105 km long with around 1,600m vertical gain, but it was a struggle all the way. Riding gravel does make you think about what you are doing, i have no doubt that it will improve my cycling skills, but when the weather turned on us that Sunday, it was rough.


The day started off well enough with around 80 cyclists turning up at Mt Torrens for a respectable 9am rollout.  The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze but nothing to raise an eyebrow at Everyone was chirpy and were quite enthused about the first Gravelaide.


There was a 60 km route and a 100km route, the latter having a  40km loop added to the 2/3 mark of the 60km loop, down towards the Murray River, I’d signed up for the 100km loop, thinking even at 20km per hour that’d be a 5 hour ride. Surely not.

Setting off from Mt Torrens oval had us winding through a mix of private property driveways taking us through some marvelous rolling hills, bumping into property owners and wandering cows gave it a unique rural feel.


It wasn’t too long though before the technicalities of a gravel ride started to pop up when we hit a sand. It also wasn’t too long before i found that my technique was lacking a bit. I had my weight a little too far forward, ploughed into the sand and tracked into the bush. OK, first lesson learnt, more weight on the back wheel over the sand.


The gravel rolled along quite nicely until I hit rutted hole at the bottom of one of those nice nice long smooth descents. In the dappled shadows i didn’t spot it until i was almost on it. That and the fact I was playing with the camera didn’t help too much also. Bam, that sinking feeling of feeling the rim bottom out and then that pissed feeling when you feel a little bit further up the road when you feel a little wobble, look down and realise your tyre isn’t looking do healthy. Bugger.



Front wheel flat, so it wasn’t too long before i  was back on the road again enjoying the scenery and “bumping” into people I had only met online before.  Hmm, that didn’t sound right. Things were moving along smoothly. Yessss.


By this stage the wind was starting to pick up.

It wasn’t too long before the ride became insane, in a god way, We were riding along goat trails. In fact have you seen those goats that climb up near vertical walls in the search of mineral salts to lick? I think i passed a few of them on the roads we were travelling on.


The fire trails had huge rain ruts in them, and at one stage i can remember thinking i might be taking this a little too fast as I was bucked back onto the bike after losing control going downhill.

With all the sharp rocks and perhaps taking it a bit too fast, you guessed it, lesson #2, a little more cation downhill – puncture # 2. People riding past saying “not again”.


Hmm, a little awkward, not expecting two flats, my second tube was a leftover 25mm tube. Had me feeling a little exposed with more than 50 km left of the route. Fortunately the guys had a spare spare at the hydration stop a while later that  i could borrow to allow me to carry on.

Steep Hill Road lived up to its name, fricken steep, but with the ever strengthening wind, riding up on the pegs allowed the wind to act like a sail and help me up. Across the top however was a sign of things to come. Cross winds had everyone fighting just to stay upright. It was a challenge.  Fortunately though we eventually turned east and wound down through scenic valleys towards the Murray Plains. Heck, the wind was so strong there we were even pushed up a light gradient hill. How sweet was this, but, there was a but coming, a big one.





The Murray plains was flat and a big contrast from where we had just come.

A few kms away from the river we swung north and hit the cross winds again, this time they seemed to have picked up in strength, and then a few kms later, swung back into the wind to start the long slow grin back into the wind.


Riding at 13 kph into 60kph headwinds was terribly hard, but the hard part hadn’t yet been seen. The climb back up Mt Botroff into the headwind with a 32-25 gearing was for me impossible. And not only were we competing against the wind, it started raining vertical sheets of needle like rain. Ouch.


Once over the top it didn’t get much better. Fatigue was setting in, headwind wasn’t letting up, and a bit further down the track a 3rd friggin puncture and a busted spoke. Shite. Lesson #3, make sure i have the right sized tubes on board. Lesson #4 – discs are friggin awesome. Had i been riding with rim brakes, i would have been out of the ride, but as it was, i was able to not only limp to the hydration stop, but was able to nurse the bike home to finish.

(Unfortunately my camera batteries ran out at the bottom of the hill)

Oh, did i tell you about Mt Beevor.  I got lost following Noel and Robbie.  I eventually caught up to them when they stopped to figure out where the hell we were.  We could see Mt Beevor, but we were miles away from where we needed to be. So it was decide the best way to get to the top of Mt Beevor was to ride across the steep rocky paddocks. Robbie was a powerhouse but Noel and i had to walk up a good portion.


Upon cresting Mt Beevor, the wind as at its strongest,. Listening to others after the ride there were  few riders “pushed” off the bike by the strength of the wind.

Keep an eye out for our new book called “Stormin’ the Beevor” in the next few months.


With a bit of luck, we’ll get some interest from Hollywood.  I’m hoping Brad Pitt will agree to play me.


But I’d probably get Jim Carey.


More goat tracks, another wrong turn and i eventually rode into Mt Torrens, as it turned out the last rider under their own power.


What a day.

A big congratulations to the team at Gravelaide for pulling this together. It was an awesome day, awesome people and really looking forward to the next one.

The following photos have been grabbed of various Facebook sites.


Also a big thankyou to the generous support of the sponsors of Gravelaide#1

Rider of the Week – Chris Wood


Chris was born in Perth and moved to Adelaide in 1976 as a five year old. He left Adelaide in 1996 and spent three years in the US and Canada, and 10 years in the UK before returning to Adelaide in 2009 with his family. Chris wanted to ensure his three kids grew up Australian!

After playing competitive team sports, AFL and Rugby in his younger years, he enjoyed running and cycling in the UK, which eventually led to participation in triathlons and marathons.


He now competes in an annual Ironman,  Triathlon, a few shorter triathlon events, race crits on Wednesdays in season and rides as much as a he can, whilst at the same time as making sure he keeps the family and the boss happy.

  • What first got you started in cycling?

I think I’ve always cycled? From living in Belair in the late70’s and 80’s, I was always on my BMX, going to and from the Belair National Park or school. It was always a primary mode of transport prior to getting a drivers licence? Serious recreational cycling came about in 1996, whilst doing the backpacking around the world tour. I spent two glorious years in Whistler BC, Canada. This was the early years of the cross country, downhill, North Vancouver cycling scene. Think Gary Fisher, Klein, Reynolds 583 frames etc.


Gary Fisher


Gary Klein

Ski resorts started using lifts to go up, downhill trails being built. The cross country, trails in Whistler were and still are, brilliant and world class. Weekly ‘Loonie’ races ($1CDN) with winner takes all prizes were attracting 100’s of people. Steep climbs, technical downhills, ‘sketchy’ drops, log river crossings, it was all encompassing and very addictive.


A highlight? I entered the BC provincial downhill races as a Novice, on a rented DH bike, full armour and DH helmet. Crashed out badly on all of my 3 training runs down the course. Then went for it, scared the hell out of myself in the final race run to finish 8th in class….good times.

  • You are involved with an NZ based cycling tour business. How did this come about and what involvement do you have with them?

I met Karl in Whistler in 1996 and have been close friends since then. Karl’s has always been and adventure travel agent, in the last 8 years has formed a specialist company .


We share the passion for travel, adventure and cycling. I work with Karl as a guide whilst on tours, usually accompanying groups on three to four tours per year. Then additionally supporting, planning and promoting the RideHolidays business in the Australian market.

  • Is this your only job?

I have a real job that pays the bills, I work in Human Resources for a large ASX listed company based in Adelaide.

  • You host tours over the TdU, what are some of the things about the TdU that makes it an enjoyable event for your clients.

Our clients for the TDU are amazed by the quality and quantity of cycling in Adelaide, rides that are literally on our doorstep. The TDU is a great event to showcase the variety and diversity of cycling in Adelaide, let alone the SA region that offers amazing fresh food, wine, coffee and landscapes of sea to sky. All within 4 hours cycling from the CBD. We offer the TDU clients the chance to sample all of the Adelaide experiences in conjunction with the opportunity to see world class professional cyclists, up close and personal. Being able to ride home from a stage alongside the professionals is always a highlight, easy access to the teams, the tour village and the stages is unheard of in the European races we visit.

  • If a cyclist came to you and said “I’m so confused, I don’t know which country or region to holiday in”, what would you recommend and why?

France or Italy would be my top choices, for culture, history, passion, and meaning…. Cycling in Europe is a way of life, I’d encourage everyone to go and experience that. I spent a month in Italy, northern Tuscany and I recall meeting and ‘old cyclist’ in his broken english he told me, “you cycle with all your senses, the sights, sounds, tastes, smell and the feel”, I concur.

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

Four, Pinarello Dogma2 ‘good bike for weekends’ , FP5 commuter, FTI triathlon and an old mountain bike.

  • What bike do you covet?

Pinarello Bolide TT bike….. or a Canyon.


  • When you travel, how do you transport your bikes?

SciCon soft case, packs in 15 minutes.

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

I’m rubbish on the tools, anything beyond the basics I outsource. ElbowsAkimbo or BicycleCaire look after my bikes, private and independent mechanics.


  • What cycling specific tools do you have in your “bike shed”?

Nothing more than the basics. See above.


  • What is your favourite piece of cycling kit or accessory?

Currently my SRM power meter… as I look to improve, it keeps me honest. Closely followed by Conti GatorSkins, I hate getting flats.

  • What do you love about cycling?

This is harder than I thought? Escape, freedom, simplicity, feeling of speed going downhill and accomplishment climbing uphill. The social side, coffee and cake. Conversations.

  • What annoys most about cycling?

Headwinds? Never enough time? strange noises from the bike?, Probably nothing really….. perhaps manufacturer branded cycling clothing worn by a rider, whilst on another brand of bike? I think that’s just weird… socks with thongs .

  • Other than yourself, who is your favourite cyclist?

Pantani, Quintana, Jens , Vockler, Sagan… names that transcend cycling, are memorable, likeable and look like they are passionate humans chasing a dream…and having a good time.


  • What are your craziest/fondest personal cycling memories?

My first triathlon; you don’t were anything under a wetsuit, or under Knicks, so in transition from swim to bike…..yes I went nude, doesn’t everybody? NO said the horrified crowd. In hindsight, very wrong but very funny….

  • Without naming names, is there a special memory from the tours you have hosted?

In 2016 the Nice terror attack happened at the same time we were in France with the Tour de France. As I was cycling around the base of Mt Ventoux the next day, it was 100km of pure cycling joy. I vividly recall that moment and thinking just how lucky we are, and that we have to capture every and all opportunities to make the most of life. Vive le Tour.

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

Red Berry Espresso, coffee with any cake…. .

  • What is your favourite local training route?

Lofty, Crafers, Bradbury, Old Aldgate road, Stirling loop.

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

Who else but……………………



that brings us to the end of another edition of Wednesday Legs


Hope you enjoyed it.



til next time

tight spokes


Charity Starts at ….

Cannondale Slate 105 Ride Review


It’s not often a bike comes along that has you excited like a kid on Christmas day, and for me, that opportunity came along last weekend.

The guys over at Velo-Porte have just taken on board a few of the Cannondale Slate 105s, with plans to get some more in over the next week or so. When I saw the next bikes Keith & Alexis were planning to purchase for their bike hire business, I was on the phone to them faster than a dissapearing zepolle at a post ride coffee stop, asking whether I can give it a whirl. Thankfully they agreed.


And this is it!


Have you seen it yet?


Have a look at this.


Doesn’t it just blow your mind?

There aren’t too many bikes out in the marketplace that promise so much just on looks alone.


So, i took the bike for a bitumen/gravel ride on Sunday morning.


A climb up to the Bollards to catch up with the ride group, then leaving hem for some solo riding around Mylor, Mount Bold and the back end of Clarendon Weir.

Not an extended amount of gravel out there, however there enough variation on both bitumen and gravel to light up my weekend.



OK, the review – the quick details:

  • Frame – Aluminium Di2 resdy
  • Drivetrain – Shimano 105: Rear – 5800, 11-28, 11-speed: Front 52/36 FSA
  • Brakes – Shimano Hydraulic Disc – BR785/505
  • Saddle – Fabric Scoop Radius Sport
  • Fork: Cannondale Lefty Oliver Carbon w/ PBR, 30mm Travel, 45mm off-set
  • Rims – Slate Disc, 650b
  • Hubs – Lockout equipped Lefty 50 Road front, Formula 142x12mm thru rear, 28h
  • Cannondale Slate Folding TRS tubeless, 650x42c, by Panaracer

I’m sure you would agree, the Slate would have to be the most distinctive bikes on the roads in Adelaide, all down to the single sided (Lefty) front suspension wheel mount.

The concept of the Lefty didn’t concern me – I expected that a company with Cannondales reputation wouldn’t release anything that hadn’t been put through the wringer. I was just very curious how it would translate to road handling both on the black stuff and the lose stuff.

As their website says.

A full-tilt road bike with legitimate off-road chops, the Slate brings a whole new dimension of hard- cornering, curb-hopping, trail-shredding fun to the concept of “road-riding.

The initial “out the driveway” experience was a little strange – it took me a few minutes to get my head around Lefty. Also, not having ridden with 42 mm tyres previously, there was a small adjustment to make with the cornering. I found the front end, lets say, a little lazy on the corners when compared to my normal road bike, a Scott Solace. As the bike has been designed to do things that Scott wouldn’t dream of doing, its only natural that there will handle a little different. My feeling was that it didn’t want to lean as much into the corner as I am used to. Only fractionally, but enough for me to notice. A minor adjustment that’s all, and didn’t take long to forget all about it.

Whilst I know I shouldn’t have been, but I was. I was surprised with how stiff front end was and super impressed with its stability. I felt no pull or anything to suggest that it has a Lefty suspension system. Nothing untoward on the fast descent down Old Belair Road, no pull when both hands were off the handlebar (sorry Keith – ignore that). Apart from the slight lazy feel on the sharp corners, it all behaved as one would expect of a standard road bike, except that it was more fun because of its off-road capabilities.

With 650b wheels instead of 700c you see on road bikes, Cannondale have introduced a slightly smaller mountain bike wheel onto a road bike, but by shodding with 42mm tyres, they are effectively the same outer diameter as the 700c tyres.

The 42mm tyres provided were close to knobless, so having the extra width didn’t slow me too much on the road with only marginal impact on performance. However, I felt they were lacking on some of the more loose gravel roads I road when i got a bit of speed up. The wide tyres seemed at times to sit atop the gravel. I think with some tyres with a little more grip they should perform well.

The Slate’s Lefty allows for manual control of the amount of dampening and speed of fork recovery by the Push Button Rebound (PBR) located at the top of the Lefty. By depressing the PBR, you activate the suspension, and by rotating the dial, you can change the recoil speed. For my test ride, I left the suspension off, and not having ridden a mountain bike before, i can only guess at how well it works.  Given the opportunity , I’ll give the PBR a go on my next test ride(Keith?).

I loved it. Its got the feel of an endurance bike, fits nicely into the new ‘gravel bikes’ genre, but takes it even further by allowing the opportunity to ride it like you were a kid again.

So to sum up.

Its kinda looks like a road bike, but its not.

And its kinda handles like a road bike, but it doesn’t.

Its kinda fun.


It takes me back to my childhood.


Oh, and it looks like changing front flats has all of a sudden become a little easier. ……..




Think about it.


Thanks to Alexis and Keith at Velo-Porte for the loan of the Slate – its was much appreciated.

Give them a buzz on +61 (0)432 542 560 if you want to find out some more about these stunning bikes, or jump onto their website by clicking on their logo below.



Ouch 1


Speedy recovery to Graeme T from Sticky Bidon after his crash coming down Greenhill Road on Monday. He was the fallout from a 2 car collision.

From Graeme’s Facebook Page

The bike was surprisingly ok, I’m told, and the injuries are, from small to big, black eye, cuts and bruises, fractured: massively sore muscles (good thing I don’t have many) from bracing at impact, a very sore jaw (I’m not convinced it’s ok but everyone here says it is) and the corresponding stitches in my chin, a big (deep) hole just above my knee which is what will keep me off the bike for a while, fractured rib, a small kidney laceration and a bigger liver laceration, which is why I’m remaining in hospital for observation.

I’m not dead, brain-dead, or paralysed, which is a win, and reasonably astounding.

Ouch 2

Peter would have to be one of the unluckiest riders around. Riding along the Brighton Foreshore a few weekends ago, Peter was suddenly seen performing his cirque du Soleil act with his double tuck somersault over his handlebars for no apparent reason.

The cause, he had ridden over a trailer U Shackle the exact size of his tire which clamped his tire and got pulled up into the fork, which then resulted in a sudden wheel stop and bike dismount.


Remind me why we ride again.


Peter Sagan – Back to Back World Championships

A brilliant year that respected the rainbow colours of 2015. For a 257 km ride in extreme heat, it only took 5h40mins for an average of 45 kph – ouch. Big respects to all who rode at that furious pace, and hard luck for Bling who only just missed out in the podium.

The way Peter Sagan is going, I’m looking forward to seeing how he backs up again next year.

This year saw him achieve the following.

World Champion
European Champion
Tour of Flanders
3 TdF stages
TdF Green Jersey
14 victories

I came across the blog of his wife, Kate Sagan. Link here.  katesagan.blogspot

It provides an interesting insight into a  snippet of the life of a World Champion from a wife’s perspective.

A few snaps from Doha


And from the UCI gala ball – the Johnny Depp of the cycling world



Custom Kicks

There are some pretty naff kickers out there, some of the ones crafted at home are pretty hard to spot as being home made.

While were on instagram, check out Chris Auld here .

Chris is a pro-photographer specialising in cycling and has some great cycling photos.



Over the last few months, I’ve been keeping tabs on cycling charity rides as a possible posting, and it seems there is an extraordinary number out there.

There are quite a few types of ride categories:

  1. One person charity rides where someone has had a close personal experience with either there own or a close family member suffering an affliction of sorts
  2. Organised small group charity rides where a group of riders decide to raise funds for a charity, either driven by someone in their group who as for the one above has a close personal experience, or by a group aligned to a charity they have an affiliation with
  3. Large organised charity rides where the charity themselves is the instigator of the charity ride, or a similar variant.
  4. Large public rides where the ride organisation is donating part proceeds to a charity

So, here’s my take on some of the charity rides out there. I know I have missed quite a few and will endeavor to follow through with a backup in a later post.


Chain Reaction


The Charity: 

They support a variety of Charities

Since its first ride in 2007 Chain Reaction has raised $18,700,044.00 on behalf of its charity partners.

Chain Reaction Challenge Foundation raised funds of $3,066,324 from activities relating to four rides that took place in the 2016 financial year. Expenses relating to these rides accounted for $670,954 and distributions made to charities for the year ended June 2016 amounted to $2,297,000.

The Victorian ride raised $1,171,719, the NSW ride raised $640,958, the Queensland ride raised $1,019,639 and the Women’s ride raised $191,626.

AEIOU Foundation (331,000)
AMAZE (40,000)
Brainwave (25,000)
Freedom Wheels (80,000)
Good Cycle (10,000)
Heart Kids (25,000)
iCope (10,000) (25,000)
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (60,000)
Learning for Life (20,000)
Mansfield District Hospital (25,000)
Mercy Health Breast Milk Bank (10,000)
Monash Children’s Hospital (355,000)
Radio Lollipop (80,000)
Ronald McDonald House (60,000)
Starlight Children’s Foundation (681,000)
Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation (40,000)
TADNSW Freedom Wheels (45,000)
Very Special Kids (20,000) (355,000)
Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (380,000)
Total Distributions to Charities (2,297,000) (2,251,000)

The Ride:

Chain Reaction is a Corporate Bike Challenge that raises money for sick children by challenging senior executives who have a passion for cycling and an awareness of their corporate social responsibilities, to ride a 1,000 plus kilometre course in 7 days.

Chain Reaction concentrates on selected individuals who want the physical challenge. In return, they benefit from a valuable networking opportunities and the immense satisfaction of directly helping sick children.

There are a number of rides each year.

Women’s 300 – A 3 day, 300 kilometre road ride that will take you to the Goulburn Valley and Mt Buller regions of Victoria.

VIC RIDE – 10 mountain peaks on a journey from Canberra to Melbourne. Riders crossed the Snowy Mountains and the Victorian Alps, climbing ten mountain peaks along the way that included Mt Stromlo, Charlotte Pass, Cabrumurra (Australia’s highest town), Falls Creek, Mt Hotham, Dargo High Plains and Mt Baw Baw.

NSW Ride – Hosted in Queensland in 2016

QLD Ride – Hosted in South Australia in 2016


Next Ride:

Women’s 300 2016 – 11 – 13 November 2016
VIC RIDE 2017 – Heading up to NSW 11-17 March
NSW Ride 2017 – Heading over to NZ 25-31 March
QLD Ride 2017 – Heading down to NSW


1,000 Ks 4 Kids – Camp Quality –

The Charity:

Camp Quality is the children’s cancer charity.


Our purpose is to create a better quality of life for every child living with cancer across Australia.

The services we provide for children (0-13 years) living with cancer and their families help create a better life by building optimism and resilience throughout each stage of their cancer journey and we couldn’t do this without the support of our amazing fundraisers; so thank you for creating a better quality of life for children living with cancer.

The Ride:

Starting in 2011 with a single ride in Newcastle, the ride has raised over $2,000,347 to support kids with cancer, and along the way grown to 3 separate rides in 2016.

There are a number of distance choices, ranging from 1,000km (Ultimate), 750km (Supreme) to 400km (Hardcore).



Next Ride: 



Mercer SuperCycle – The Hospital Research Foundation  –


The Charity: 

Mercer SuperCycle has partnered with SA-based charity The Hospital Research Foundation for the last five years. Together, we are raising much-needed funds to build family-style accommodation in Adelaide for country cancer patients as part of project called Under Our Roof. Find out more about this important cause here.

We have raised over $1.5m for cancer patient accommodation over 5 years.

The Ride:


Mercer SuperCycle is a five star fully supported multi-day and multi-distance cycling tour through regional South Australia.

The ride is peloton-structured and team-based, and takes you through some of the most picturesque regions of rural South Australia while giving you the chance to raise money to help support cancer sufferers from regional SA.


Next Ride: 2017 – 1 – 7th April 2017


The SLOG – 4Cs Crisis Relief Centre.  –


The Charity: 4Cs Crisis Relief Centre.

The MISSION of 4C’s Crisis Relief Centre is to minister honour, generosity and hope through the practical and Christ like provision of practical aid to the crisis torn, the poor and the marginalised of our community and to undergird that practical help with emotional and spiritual support.

The 4Cs assist approximately 40,000 individuals and are presently faced with a growing daily clientele. As a charity the 4Cs need to raise approximately $500,000 per year to keep their many services available to those in need.

The Ride:

Held annually, The Slog raises much needed awareness & support for the local charity,

The Slog is three separate loops that travel through the country towns of West Gippsland and up into the Strzelecki Ranges, a scenic and challenging ride along quieter roads.

Over the past 12 years, over 2,000 riders and our sponsors have helped to raise more than $300,000 for this fantastic charity. The Slog is a community focused event and we pride ourselves on our rider support, we care about each of our riders.


Next Ride: The SLOG 2016 will be held on November 5th 


MS Melbourne Cycle –

The Charity: 

By participating and fundraising for the MS Melbourne Cycle, you help MS to provide a range of essential services and support for people living with multiple sclerosis

The Ride:

The MS Melbourne Cycle is a family oriented charity ride with 3km, 6km, 30km or 50km course around Melbourne raining funds for people living with multiple sclerosis. The event organised by Multiple Sclerosis Limited since 2007, has generated over thirty-five thousand cyclists and raised over $4 million to support people affected by multiple sclerosis.

Their 30km and 50km courses ride through Docklands,  over the West Gate Bridge, and cross the finish line at Flemington Racecourse.

Next Ride: Sunday 26th of March 2017


1200km for Kids

The Charity: 

All proceeds raised go towards research and equipment for the Humpty Dumpty Foundation and the Children’s Hospital Foundation.



The Ride:

Each year, an inspiring group of cyclists and their support crew ride the east coast of Australia to help brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families.


The ride was established by Gary Richardson and Trevelyan Bale back in 2005: two friends looking for a way to give back to the hospitals that had helped their own sick children.

Next Ride: October 2017


Beat Cancer Ride – Cancer Coucil SA –


The Charity: Cancer Council

To cover costs and ensure fundraising dollars go where they are needed, riders are required to pay a registration fee of $4,000, and fundraise $15,000.

Funds raised through the Beat Cancer Tour fund vital cancer research through Cancer Council’s Beat Cancer Project. 42 research projects are currently being funded, and for every dollar invested in the Beat Cancer Project, $3 of research is undertaken due to matched funding by the Government of South Australia and leading universities.

The Ride:

The team is limited to 30 cyclists per day and it is first in best dressed. Cyclists follow the same route as the TdU riders on all race days, which equates to around 150 km a day riding at an average of 30 kms/hr.


As part of the ride, each rider is provided with:

  • accommodation in the official hotel, Hilton Adelaide, along with the pro teams;
    being presented as a team on the main stage as part of the official pro teams presentation;
    riding every stage (over 800 kms) of the Santos Tour Down Under before the pros each day, crossing the finish line of every stage including the two city circuits;
    full mechanical support;
    VIP hospitality and seating at the finish site of every stage;
    Soigneurs and Domestiques who provide support on the road and massage each night;
    transport to and from stage starts and finishes;
    a ticket to the Legends’ Night Dinner;
    two Beat Cancer Tour team Santini cycling kits (UV rated), UV cycling sleeves and off bike team uniform;
    Beat Cancer Tour team mechanic workshop in the Adelaide City Council Tour Village;
    Beat Cancer Tour team support vehicles;
    feed bags provided in Feed Zones;
    nutrition, electrolytes, water, drink bottles and Cancer Council sunscreen supplied;
    a training program and fundraising support; and
    peace of mind with a paramedic travelling in Beat Cancer Tour team support vehicle to attend to any immediate medical needs.

Next Ride:January 2017


MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer® – Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research –


The Charity: 

The MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer® benefiting Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, with the money raise benefitting the  Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Western Australia’s premier adult medical research institute.

Since 2012, the MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer® has raised over $19.5 million for Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research is on a mission to improve the health of Western Australians through cutting edge research that translates into new ways to prevent and treat disease. The Perkins is uniquely positioned to fast track the development of new treatments and new ways to diagnose cancer and other diseases, including tests that enable doctors to select the best approach for each patient.

The Ride:

2 days riding throughout Western Australia’s countryside in two days. The tour begins with an Opening Ceremony, where those lost to cancer are remembered and those continuing the fight honoured.

The ride will  take you through Perth’s urban centre and the rolling countryside at the foot of the Darling Range. Day One culminates with arrival at Camp in Mandurah, where drinks, shower facilities, massage and evenings entertainment is provided.

Next Ride:

October 2017


The Charity: 


Ronald McDonald House Charities® is an independent, non-profit organisation that helps seriously ill children and their families when they need it most. Funds raised from this year’s event will further our two education programs – the Ronald McDonald Learning® Program (RMLP) and EDMed™.

The RMLP helps primary and secondary school children recovering from serious illness catch up on missed education. The EDMed™ program provides accredited professional development sessions with resources to schools to assist teaching staff.

The Ride:

The 2016 Ride for Sick Kids SA event will be starting in Mt Gambier and making it’s way back to Adelaide. The team will set off on Sunday 20 Nov and ride over 1,000km’s arriving in Adelaide 7 days later on Saturday 26 Nov.


Riders are fully supported by an on road support crew including bike mechanic, first aid and massage. Accommodation and meals are provided.

Next Ride:

Assume November 2017


The Captains Ride – Steve Waugh Foundation –

The Charity: 


The Steve Waugh Foundation raise funds for the Steve Waugh Foundation to champion the stories of and provide life changing support to children and young adults affected by a rare diseases.

The Ride:

The Captain’s Ride is an exclusive ‘by invitation’ 6-day on-road cycle event .

The Captain’s Ride is about people from all walks of life leading, inspiring, supporting and guiding each other. At the core of The Captain’s Ride is a Leadership Program for Captains of Industry, immerging leaders, and anyone who wants to be Captain of their own life.

The Captain’s Ride 2016 will commence on the 29th October in Mittagong, concluding 6 days later 3rd November in Mt Kosciusko Park. 70 riders take on the enormous challenge.

Steve Waugh shares stories of the Foundation and the children it supports, and specially invited VIP’s, champions and celebrity guests share their personal experiences which provides the leadership experience and motivation riders need to make the distance each day.

Next Ride:

Assume October/November 2017


The Charity: 


What started as a humble ride in memory of Adam Smiddy, has grown into a wonderful series of challenges. Over the past ten years, together you’ve raised over $7 million for cancer research at Mater.

This year they want to raise over $1.3 million for Mater Research, a world-class institute that’s investing in some very promising work in the cancer space. This money will go towards:

  • funding a range of potentially life-changing projects for those suffering from melanoma, prostate, ovarian and breast cancer, and
    contributing to global research impact by funding key collaborations with researchers in Queensland, Australia and around the world.

The Ride:

When Adam Smiddy passed away in 2006, his mates placed a stake in the ground and committed to the long road to fight cancer. Ten years later the Smiling for Smiddy legacy continues.

There are 4 events.

1 – Four days. 800 kilometres. Start and Finish in Brisbane

The only Smiddy event to start and finish in Brisbane, this ride will navigate the Brisbane Valley, Great Dividing Range and the Darling Downs before returning to Brisbane through the Lockyer Valley.

2 – Alice to Darwin

An 8 day, 1500 km 50-strong, fully supported ride to Darwin.


3 – New Zealand Challenge

700 km from Christchurch to Queenstown, riding through the Southern Alps, through valleys and up mountain, finishing in Queenstown


4 – Townsville to Brisbane

1600 km from Townsville to Brisbane through deserted outback highways, country towns, ranges and farmland.


Next Ride:

Refer website



Ride 8848 – Ride Everest Outride Cancer! –


The Charity: 

The ride is a new endurance event with a mission to raise funds to continue the research into how to beat cancer and support the work of the Cancer Council NSW.

The Ride:

The 8848 Royal National Park is a mass participation Everest cycling event to raise funds for Cancer Council.

The ride was held in the Royal National Park at Garie Beach just over an hour south of Sydney in September 2016


There are 3 rides to choose from, an EVEREST 8848 (solo full Everest, 235km), EVEREST 4424 (solo half Everest, 118km), or EVEREST 2212 (solo quarter Everest, 59km).

Set in the Royal National Park, it offers support and services to reach the summit! Base Camp at Garie Beach is transformed into a Himalayan mountain village providing a place to rest, eat and caffeinate. The 2.5 km climb to the summit is a floodlit, car-free, paved road.


This year, 35 completed the full Everesting climb.

Next Ride:

To be confirmed


Ride Like Crazy –


The Charity: 

In October 2008 Senior Sergeant Mick “Crazy” Koerner of the South Australia Police was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. His work colleagues and friends established a cycling event called Ride Like Crazy.

On 22 January 2009, more than 600 riders took part in the fundraising event.

Due to the overwhelming success of Ride Like Crazy, South Australia Police has adopted the ride as a community event promoting the fight against cancer. Mick “Crazy” Koerner passed away on November 14 2009, but his legacy continues with the ride.

Since 2010 Lightsview Ride Like Crazy has attracted over 10,200 riders and donated over $1.3 million to charity.

Every cent of profit raised during Lightsview Ride Like Crazy 2017 supports the Flinders Medical Centre Foundation and the Neurosurgical Research Foundation.


The Ride:

The ride is presented as a lop of the Adelaide Hillls, starting and finishing in Adelaide. The Full distance is 107.05km, with a half distance of 51.24km.


Next Ride:

Traditionally held the weekend before the TdU, the next Ride Like Crazy will be Sunday January 15, 2017.


JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes –

The Charity: 


The JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes is a charity ride located in the Barossa Valley, raising vital funds for type 1 diabetes (T1D).

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research.

Our mission is to accelerate life‐changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. They collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D.

The Ride:


The JDRF ride is a professionally managed ride with cycling option of 35, 80, 120 or 160km. Support is provided to the riders with bike mechanics on hand and massages at the finish.

The ride starts and finishes at the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort.

The available packages are the full package, weekend only rider and the day only rider,

The Full package details are:

Minimum Fundraising Target – $3500 with a registration Fee – $100

  • Return airfare from nearest capital city to Adelaide
    Return coach transfers from Adelaide airport to Barossa Valley
    2 nights twin share accommodation
    Meals including 1x Friday dinner, 2x breakfast, 1x Saturday lunch, 1x Saturday dinner
    Option to ride 35km, 80km, 120km or 160km on Saturday
    Official Ride jersey (optional)
    Official merchandise kit
    Fundraising Deadline #1 – 1st Feb = $1000
  • Fundraising Deadline #2 – 1st May = $3500

Next Ride:

Next ride: 5 – 7 May 2017


Big Red Ride-SA – Muscular Distrophy –


The Charity: 

All money raised is put straight to work to provide Muscular Dystrophy SA’s clients with services such as hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, counselling, advocacy, equipment, camps & getaways, support groups and more.

The Ride:

The ride is a 48km from Glenelg to Outer Harbour and back.


Next Ride:



Tour de Cure – Riding to cure Cancer –


The Charity: 

Tour de Cure is a Tier 1 cancer charity. Since 2007, they have raised in excess of $25 million and funded over 252 cancer research, support and prevention projects. Their funding has results in 18 scientifically-recognised cancer breakthroughs.

They have funded many of Australia’s leading research institutes including the Garvan Insitute, Flinders, University of Queensland, Telethon Kids Institute in Perth.

The Ride:

In May 2007, what started over a coffee between two mates quickly progressed to three friends registering Tour de Cure as an Australian charity and the launch of an inaugural cycling tour.
Since then Tour de Cure has annually cycled through either Queensland, New South Wales, SA, ACT or Victoria.

They have a variety of long and short rides every year that all help raise funds for fighting cancer.


L’Étape Australia – Race 157km or Ride 126km through the NSW Snowy Mountains.

Peter Mac Ride – 375 km along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, stopping in Apollo Bay and Barwon Heads before returning to Melbourne.

WA Country Tour – Starting in Margaret River for a 491km ride to Cape Leeuwin, Cape Naturaliste through Busselton, before finishing in Perth.

High Country Charity Ride – The ride starts in Wangaratta and travels through the High Country of Bright, Omeo and Mt Beauty, tackling the climbs of Mt Hotham and Falls Creek over 4 days of cycling.

Signature Tour 2017 – This is their big one – the signature event of the Tour de Cure.In 2017, it will take the riders from Hotham to Hobart – that’s 1270km of riding with 12,000m elevation.  A ride through Victoria’s high country and along the Mornington Peninsula before boarding the Spirit of Tasmania for the trip to Devonport. The riders will then explore the east coast of Tassie on their way to Hobart.  For the full 9-day Tour experience, you’ll be required to fundraise $12,000 (minimum); $15,000+ (stretch); including a $1,000 personal donation.

Next Ride:

L’Étape Australia – 3 December 2016

Peter Mac Ride – Sunday 13th November to Tuesday 15th November 2016.

High Country Charity Tour – Friday 24th February – Monday 27th February 2017

Signature Tour 2017 – 24 March – 1 April 2017



Cancer Voices SA  Challenge Ride –

The Charity: 


Join their team and support the 100% volunteer work they do for people affected by cancer.

‘Cancer experience’ is not a pre-requisite to join the Cancer Voices SA team. You don’t need to have had cancer, or know anyone with cancer to join the team. Some of our riders are cancer survivors, partners, family, friends, neighbours or supporters of someone with cancer.

Their aim is to ‘raise a voice for people affected by cancer’ whenever you ride with them.

The Ride:

Cancer Voices SA  Challenge Ride is a free ride starting at Kensington Gardens Reserve on your choice from 3 Challenge ride options (67km, 35km, 20km) that loop into the Adelaide hills and return to the start.


Next Ride:

Oct 2017 – tbc


Ride for Pain –


The Charity: 

PainAdelaide is a collaboration between our three major universities, Pfizer, ReturnToWorkSA, The RAH, and SAHMRI (the groovy new medical research building on North Terrace!). We are a network of scientists, health professionals and consumers who are dedicated to taking on this massive challenge.

The Ride for Pain is one way you can help, and help yourself in the process. This is a unique, challenging and altogether fantastic community cycling event. It will be intentionally tough.

The Ride:

Three challenge levels are offered, the 2 hour, 4 hour and 6 hour. The aim is to see how far you can get before your time is up and you have to return to the start
No course pampering. Water will be provided but riders will have to manage their nutrition and bikes too. A free BBQ with drinks is provided at the finish.

Starting and finishing is at Uni SA’s Magill Campus.

Ride for Pain routes involve some of Adelaide’s toughest climbs. Last year, about 65% of those who took on the 6 hour ride finished the whole route.

Some of the better known climbs are:
2 Hour – Montacute, Marble Hill
4 Hour – Montacute, Marble Hill, Little Italy, Range Rd, Nicols, Deviation, The Ledge, Collins Hill, Pound Rd
6 Hour – Montacute, Corkscrew, Marble Hill, Little Italy, Range Rd, Nicols, Mt George (Heart Breaker), Spring Gully, Parish Hill, Deviation, Leslie Rd, Collins Hill, Pound Rd, Coach Rd (The Wall) and Woodland Way.


Next Ride:

Sunday November 20th, 2016


Ride the Range –


The Charity: 

Rotary Ride the Range has been supporting both locally on the downs, across Australia and the world supporting many worthwhile projects and charities.

Over the last six years alone they have raised over $115,000 to help:


The Ride:

Ride the Range is has choices of either a 112km, 85km or 50km course or the new 100 Mile Challenge (164k). There iss also an off road where the riders take in one of South East Queensland’s MTB trail networks  in Jubilee Park. This year they have two options – a 25k or 50k MTB course.

The 100 mile challenge has close to 1600 metres of climbing weaving down the range, make your way to Upper Tenthill, over to Mulgowie, back into Laidley and then onto Gatton, finishing up a climb to Picnic Point.


Next Ride:

March 2017 – tbc



The Tour Duchenne –


The Charity: 

Duchenne is an insidious gender-linked (in 99% of cases) muscle-wasting disease that leaves little boys (and in some cases, girls) unable to walk before they make their teenage years. As there is no cure, Duchenne results in premature death by late teens/early adulthood in 100% of cases. Even though it is a genetic disease, in up to 40% of cases there is no family history and the disease arises by way of a spontaneous mutation at conception.

The Tour Duchenne has raised over $2.5 million which has gone towards research and respite care in the Duchenne community. Funds raised have gone to research at both the Institute of Neuro-muscular research in Sydney and the National Muscular Dystrophy research Centre in Melbourne. Also respite funding was given to muscular dystrophy associations in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia to help support the work that they do. As well as raising valuable funds the Tour Duchenne has created awareness nationally for the Duchenne community and helped raised the profile of this insidious disease.

The Ride:

The Tour Duchenne is a 1000km, 8 day course around the Tasmania including the East Coast, Cradle Mountain, Sheffield, the SW National parks, Lake St Clair and Hobart and surrounds.

The ride includes
– On road support vehicles, bike mechanics & crew
– Twin share accommodation
– All meals
– Tour Duchenne casual shirt & jacket
– Tour Duchenne cycling kit





A few weeks back it was reported that Adelaide Cyclist was closing down. Site creator Gus Kingston announced in early September that due to several factors, including rising costs, the site would close.

Great news. The site has been saved.

The Bicycle Institute, SA will take over all of the site’s operations from November.

The Bicycle Institute heard the community’s response to the announcement and concern that an important local network and voice for the cycling community in Adelaide would disappear, and has offered to take it over.

Adelaide Cyclists was created in March 2009 by Gus Kingston as a way of connecting cyclists in Adelaide. It has a signed up membership of over 4800 users and over 20,000 daily pageviews.

The Bicycle Institute plans to continue the site as it is currently. They will use the site to support and connect with cyclists and gauge their opinions on cycling infrastructure issues as they arise.

‘This aligns perfectly with our goal of making Adelaide a better place for cycling as we have worked on for four decades,’ says Fay.

We’ll continue the site’s tradition of catering for all cyclists,’ says Scott Sims, a Bicycle Institute committee member who saw the site’s value and will assume the role of site administrator.


Visit Adelaide Cyclists here: adelaidecyclists



And so we come to the end of another posting.


I hope you enjoyed it

Till next time

tight spokes


Almost a Wrap

Meanwhile – over in Qatar

Bloody Bloody Hot.

With the temperatures getting up around 35 deg C, the dry heat of the desert will be hard to ride in after a long year starting way back in January.

“I am afraid of what can happen with dehydration,” Spanish national team doctor Iñaki Iñigo told El Mundo. “The Europeans are not used to the high temperatures of Qatar. It could be very difficult.”

The UCI announced several contingency plans in place to help deal with temperatures that can easily reach 40 degrees. But following the team time trial on Sunday, where we saw first-hand examples of the heat, riders are speaking out that the heat is simply too much.

There are questions about why the hell the worlds have been scheduled in Qatar. Well, why was the world cup awarded to Qatar. A biking trip here is a true cyclist’s dream! It is one of the main cycling destination in the world. Many professionals and amateur riders enjoy the good climate, the variety of the roads and the quality of the hotels.
There are are volcanoes with impressive landscape, and amazing routes. Another destination of professional teams especially for the stages at high altitude. Whoops, hang on, thats a tourist description for Mallorca.

What about Qatar – well according to Wikipedia

Qatar is a sovereign country located in Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its territory surrounded by the Persian Gulf. A strait in the Persian Gulf separates Qatar from the nearby island country of Bahrain, as well as sharing maritime borders with the United Arab Emirates and Iran.

Qatar is a high income economy and is a developed country, backed by the world’s third largest natural gas reserves and oil reserves.[20] The country has the highest per capita income in the world.

Ah, there it is.

The UCI’s hefty fee and and the promise of potential additional sponsorship money for the sport is the rationale behind the unconventional destination.

Although, they do seem, on paper anyway, to have provided a fairly unique route for the TTT.


Eight men teams took to the road under the blazing desert sun in the Sunday’s truncated pro team time trial — not all teams attended over a spat over travel costs (hang on a minute – refer to Wikipedia note above about their gas and oil reserves).

BMC’s winning streak in the Road World Championships team time trial has come to an end with Etixx-QuickStep taking victory in Doha on Sunday.

The Belgian outfit completed the 40km course in a time of 42:32 (56.4km/h), taking back the world title after two successive victories to BMC. BMC was second on the day, 12 seconds behind the winners, while Orica-BikeExchange slotted into third, a further 25 second behind.




Road World Championships 2016 TTT men

Team Etixx – Quick Step photo VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2016

Road World Championships 2016 TTT men

photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016

UCI World Road Championships - Mens TTT

Etixx in the Elite Mens TTT of the 2016 World Road Championships

And Boels Dolmans were the victors in the Womens TTT in extremely opressive conditions, starting mod afternon, the friggin hottest part of the day.

During the women’s team time trial, where the temperatures neared 40C, Koster, who rides for Rabo-Liv, appeared to suddenly lose all control and veered off line, flipping over her handlebars. She was helped back on to her bike looking extremely dazed and managed to finish the race.

“The heat in Qatar is extreme,” her team-mate Roxane Knetemann said. “I cannot explain how excruciating it feels to be riding 40km through the desert. You’d expect organisers and the UCI to have some knowledge about cycling.

“If you send out people for a team time trial in this heat, make sure there are at least 10 ambulances ready to look after the riders. The UCI didn’t think this through. The heat, it’s just not to do and certainly not in a time trial. It’s like a sauna.”


Road World Championships 2016 TTT women

Rabobank Liv Women Cycling Team) pictured during TTT women Team Time Trial of the UCI Road World Championships 2016 in Qatar. – photo Davy Rietbergen/Cor Vos © 2016


Still to come

  • Wednesday, October 12 Men Elite Individual Time Trial
  • Thursday, October 13 Men Under 23 Road Race
  • Friday, October 14 Women Juniors Road Race
  • Saturday, October 15 Women Elite Road Race
  • Sunday, October 16 Men Elite Road Race



I’ve mentioned the guys over at Biketivist before, and reviewed their season 1 jersey and gilet last summer. I These guys are based in Adelaide and produce some damn fine kit. Their season 2 kit has been out for a few months now, but supplies are running out so if you want to support a local Adelaide outfit and strap some great gear in your winter body, you better get in quickly as there are only a few left out there.

“We used bold colours and sharp shapes and came up with 2 pieces for men and our first ever female specific jersey and bib. Once again reception from our fans was great and we pretty much sold out online with a few pieces left at Bike Society (Anzac Hwy Store) and Cycle Closet in the city”


“I’m planning to launch Season 3 soon, looks like first release will come in November (really funky kit) and second release prior to the TDU in Jan”
Watch this space for further news in November.
2016 UCI Road World Ranking –

Men Elite

UCI Individual World Ranking


1 Peter SAGAN (SVK) 4579 points

Peter Sagan has done the rainbow band proud with an outstanding season in the rainbow bands, with 10 of his 13 wins coming at WorldTour level and helping him to top the end-of-season rankings.

Among the highlights were a Monument breakthrough at the Tour of Flanders and three more stages at the Tour de France, with plenty of success outside of the WorldTour, including victory at the European Championships.



2 Christopher FROOME 3771

Well, what can you say about Chris Froome, what can you say. This year he seemed to go out of his way to prove his critics wrong by attacking at some crucial stages of the TdF. Hell, he even almost broke the internet when he discarded his bike on stage 12 on the climb to Ventoux after a crash woth the moto, and then taking on a neutral bike that was too small and had different pedals.


3 Greg VAN AVERMAET 3608





Greg had a decent year, starting with a win at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February. Later at the Tirreno–Adriatico, where he was on the winning team of the opening team time trial and won won the stage 6. Following Tirreno, he crashed and broke his collarbone in the Tour of Flanders.
After his return from injury, he stage 5 of the Tour de France, and also captured the yellow jersey, which he held for three days.

He then capped off a stellar year with a scintillating win at the Olympics Road Race.

Other rankings include:
UCI Nations World Ranking – FRANCE
UCI World Tour Teams Ranking – MOVISTAR TEAM
UCI America Tour Ranking – Greg VAN AVERMAET (BEL)
UCI Asia Tour Ranking – King Lok CHEUNG (HKG)
UCI Europe Tour Ranking- Baptiste PLANCKAERT (BEL)
UCI Oceania Tour Ranking – Sean LAKE (AUS)

Women Elite

UCI Individual World Ranking






UCI Olympic Qualification Ranking – Emma JOHANSSON (SWE)
UCI Women’s Individual World Tour Ranking – Megan GUARNIER (USA)



Radar Pace


Oakley have recently launched their new sunnies, the Radar Pace, a collaboration between Oakley and Intel, designed to give real time feedback on training and performance. At its heart is a set of Oakley’s Radar glasses, which are equipped with earbuds and a microphone.

Oakley also provides a touch pad on the left side of the glasses, which can be touched or swiped to control functionality. There are also sensors built into the glasses: an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and pressure, humidity and proximity sensors. Radar Pace is recharged via USB and is IPx5 water resistant.


There’s Bluetooth connectivity to other devices such as mobile phones for calls, texts and music. You can also get data from other external devices such as power meters, heart rate sensors and GPS units, both via Bluetooth and ANT+.

Part of the Radar Pace package is a set of training programmes appropriate to your experience and goals. The athlete’s interaction with Radar Pace is via Intel’s Real Speech technology. This allows you to ask questions and receive feedback and metrics in real time.



Rider of the Week – Nigel Parsons


I’ve known Nigel for over 9 year now, having been first introduced to him when i first started riding with the Sunday Muppets, the first group riding i was involved with, and all these years later, till riding with.

I’m in awe of Nigel (don’t tell him i aid that though), but i don’t think I realised how much until i was riding behind him one summers evening on the way to the Crafers Hotel. Screaming down Mt Lofty Summit Road heading towards the Crafers roundabout, you know the hill, heavy, a long gentle right hand curve before heavy on the brakes at the bottom.

It wasn’t that i was out of control, nowhere near it, but watching Nigel brake and manouvre at the bottom made had me thinking about how the hell he does it.  You may not know, but Nigel rides with a prosthetic arm, and his ability to control his bike in fairly extreme situations like this I find extraordinary.  Think about it, think about riding down Greenhill road with one arm on the bars, the you have to steer, brake, be aware of whats happening around you, and balancing. I’m in awe.

I got a chance for a quick ride with Nige the other day, this is his story.

  •  What first got you started in cycling?

I started watching the Tour de France in the late nineties and loved it and in 2003/4 a mate from work was raving about how good his first weekend ride through the hills was after his recent purchase of a bike. His enthusiasm got me interested.

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

I own 2 road and a mountain bike but my main go to bike is a Colnago clx2


  • You ride with a prosthetic arm, can you describe how you set up your bike because of this?

As I ride with a right arm prosthesis I’ve had a couple of modifications with the break cables both going to the left hand sti lever through a splitter. The rear gears through a bar end shifter . see pics sent via sms. It works beautifully albeit not electric which would be nice to try.



  • What are the some of the difficulties in riding with a prosthetic.

Some of the difficulties of riding with a prosthetic – The arm socket can get a bit uncomfortable on long rides on hot days. People expecting a high five…….,

  • You’ve had a few crashes in your life, any memorable ones (so to speak)

Crashes: Yes, had a few. Wrecked three helmets and not allowed to wreck anymore . My first crash was a case of getting too much of a buzz from speed and I didn’t see a sign for an extra tight bend, the bike came out from under me and got a tremendous arse burn. The most memorable one would be hitting a kangaroo at reasonably high speed
defending Norton. The roo become a jump ramp and got airborne , needless to say I came off second best.

(I’d like to add one in here as well Nige. Riding behind Nige  (hang on a minute i see a trend here!) as we were coming down Tiers road – the long straight from the top of the hill down to the bridge just before you hit Woodside. The unfortunately was a 1″ step between the road bitumen and te bridge deck, which under normal circumstances is not such  big deal. Rick was the first to hit the bridge, got the wobbles and pivoted to warn Nige. Unfortunately Nige’s wobble was a little more catastophic than Ricks, he lost purchase on the bars and somersaulted over at high speed. Suffice to say he wasn’t a pretty site, and it did take him a while to come too, but fortunately the St Johns crew in Woodside attending the Ride Like Crazy ride were able to attend before the ambulance was able to get there. Scary stuff)

  • How do you store your bikes?

Hang the bike up on a wall. Other in shed on trainer.


  • What do you love about cycling.

The things I love about cycling are the adrenelin rush that comes from riding in the hills, mostly the only sound in your ears is the wind rush, the never ending views you get on a long ride, the coffee banter afterwards, the great feeling after a good ride.

  • What annoys most about cycling?

Punctures, crashes, hitting a wall (so to speak) when you’re a long way from home, drivers and cyclists who don’t share the road.

  • Who is your favourite Cyclist?

Eddie Merckx – he’s the greatest, Robbie McKewen – he tells a great yarn, Lance Armstrong – would try and get him drunk and see if he might really spill the beans on what really went on.

(Mentioning Lance – i have to add this little story. When Lance came out to ride in the TdU, Nige was among the throng at Norwood at the start of one of the stages, and was able to get his signature. Being the opportunist he is, he grabbed the first thing he could lay his hands on for Lance to sign, his prosthetic arm. He was proud of Lances signature, although I’m fairly certain he’s long since scrubbed it off) 

  • What would be your favorite cycling holiday destination.


  • What is you favorite training ride

My favorite local training ride is a 40 km loop from Stirling to Basket Range and back via Deviation Rd. and back over Mt. Lofty.

Thanks Nige. Its always  pleasure to ride with you. Good luck with your training for next years 3 Peaks.



Cafe of the Week – Hustle

I passed this little cafe cafe on the way back from my LBS the other day, it was lunch, i hadn’t had a coffee for a while. A quick look at the food through the open window, and the coffee machine and I thought, why not.

Well, the coffee hit the spot, and the Chicken and Mayo Focaccio hit the spot. Its only a small cafe with about 6 tables, tucked away in a small nook fronting light square. They’ve only been open for a few weeks niw, so i suspect their offerings in their display is on the cinservative ide until they build up their clientele.

The map below is a little misleading, the cafe is open to the footpath. 155 Waymouth Street


Open 7:00AM – 3:00PM Monday-Friday, next time your passing, pop in and grab a coffee.

That’s the end of another posting.

til next time

tight spokes