Since our inception we dreamt of either hosting, or of there being a social, mad vibes only kind of weekly bunch ride. A few small shops here and there hosted a thing or two, but there was never anything that motivated us enough to be out of bed by 10am. Then in the middle of 2016, Ron of the Admiral CC got together with us for discussion at a long table dinner (at Swanny Maccas). The time was right, the fruit ripe for picking. That night, a bunch ride was borne, in the middle of winter where motivations were teetering on record lows, and sleep patterns were straight fried from watching the previous nights stage of Le Tour. Now that you know the history, we present to you – the Admiral Cycling Collective x Soup Boys Cycling Knifepoint Wednesday loop. Or ACCSBCKPW for short.
Our ride begins at the meeting point of the 82 and 57 tram lines, right outside the front doors of Ascot Vale's Union Hotel where we roll out at 6.30am AEST, with of course exceptions being made on weeks where almost everyone is running late. It is often here that we begin calling our friends, blissfully aware that they are tucked up in bed with no intention of leaving before 8am, to try and coax them in to joining us somewhere along the route.
Our humble loop that sits in the mid-20's by the way of distance covered has plenty of surprise features, or added bonuses that are saved for rainy days, or decided upon with either the flip of a coin, or Zeke being put on the spot to make a decision. Taking in suburbs of the inner-north west of Melbourne (Ascot Vale, Maribyrnong, Avondale Heights, Essendon, Moonee Ponds etc.) it circles predatorily around the fabled shopping centre colloquially known as Knifepoint. The shopping centre over the years has acted as a constant in our lives. The place of our ill-fated high school dates, place of employment and home to seedy early hour kick ons at the 24 hour Pancake Parlour. Its inclusion on a Wednesday is what makes our ride truly unique, and our way of saying thank you to a shit hole that has given us so much over the years. We happily share with you the map of our weekly loop, hiding key details to ensure the element of surprise is with us, and not with you. That is of course pointless if you follow any of us on Strava, then you know exactly what you would be in for.
Inspired by the mountains of the Pyrenees, the ACCSBCKPW has been designed to give riders the best seat in the house to watch the sun rise over the peaks of the Dandenong Ranges way off in the distance. With a number of small but testing climbs, the profile serves 2 (two) purposes. That is to shake up the legs, getting you off to hopefully the best/probably the worst Hump Day of your lives, and (listen carefully because this has been backed by scientific research) through climb placement and timing ensure that the sun keeps your body warm even during the winter months.
While our ride is made up of a rather hilly parcours, we have made sure that there is variety in our climbs, suitable amounts of rest between most efforts, and an encouraged moment of chill reflection to allow others to catch back up. While each major climb will feature week in week out, a fork in the road rests at Zeke Lucky Dip. The iconic climb he requests our respects be paid to will be entirely dependent on how the babu feels on the day. He may punish us all with a race up the Piccolo Mortirolo, or he may forgive us for our sins and allow us to cruise up the still challenging Tourmalet of the West, the call will come mere moments before.
Distance: 23 - 30km
Elevation: +300m ~
Speed Traps: 1
Official Strava Segments: 25
Wog Palaces: ∞
STRAVA SEGMENTS [SBC]
Woods Hill Estate
Smoke That Pipemakers
Official Unsanctioned Soup Boys Carpark Crit
The Late Show With Dean Jones Sprint
Monaco Swimming Pool Complex
Zorba Dance Plays Peacefully
Tourmalet of the West
FTP Speed Trap
Tony's Pies CLCS
Bootleg Laguna Seca Corkscrew CLCS
May the rest remain a surprise...
Probably the obvious one, we have curated a discerning collection of official Identifiable by their [SBC] Badge of Honour on the social media platform for athletes, Strava – we have curated a discerning collection of key segments to help you aspire to something greater than just a pretty basic level of fitness every Wednesday morning. Found along the "Standard Route de la Course" they will ask you to showcase a wide variety of bicycling skills to achieve the famed digital trophies on offer. Chase them down and win, we might be randomly offering prizes, but only on Wednesdays.
You remember the sticker slap challenges of the Tony Hawk games? Well we kind of did our own version. Along the route there are somewhere in the vicinity of 20 Soup Boys stickers (depending on how many have been racked). Some are obvious, some not so much. It would be a modern miracle if someone was to be able to spot them all on a single loop, but if someone can manage such a feat a prize shall be on offer.
They're more unapologetic than their inner-Eastern suburb rivals, the Wog Palaces of the inner Western suburbs and beyond are scattered throughout our loop. Built predominantly by hand, and through the money of wholesale fruit or other cash only businesses they offer themselves up as something to aspire to. A reason to actually show up to work on a Wednesday, so one day we too can have hella columns, just like our forefathers.
It's hashtagged in our Instagram bio, and it's on our jersey. It was at the top of the original Soup Boys HQ's street. It's a way of life, so of course we were going to include it in our loop. While we encourage a moderate scraping of the knee upon entry to any 45º turn, there are a few designated #cornerlikecaseystoner sectors that should have your tyres singing wildly as you rail each corner. They could take you through a stop sign and over a hilly chicane, resisting the temptation to stop in at Tony's or paying homage to the Wilko show at the corner aptly named after this incredible feat. Either way, we wish your tyres and knees luck on your pythagorean voyage.
Our ride is made up of key elements of juvenile delinquency, loud rap music and tearing each others legs off during probable come downs, so it would have only been fair to pick a cafe to match. Our ACCSBCKPW loop, which began back in July 2016 would always finish at the aptly named Rev(erend). While there was no upstairs section, there was both endless supplies of Colombian produce, and through the cafes use of pews as seating – a chance to talk to the big dog upstairs. However, in early February tragedy struck. Unannounced, a change of ownership took place and such we immediately sought pastures new. It led us to a new haunt operated by an Italian family, Dolce Latte. Only a few doors down from our Grand Depart and with classic Italian tunes echoing out of the front door, it has ample seating, cakes, gelato and the kind of caffé latte's that will have you hitting your KPI's for the rest of the week. Best part is, its only a 20 minute ride back into the CBD.
And the very best part of our weekly ride? That we get to do it in the company of some of our friends. If our complete, Ultimate Guide hasn't convinced you, let the wonderful #ACCSBCKPW images taken by some of our friends old and new coax you into an early morning mid week start. We'll catch you at the Union!