A SOUP BOYS YULE TIDE MERRYMAS EVENTUS
Some of us were on work Christmas party comedowns, or just wanting to keep kicking on, either way the final week before Christmas was jam packed with eventus (eventi?) to help celebrate the season, and (unfortunately) say goodbye to some close friends. We got together with our friends at Admiral.cc and the wider squad to help do just that via a suitable delivery of babby kilometres that wouldn't have us feeling so guilty come the end of our respective Christmas luncheons.
I: ALL WE WANT FOR CHRISTMAS
We took the opportunity to curate and compile a refined and humble selection of gifts that will help strengthen our Soup Boys Lifestyle dream. It has been sent directly to Oleg Tinkov with the hope that he sees making our Christmas wishes come true as the perfect replacement to not running a World Tour team, and keeping the UCI on their toes.
II: XMAS LIGHTS RIDE
What better way to cure your mondayitis with a typically Soup Boys style cruise through the city streets? Paying homage to our traditional roots, and respects to the fabled Monday night rides many of our friends participated in back in the day, we assembled on the astro-turfed lawns outside the Cayman Islands (168,044 reviews on Trip Advisor) before looping and zig-zagging through the inner suburbs.
Hook turn trackstand competitions were held as we head west for Docklands, then the Maribyrnong river and its newly paved bike path. Despite being stated as a possibility on Wikipedia, no Dolphins would be sighted on this potentially magical festive evening. Winding along the river and through the inner north western suburbs, the pace remained light, but the option to peel off and head home was left open to those desiring to take it.
Recommended by Kip, Ben and rated 4.6/5 stars on Facebook, our dinner stop was The B.East for a combination of dietary preference friendly burgers, fries and drinks – all ringing true as we sat saluting to the year that was with full and satisfied bellies.
The Capital City trail was taken through to Heidelberg Rd where we re-hydrated with Slurpees at the local 7-Eleven – holding a 5 star rating average from 1 review on Google reviews. Cold headaches were introduced almost immediately, but provided us the cooling our bodies needed. Onward to the Christmas Lights!
Our final stop was rather anticlimactic. For a street who gets its own website, and heavy promotion by its local council and wider Melbourne it could be described as nothing but disappointing. The squad was 100, the dinner was 100, but the destination? Nooooo. Street vendors outnumbered the crowd which in turn outnumbered the individual Christmas lights on display. If you want to see some real proper lights, head to My Aeon on the first Saturday of every month, security will probably bug you less too.
Mondayitis had crept back in as an acute form of Hump-dayitis, fortunately we had the final Admiral.cc x Soup Boys Cycling Knifepoint Wednesday loop of the year before (taking inspiration from the Bundesliga) it took a hiatus through the heat of the summer. While it didn't involve anything out of the ordinary it played its role perfectly – the opportunity for a small group of us to get together early one morning, tap out some kilometres, race up 9 categorised col's and finish with coffee back in our neighbourhood. We're not sure when they will be back, probably some time in January but we will be sure to let you know.
IV: FESTIVE 5HUNNID
Sure the foundation of the Soup Boys comes from the mean streets of Melbourne (Toorak), but some of our most memorable moments, both athletically and socially have come during the fantastic challenge that is the Rapha Festive 500. For the last 3 years, either all of the current roster of Soup Boys, or at the very least a large number of have ridden or bravely attempted to reach the feat. In 2013 it was a maiden journey through the alps, Alex riding his first ever climb up Mt Hotham on a steelie with standard cranks and a 23 cassette. 2014 belonged to aiming for 1000km in the same amount of time, and bailing on it come New Years Eve to drink by the hotel pool. And most recently the 2015 edition gave us broken rear derailleurs, mad tan lines, injured knees and the wearing in of new bicycles. There is no possible way we could predict what will happen during the 2016 running of the non-race, but between photos of our previous editions, a few of the riders have been kind enough to drop spoilers into what their Christmas Eve to New Years Eve will involve on the bike.
"I will probably be bouncing between napping in my bedroom, drinking beers in the sun, watching replays of SBS cycling commentary (to increase mental strength and stamina) and riding (simply to maintain leanness) in preparation for my birthday to NYE 5 day bender. I really need to be in peak physical and mental condition this time of year as literally anything could happen to my body and mind in those 5 days. You really need to be prepared for everything." – Alex
"At this time of year, in the Southern Hemisphere, we are graced by a return of the Magi: Mintaka, Alnilam and Alnitak. But what's really going to bake your noodle later on is that this line will also be your epiphany toward something brighter. For me it's a ritual to rejoice in all things east, and return to Australia's most eastern point where it all started for me. So I fly up to the belt of this great southern land in search of fruit n' oats moments on the road, for fortitude in the forests." – Riche
"I don't really know if I'll end up doing the 500, I certainly want to do just one totally effed up kind of day on the bike, but after that I'm not quite sure. All I really know is that I'm spending a few days at my parents where I'm probably going to be tanning/chilling in a hammock, and eating a whole bunch of food. That being said if I do punch out any kilometres I will no doubt be matching them with servings of panettone." – Adrian
"While juggling the eat big lift big lifestyle, my main goal for the festive 500 is to collect more ultra #rare sunburns all summer long. These will include, but are not limited to looking for a good sock tan, and the super exclusive faux razor blade tan." – Harry
"I'll simply be riding my couch, beer in hand cause my bars broke." – Lewis
"Christmas Eve I'm going to do a ride to Mt. Dandenong and back, the next day I might jump on Beach Rd and just see where that takes me. Riding on boxing day will depend entirely on how I feel from the 2 days of riding beforehand but I might go rip some skids here and there or explore the east side a little bit more. All I'm going to do is get that tan definition happening in a big way, right down to ensuring that I'm on the best possible side of the sun to allow for ultimate bronzing, but still maintaining an even bronzeness" – Okky
"No Festive 500 plans for this babby but I do plan on shredding Mt Buller epic trail, and definitely will be hitting up Mount Buffalo with the missus." – Ben
"This year I think I'll actually finish a Festive 500. I'll stick with that goal and see what happens. My game plan is simple, eat everything I can at Christmas parties and use that as the fuel to ride. I'll be in Warburton from the 28th and after Adrian's rides a few weeks ago, I'm keen to do some stupid k's to make up for my failures in previous years. I haven't done any riding over that way so I'll just smell the roses etc." – Don
V: C U NEXT YEAR
And finally we temporarily sign off for the rest of the year. It's been a wonderful ride of broken bikes, injuries, derailleurs and all kinds of shit...but it's been more than offset by all the good times we have had. Once we have recovered from getting lit on new years we will be back with more piping hot content, including the coverage of last weekends Shimano Supercrit which we have been too lazy to put together yet. Until then, happy holidays from your favourite suburban bicycle gang the Soup Boys.