TDU 2018: WE'VE COME TO TAKE OVER

 

Legs were loose from the previous day, thanks to an undesirably tough ride and a few rounds of beers. This day last year we ventured to the surface of the sun and cooked ourselves in a distinctly bay-free Williamstown that laughed in our faces on the ride home. The race would return to the Barossa again to formally open proceedings, we were hoping for a day less cruel.

 

I: THE REGULARS

 

No time to even put a playlist on as we got ready – an epidemic of major CBF’s had swept through the accomodation. Nonetheless at what felt like the crack of dawn, we began putting ourselves together for the day.

PLAN OF ACTION

A month or two of back and forth like two naive and super scared high schoolers had led to this day: The Prom. The big dance. We had woken to the news we were doing the Rapha Australia Instagram takeover, so tired we were shocked at the prospect. The keys were sent our way, foot prepared to drop it to the floor and redline it. We would be taking on the Rapha Classic Ride with Pat leading the way, Alby bringing up the rear. Some time during the Rapha Classic Ride we would be finding out if our boy Alex would be entering the student life at Uni SA, the afternoon into evening due to be a cause for celebration, or at least getting parro.

 
 
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Sorry but we must take a break from our half baked “Plan of Action” to bring you some pressing, highly relevant news.

 
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LEADING STATISTICS
Distance: 101km (Alex)
Vertical Gain: +775m (Alex)
Rounds of Beers: 12
Most Frequented Pub: The Exeter
Rounds of Caffé Lattes: 7
Wraps: 3
Pizzas: 1
TDU Fedoras: 0
KOM Bucket Hats: 0
Highest Temperature: 33ºC
Mechanicals: 0
Handball Record: 0-0-0

BREAKFAST
Break Free, Quiet end of Hindley St
It's our accomodation, trading hours vary seasonally.

✓ THE HIGHLIGHT
Shout out to all the ice cold drinks that are out there. First water, then Coca Cola in 600ml bottles, then iced caffé lattes, then ice cold beers.

✕ THE LOWLIGHT(s)
Getting dropped on the Rapha ride. New lows folks, new lows. Another lowlight; prickles. Yep, the common prickle and its ability to puncture tyres. Australia's flora and fauna will show you no mercy.

"QUOTE OF THE DAY"
"Sitting on 450w for this climb...takes about five minutes at that level. Not even Brad Wiggins Hour Record pace." Good chance that we're gonna need British citizenships handed out across the board and for Adrian to photocopy some of his asthma prescriptions.

"Wow you guys look like a lot of fun XD" Turns out Rapha folk are on our level, for the most part. We have screenshotted proof.

NOT QUITE BROADSHEET

If there's one thing that's not only going to get you up and cranking in the morning, but also leave you coughing like you just took down a monster J in one single toke, it's the now famous Riche Didge Handcrafted Oats.

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The first and most integral part of enjoying the delicious creamy creation to it’s maximum potential begins before you even get out of bed. It is best served when put in front of your face as Riche gently shoves your shoulder to bring you gently out of your slumber. At first you notice a rich scent of cinnamon and fresh berries, then look up to see Riche with a warm smile presenting the bowl to you like a loving parent. Slightly confused, and thinking this might possibly be a prank, you apprehensively take the bowl and inspect it in search of any unexpected inconsistencies. To your wonder, there is nothing in the bowl but some beautifully curated oats, topped with fresh cinnamon and berries.

Now if you’re anything like us, you'll like your oats quite sweet, perhaps with some syrup or sugar added. Questions were raised after we checked out the Riche Didge Handcrafted Oats and noticed no sugar, syrup, honey, or any type of sweetener on top. Rather skeptical, we interrogated Riche as to why such was the case. He informed the class that the cinnamon was what was going to bring the desired sweetness. An answer that would add an extra layer to the expanding mind meme, we were left completely cooked as cinnamon is a spice and if anything it would bring spice to the palette, not sweetness. We had not yet eaten any of these handcrafted oats, and we'd only been awake for a matter of seconds, yet this meal in a tiny little hotel bowl had already brought on a rollercoaster of emotions.

First spoonfuls were met with great trepidation as we were all eager to experience this newly apparent "sweetness" of the cinnamon that dusted the oats. Excitedly and in unison, we breathed in slightly as the spoon went into mouths, setting off a mexican wave of a coughing fit as the ~sweet~ cinnamon hit our lungs. Closing your eyes and imagining vibrant colours of aromatic orchards offered some relief as the bright, sweet, summery flavours of the fresh berries hit the palette. Like being choked at the point of climax such elation has to be experienced to be understood. The berries and cinnamon were like a square-dance in the mouth where each and every step was made in perfect harmony. A subtle balance between the tartness of the raspberries, the sweetness of the blueberries and blackberries, and  the rich creamy cinnamon oats makes this dish the pinnacle of breakfast in bed.

It was only during the after oats cigarette break that we realised it wasn't just a dish, but an experience altogether. It would not have been the same without waking up to the scent of the dish, a gentle push of the shoulder and warm smile from the miller of the oats himself. Even choking on the cinnamon before tasting the berries adds to the journey. This is a must do experience for anyone on a Soup Boys trip.

Overall we rate the experience 4.8 cinnamon scrolls out of 5 cinnamon scrolls.


II: THE RAPHA CLASSIC RIDE

 

It was fortunate the sweetness of the cinnamon woke us up, as there were 0 caffé lattes available for the SBC as we rolled in to the Rapha clubhouse. Not like we had the time, Pat fortunately giving us time to wipe sleep from our eyes, and wash down cinnamon residue in the windpipes.

We conducted a self guided architectural tour of the Adelaide CBD as we rolled eastward, turning into a self guided dog patting tour of Norwood as things slowly crept uphill and towards the hills. Around 70 other riders were joining us on the Rapha Classic Ride this fine Tuesday morning. A ride that was due to be 75km through the hills, dropping us back off at the Clubhouse in the CBD. We brought up the rear of that 70 or so strong bunch, the UE Boom in Alex’s jersey pocket serenading riders with tunes of Hall & Oates, Outkast and Chance The Rapper.

 
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It was a frustrating 40 or so minutes of precarious riding through the tighter back streets, and bike lanes, but once we dropped down onto Gorge Road we were rewarded for our concentration and participation. The beautiful morning sun greeted us right as the battery on the UE Boom went flat, only to be replaced with the soulful voices of the SBC. Things ventured east of Corkscrew Rd and onto the much lumpier stuff, Adrian getting spat out the back due to a requirement to #curate #content. Swapping some 50kmph turns with the People’s Champ was no use, as rolling down into Cudlee Creek the rest of the ride was well out of sight, Alex waiting by the roadside wondering where the hell everyone else had gotten to. Figuring everyone was waiting by the pub, we continued up the road to the Cudlee Creek Café and waved the rest of the #squad down.

 
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So they didn’t stop. And then while we were waiting for our caffé lattes to come out to our table, we saw the leader of the ride fly past the café a mere 20 minutes behind the rest of our #squad. Considering it would be the second Gorge Rd TT in three days, chances were it would be the last opportunity to take in the gem of a café that belongs to Cudlee Creek.

 

III: ROMANCE AT CUDLEE CREEK

Cudlee Creek Café
Gorge Rd, Cudlee Creek
T–S: 8.00am til 5.00pm

Super cyclist friendly trading hours? Check. Heaps of bike parking outside? Check. No minimum eftpos? Check. If there is one thing that redeems the state of South Australia for their shithouse trading hour laws, it is that of the lack of minimum eftpos at establishments. But the cherry on top? They were well versed in the art of Soup Boys nutrition. No choccy milk, not this time anyway. Instead a serving of apple cinnamon cake (like we hadn’t had enough cinnamon already), Vanilla Coke and caffé lattes both Soy and Not Soy.

Located in such a prime location, you can use the Cudlee Creek café as the perfect snack base camp for a day in the northern-ish parts of the Adelaide Hills. You’ve got the climb up to Paracombe close by, Chain of Ponds, Corkscrew and Fox Creek all close by. Use it as the perfect refuelling spot before continuing on and doing seven or eight more climbs.

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While the sun was out, sitting down, and having our legs in the shade had caused them to fall asleep. To get the legs warmed up once again, we undertook the tried and tested method of the upside riding technique. Only this time it was in a hammock. The romantic to-and-fro that was getting Alex into the hammock itself was recorded by nomates.cc of Hunter Bros from the balcony above. A love story that wasn't as good as Twilight, but probably better than the Notebook.

 
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Legs re-heated and bellies full, we returned to the tarmac, spotting some #squad love on the way out. Guess love is in the air in Cudlee Creek.

 

IV: CHECKERED OUT

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Given that the route details were posted on Rapha’s website, that the ride was due to be travelling at roughly 25kmph, we figured that a casual Tony Martin TT effort up to Gumeracha and the foot of Checker Hill would be enough to catch at least the back of the ride. 

While we had a lack of sandpaper on our saddles, we were armed with local knowledge of shortcuts across towards Kersbrook, and the new found knowledge that Alex was going to be a Uni SA student in 2018. Congratulate him.

 
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Tales of 50kmph neutral zones out of Forreston were told as Checker Hill greeted Adrian and Alex on their maiden ascent of the climb. But they weren’t alone. Nope, it wasn’t Alby or any other member of the Rapha Classic Ride, but none other than Adelaide’s resident Cooked Unit. Adrian offered him a paceline to the top, only to watch Alex disappear on the 100kmph descent to a shady T-intersection on the Kersbrook city limits. It was while we rehydrated, gave Instagram live renditions of Daryl Hall & John Oates “You’re Out Of Touch” that we admitted that we were either a) lost, or b) dropped.

It would be as we sat in the palatial foyer of Newton Village Plaza – the height of Adelaide’s wog excellence that we discovered we had been stitched up. Not as badly as Lugo and Davo however, who were spotted heading out to the stage finish in Lyndoch at 12 noon.

 
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V: NOT QUITE BROADSHEET EPISODE 2

My Kingdom For A Horse
191 Wright St, Adelaide CBD
M–F: 7.00am til' 4.00pm
S–S: 8.00am til 4.00pm

A homage to the Jonesy bidon to the face photos that we all know and love wrapped up our Rapha Classic Ride Instagram Takeover. Beers at the clubhouse were declined, all we sought was a shower and some food, perhaps more hand cut oats.

Riche wasn’t around the Break Free, so hand cut oats were out of the question as we pay our respects to the master crafter of oats. Instead a few blocks north of our accomodation was My Kingdom For A Horse. Introduced to the SBC through non-cycling local knowledge last TDU, it became a safe haven of pre-cyclocross racing fuelling in August during our undercover mission. Finally reopened after a few weeks off through the holiday period, we were happy to pull up a few seats outside and order from their extensively Melbourne-but-not-full-Melbourne menu.

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While it left us somewhat satisfied, a little more recovery was required. The end of the stage was caught in air conditioned comfort of the Break Free with beers in hands, cold towels over heads, and once Mortimer and Slade returned from the bay-free Williamstown post stage; chippies in moody lighting; baked.

All of us were fried enough.

 
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VI: EAST OF THE CBD

 

5pm hit, and most of the CBD shut down for another day. Kip linked up with Slade and Mortimer to catch some of the criterium action from Victoria Park. While (with the exception of Boxing Day in Glenelg) Adelaide only has one regular crit going on; shit if you’re going to hold it, you might as well hold it in such a stellar location. Plenty of shade, a flat, uninterrupted view of the entire lap, and takeaway pasta. Nothing better.

 
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Spotted: a beautiful Andy taking snaps for Cannondale (x Pedla?). Also spotted: some lil’ beers on the mad glow up. John Prolly invented #lightbro for evenings like this at Victoria Park.

 
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VII: WEST OF THE CBD

 

Simulcast during the last round of Victoria Park Crits, an equal in size gang of cyclists ventured north west, along the same route tailwinds so lovingly guided those on two wheels the day before. With the exception of a puncture outside St Clair Coles, the culprit being a common lawn prickle, the ride was nothing short of a soothing tonic for the soul. The day had been a rollercoaster ride of cycling and emotional proportions, but we had the Admiral.CC and their new Port Adelaide headquarters to thank for our evenings setting. A simple but killer menu (vegan options included) left us surprised and delighted, while some inside knowledge from one of the staff had us enjoying $5 pints through fresh taps all night.

 
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* JAZZ MUSIC INTENSIFIES*

 
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BEER OF THE DAY

Cooper’s Sparkling Ale

A review by someone who knows nothing about beer (Alex).

Desribed by Cooper himself as “the Ale by which all others should be measured”, Cooper’s Sparkling ale is South Australia’s greatest red labelled beer, only being rivalled by one other red labelled beer which comes mainly in a can.  The beer is best known for the fact that it’s stronger than most other standard beers at 1.7 standards per bottle. It’s smooth enough that you would hardly notice though.  A strong bitterness, apparently from the hops, and a strong malt character are the main things to note about this one. Probably best enjoyed out the tap, although the bottles are pretty good too if you’re not in Adelaide and can’t get it on tap. Sparkling Ale is preservative and additive free which is pretty hektik and also vegan. 

Overall we give it 5 red labels out of 5 red labels.

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VIII: NOT QUITE BROADSHEET EPISODE 3

 

*Sets ISO to 12600*

Last to leave the Port Admiral HQ, we rolled back via the bike path, following the city lights home. Our only detour would be for some much required, highly desired donuts. At this hour, and with this level of donut-lust, Krispy Kreme or your local On The Run wouldn’t cut it. We needed something heartier, if donuts can be that.

 
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Bakery on O'Connell
128–130 O'Connell St, North Adelaide
Open all the fuckin' time (24hrs)

We’re pretty sure Big Lou’s wasn’t a 24 hour establishment, but since those bright orange doors closed on Brunswick St, Fitzroy we’ve had a permanent and ever expanding hole in our hearts. A hole similar to that of a donut…you…could…say. The Bakery on O’Connell is arguably Adelaide’s answer to Big Lou’s, only that they aren’t restricted by having the term “donut” in the name, thus they are able to expand their portfolio into things like vanilla slices, pies, quiches and the like. But fuck it we’re here for the donuts, and orange juice, and deep chats about life, and the universe, and time, and the pointlessness of it all. What else is there to do at midnight?

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IX: GOOD, BAD & UGLY

 

Well damn, it’s been a hot minute since we’ve done a Good, Bad & Ugly. Possibly a whole year in fact, we couldn’t be bothered checking up. For its return, we’ll ween you in with a rapid fire round of the GBnU.

 
GOOD
  • Gorge Rd; the flowing start, the soft centre with just the right amount of ups and downs, followed by a smooth and refined finish.
  • Cudlee Creek Café. We've already told you why, a strategically located gem that we treasure oh so much.
  • The Fish Basket from the Port Admiral. As far as contemporary interpretations on this pub classic go, this sets a new benchmark.
  • Eating Berliners at midnight. Don't tell mum.
BAD
  • Chopping wheels leaving green lights in suburban intersections. No sheep stations are involved, so what's the point?
  • Checker Hill. One tough mother of a climb, goddamn. If we paid attention to Durian's YouTube channel (*edit* apparently it's been taken down lmao) we're sure there would be a video thanking Adrian for providing a leadout.
  • People thinking we're on some kind of Sydney level. Doomed from the start.
UGLY
  • Some dad's face after Alex decided to drop him as a way of answering the heavily baited question of "what's with the socks?" A 1500w sprint to knock your socks off.
  • The road back from Kersbrook. Not a fun time. If the TDU goes out there again we're going to cop a lift with Robbie McEwen.
  • Adrian's face descending Checker Hill.
  • The weird kind of sweaty and flustered you get when changing a puncture.