TDU 2018: TIME FOR THE FKN WEEKEND
The weekend of the Tour Down Under. The day, or 2 days in which most cyclists in town know exactly what they’re doing and where they’re headed. With Don’s arrival, the #tdu had become a whole lot sexier, could Richie add to the feel good vibe by further increasing his origin story of being the “next big thing?”
I: THE REGULARS
Well shit, things got off to a shaky start on what was an otherwise fine Saturday morning. First, on a completely desolate Hindley St a tradie obviously still stewing on his working on a weekend kind of life let loose with a tirade for the ages about track standing at a red light, on a completely desolate Hindley St. We thought we had gotten away safely, until in the confines of an equally desolate Rundle Mall, the tradie summoned a surprise flock of pigeons, flying between bicycle tubes, almost into spokes.
Crisis averted, far too many close calls for the first 1km of riding/wiping the sleep from our eyes. We wanted to at least make it to the caffé latte spot, alive.
PLANS OF ACTION
Plans of action for your TDU Saturdays are always simple. For everyone. You and/or your mates, acquaintances, enemies attach yourselves to some kind of bunchie (mostly peloton sized) and head south to Willunga, the queen stage of the TDU. Us? We’ve been doing things a little differently for the past few years. Our first visit to the tour came with our attendance on the Treadly x Rescue Project bunch ride, which has since evolved into the MAAP x Treadly ride. That was four years ago, but the past 3, through waiting for people still out on the town from their Saturday nights at Red Square, waking up late from hangovers, or simply wanting to avoid massive bunches – have been entirely Soup related affairs. 2018 would be the same, as we watched many of the branded and/or shop led bunches head out of town, leaving only us and some of the pros behind, together dawdling about the CBD.
Distance: 341km (Adrian)
Vertical Gain: +3947m (Adrian)
Rounds of Beers: 27
Most Frequented Pub: (forever) The Exeter
Rounds of Caffé Lattes: 20
TDU Fedoras: 0
KOM Bucket Hats: 16
Highest Temperature: 54.2ºC
Handball Record: 9-8-2
Bambi & Co.
31 East Terrace, Adelaide CBD
✓ THE HIGHLIGHT
The views from Coach Knox Macbeath. Damn, who knew. Alex knew. That road would be off the hook come sunset.
✕ THE LOWLIGHT
~Memory Card Full~ so many lost memories that will only live on in the hearts and minds of the SBC, not in the digital stratosphere.
"QUOTE OF THE DAY"
"It's cold out." Possibly the hottest weather we've ever experienced, the carbon fibre soles of our shoes have probably since delaminated.
NOT QUITE BROADSHEET
But first, COFFEE. Another anti-tradition tradition is the squad rallying point at Bambi’s kitchen. Out of the way and with an easy departure from the CBD point, we’ve also used it as a warm-up method before a national round of cyclocross. With a wide variety of vegan options, it kept the squad happy and well fuelled, the iced lattes being the cool chaser we truly needed. The cherry on top? Due to its location at the archway of an alleyway, it offered itself up as the perfect handball location. We’ve been slack on our team death matching, but we hoped that with a spare Wilsons stashed in a jersey pocket we would be able to increase the statistics for the week a little more once we arrived on the hill.
II: FREELANCERS PILGRIMAGE
Lift off – From Hutt St onto back streets, 2018 welcomed an alternate route to the opening climb of Windy Point. With a slight headwind, everyone jumped the gun at the same right hand hairpin that presented itself so tantalisingly the previous day, only this time a group of 3 would prevail – Alex, Adrian and Don.
A regroup at Coles to fill the bumbag with snacks, grab some powerades, some cash and accidentally annoy some locals brought the group together before an alternate way was taken out the back to the shittest climb in all of Adelaide up Main Rd, Coromandel.
Fortunately the headwind up Windy Point had turned into a slight tail wind up Main Rd, leaving us sailing smooth all the way to the descent into Clarendon. Once there we were invited by the operators of the local bakery to do an Instagram takeover, where we showcased their donuts, their drinks and their umbrellas – eventually morphing it into a Clarendon Bakery x Wilson Tennis Instagram takeover for the second series of handball games for the day, and probably the first in Clarendon outside of the primary school grounds.
The donuts had our veins popping as we slowly climbed up out of Clarendon, the long straight roads heading out of Kangarilla the start line for the traditional sprint battle that went on for a handful of kilometres. A break for a slash would have us decide upon taking Wickhams Hill around to the top of Willunga. Until...
III: THE RETURN OF THE SUMMONED PIGEONS
The tradie, quite possibly still stewing over our early morning encounter back on Hindley St channeled all the supernatural powers he could muster up, summoning a second flock of pigeons that magically appeared as we began the climb up Wickhams Hill. A flock so thicc, so dense and so orchestrated everyone began getting a little flustered. Riche went off the front in search of something, climbing like Tommy Voeckler at his defiant best, 20 or so metres ahead of the flock at all times. Rounding the hairpin into the pine tree plantation, Matty J and Alex found an opening to the flapping wings, heading to the front and breaking free. For Adrian however…
“this is where it started to all turn bad.”
IV: A SOUP BOYS GUIDE TO SURVIVING WILLUNGA HILL
Step 1) Survive Wickhams Hill. A little more difficult in practice, especially when you come across a flock of rogue pigeons – just ask Adrian. He was sans skin on his hip, knee, elbow and both palms. Despite this he was steadfast in his determination to make it the extra 20km to Willunga Hill, Richie’s Hill.
Kit Level: Sparkling Ale
Step 2) Traverse Range Rd. It’s a beautiful stretch of road that for the most part has smoothed out in recent years thanks to the thousands upon thousands of pilgrims heading south to Willunga Hill. It provides you with sporadic views of the ocean, patchwork farmland and agri-businesses, all while being littered with small bunches practicing their Willunga Loops for future years and/or generations.
Step 3) Arrive at Willunga Hill, say hello to some friends as you crouch on your top tube and descend your way down to the township proper. Once given the option turn right off the Willunga Hill road, and onwards to the bespoke Soup Boys Tuscan Mansion – patron Saints Caroline and Ross ready to welcome you. If, like Adrian you require a bandage job a la Jesus, take care of your palms and elbows, and stuff the side of your bib shorts with an ice pack.
Step 4) Wait for Jack and Victoria to arrive. Get semi-naked. Eat pizza, and pluck a San Pel, Chinotto or Wendy from an esky filled with ice. Watch the stage on TV from the comfort of a couch in the middle of an air-conditioned lounge room, conscious of those on the hill, many hungry to see Richie light it up, as that may be the only food they get for the afternoon.
All that expensive kit, and all that time on the bike and you still can't outshine this Pino D'Angio wannabe looking motherfucker.
Step 5) Discuss the probability of certain unfolding events, some of which involve cyclists that aren’t even at the race. Will Gerro win? Is he past his prime? Will Kenny Elissonde attack to the screams of Phil Liggett spraying into the mic, only to blow up 50m later. Will Horner grind his way to victory at 40rpm? Or will Richie become the next big thing, sending a single tear of joy down Billy Dawgs eye?
Step 6) Watch Richie attack. Watch Jay McCarthy think that he can follow him. Collectively gasp as, for a moment there – Jay McCarthy actually does follow him. In unison, countdown the metres to the exact location Phil Liggett said Richie would attack a second time. Watch him do just that, then solo to the finish.
Head to Ben Lehner’s glorious gallery of the Willunga stage from the hill proper. There are more images like the one immediately above included.
Step 7) Resume beers, pizza, hommus, swinging. Put a Talking Heads record on. Hydrate before the roll back to Adelaide.
V: BIKE PATH BLITZ
God bless tail winds. We had been on an on-again off-again relationship with the winds on the journey to Willunga, but on our return to the City of Adelaide, things would be a little more steadfast. Just like the ride down, we depart late, well fed and rested, meaning we can venture along the bike path without any of the potential shitshow of sharing it with tens of thousands of cyclists.
Instead we shared frozen cokes along the paths. We got hydrated, trained, hydrated again, adjusted to the desert, we hydrated some more. And then we ran into the coast, with a smooth, flat road surface we were blessed by a light, cool tail wind, dappled light and a few small raindrops joining us as we completed our journey back into town.
God fuckin' bless the beautiful Matty J.
VI: CAR PARK CLIMB
Our friends at VTWO had put together another edition of the TDUCPC. This time they had minimal heavy lifting to do, instead getting a chance to focusing their efforts on looking like a Super Bowl Coach (Gooda) being a King SK (Wilko) and taking the Sufferclub.CC into the world of MC-ing (Lil Turnt). Despite the race being held inside a multilevel sauna, the atmosphere was immense, with low carb beer (lol) having already sold out by the time we got there, people rocking tracksuits, elderly suits, or hectic woollen jerseys (Heaps Good SA).
VII: TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CRITMAS
Immediately after the CPC wrapped up, we venture to Burger Theory. Scoffing our faces with burgs, chippies and ice cream cups required that we take a walk around the northern Adelaide parklands in order to aid digestion.
When we’d ended up back on King William St, workers were getting busy prepping things for tomorrows final stage, a crit stretching from the Tour Village in the south, to Adelaide oval in the north. Bleachers and the VIP grandstand were being put together, the finish line was being wired up, and coke fridges were being stocked. We stopped and spoke about the intricacies of the road paint being used for the big fuck off Subaru logos, paint imported from America just for the event that by the following night would have been washed away with nothing but a humble garden hose.
Chapeau to the night workers, for the race couldn’t go ahead without your loyalty to the cause.
Our return to the CBD brought us back to the out and out favourite and most frequented pub for the weekend; The Exeter. Rounds of jugs were consumed before things then moved to one of the Soup Bæs loyal plastic sponsors; the Belgian Bier Haus. Things would finally take a spooky turn as through the Wilderbeest Stampede of Hindley St on a Saturday night, everything would finish up at Big Window for the second year running. We guess that makes it a SBC tradition now.
BEER OF THE DAY: AN ORIGIN STORY
Southwark Stout would be best described as Wendy’s underappreciated best mate. Produced in the same brewery as Torrens Water it is a darker, and more cumbersome brew. But rather than give you a review, we will rather tell a timely story of 3 young teens on a road trip who discovered the true potential of the beer.
It all began on one fateful day in Adelaide. It was around midday and 3 of the cutest young teens in the land had gathered in a 500,000km deep on the odo Land Cruiser. Their names were Alo, Lugo, and Jacko. ‘Twas the weekend of the 2016 edition of Melburn Roobaix and the boys were travelling to meet the other “half” of their bikie gang across the border for the event. Lugo had decided he was driving the entirety of the trip, so it took a total of 1 hour of driving before Jacko and Alo had decided that is was necessary for them to dip their beaks into some type of alcoholic beverage. It was likely to be an upwards of 8-hour journey after all, and what better way to help make an enjoyable time of the adventure. Tossing up between a bag of goon, or perhaps a box of beers, it had seemed the decision was all but settled after consideration of country pub bottle-o prices were considered. Upon arriving at the Tailem Bend Thirsty Camel the boys inspected the wares. It was an unfortunate circumstance, but it did seem like goon was going to be the best option. 15 dollars for 32 standard drinks and the seemingly near impossibility of spillage was undeniable. Jacko approached the bloke at the counter in hope of finding some type of alternative arrangement. Before he could even mumble a word, a shining light appeared in his view. It was like a message from a god above, a beacon of light shining down like a guiding light. He was drawn to it like Gollum to the ring. A small sign behind the counter read
“Weekly Special: Southwark Stout 24 Pack $49.99”
Alo, having never tried the drop before was originally apprehensive, after all he is a fucking idiot. After about 3 minutes of deliberation the purchase was made, and the boys were now proud owners of 24 bottles of Southwark Stout. The first bottles were cracked, and the boys were back on their merry way.
Fast forward about 3 hours and about 8 Southwarks and the boys were ready for their first piss stop. It seemed time was moving faster than usual. The trio parked up next to a public toilet near a country café. Jacko and Lugo indulged in some baked goods and Alo decided that he would be fine with just Southwarks. It was at this point that the seal was well and truly broken. They had no idea that this would be the beginning of the end of any quick travels. Following this stop they would have no less than 6 more piss stops in the next ~5 hours of travels.
Things began to get a bit blurry for Jacko and Alo at about 5 hours into the drive. Matchbox Twenty sing-a-longs were beginning to become one of Lugo’s pet peeves, and there was discussion about a friend who was Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet’s nephew. To be put simply, it was banger after banger, sing-a-long after sing-a-long, and Southwark after Southwark. What a time to be alive. time was moving faster and faster and joy was spewing out the windows of the cruiser like a fountain spilling an endless sea of water. Blasting Soup Boys by Heems the band of merry men stopped in a grassy field for a leak, cold dewy grass at there feet they looked up above and saw the endless span of stars and space staring down at them. For two of them it was a spiritual bonding experience, 3 friends stopped in the middle of nowhere with nothing but the sounds of nature and Himashu Suri in the fresh air. For one of them it felt like just another annoying halt to the journey.
Dinner time had well and truly passed without notice. In fact a lot of things had passed unnoticed, but by this point Alo and Jacko had drank enough beers that they didn’t really know whether they were hungry or not anymore. Nor where they were, what time it was, and only a vague idea of how they got there. They were only 90 minutes from arrival at their destination, mysteriously. But despite the fact, they decided it was best to stop at a Servo Subway in Ballarat. The young staff were clearly not prepared for the drama they were about to witness. Two of the loudest customers, and probably the most intoxicated they will ever bare witness to, entered the store. Stumbling and mumbling they roamed the servo in hysterics, there was a joke to be made about every item in the shop although none were purchased. After about 5 minutes of talking absolute garbage, they ordered their sandwiches. The girl serving really didn’t know how to carry herself in such a situation and had a deep look of despair on her face. Fortunately for the unexpecting employees they had run out of veggie patties, much to Alo’s delight. A fuss was kicked, and the look of despair turned into a tinge of fear. Lugo settling down the frustrated vegan assisted in the order of a veggie delight and managed to get the duo back into the car after only 20 minutes, though to them it felt like 4.
Fast forward 90 minutes and they had arrived, but where had the time gone? Jacko and Alo had experienced a time warp. This is the ultimate power of Southwark stout. Little research has been done, but inconclusive evidence shows that it may actually be a time travelling potion. Once enough of the magical brew has been consumed time is literally warped. Upon arrival it was clear that a spiritual journey to the forest was necessary upon deliberation about the events of the night to come. A night club seemed a likely final location, so Jacko reached for his phone to request accompaniment. Left pocket, right pocket, back pockets, jacket pockets, bag pocket, alas nothing was found. His last memory of using it was in that fateful grassy field. Had he dropped it while pondering the mysterious of the universe? Maybe he left it in the cruiser? Maybe he dropped it between the gap in the couch at their accommodation. In fact he did drop it between the gap in the couch. If only he had found that out before the road trip home.
IX: FINAL CALL
Don’t let the bucket hat swag fool you. Look deeply into the almost completely closed eyes of this wooden boy and you shall see stories of Big Window, of 5.30am returns to the Break Free, followed by 8am wake up calls.
Distance: 518km (Adrian)
Vertical Gain: +6130m (Adrian)
Rounds of Beers: 46
Most Frequented Pub: (forever) The Exeter
Rounds of Caffé Lattes: 27
TDU Fedoras: 0
KOM Bucket Hats: 19
Highest Temperature: 54.2ºC
Handball Record: 11-9-3
"QUOTE OF THE DAY"
"Gotta get on that Thomas de Gendt sit deep in the peloton style going on.." Adrian should have heeded the telepathic advice of TdG – shoot off the front for 160km solo to avoid piegons at all cost.
Best Breakfast: Bambi's Kitchen
Best Round of Beer: Port Admiral Hotel
Best Road: Lobethal Rd (heading east)
Worst Road: Main Rd, Coromandel Valley
Worst Washing Machine: Break Free Room 118
Best Instagram Takeover: Wilson Tennis
Coldest Solo: Stirling Cellars
Best Value Convenience Store: OTR, North Terrace
Most Watts: 1524 (Alex)
Times we lost Riche: 65
Most Frustrating Wind: Outer Harbour
Most Free Shit: BMC
THE FINAL NOT QUITE BROADSHEET
Bambi’s Kitchen served us that well the previous day that we simply had to return. It wasn’t just the Breakfast Burrito, but the incredibly delicate croissants that they served up that had us wowed, and emptying their glass cabinet. As it was our final day in Adelaide, we thought it fair to be somewhat lazy, a three hour café stop allowing Alex and Lugo to venture in, Riche to formally awaken from his slumber and/or possibly k-hole, and for us to be joined by Charlie, Dean and Kim for our final ride.
Don had only been in town slightly longer than the time spent getting here, so we deemed it only fair (and necessary) that we took him on a swift “Quintessential Adelaide” ride. But first things first, How To Take A #BAAW with the man himself.
X: CATCH US DRINKING LEAN IN ITALY LIKE WE WERE PISA
Up Norton for the “1 in 20, but way better” of Adelaide. Charlie and Kim cruised back down Old Norton Summit Rd from the water fountain, while the rest of the gang head slightly deeper into the hills, through Ashton and towards Basket Range. The classic “Ciao Bello” of Down Hunters Up Little Italy was on the cards.
Don, the only one of the SBC to have ridden in Italy was to be giving a score out of 5 for Little Italy’s “Italian-ness”. With only 5 minutes of climbing (or so) there wasn’t a lot of road to be assessed, but with plenty of views, and Soup Boys sticker still present on the way up, there was still a series of complex layers to this short and beautiful back road climb.
He rated it 7 molto Ben Lehner’s out of 5 prego mille rockers.
Anyway we got back into town for a whole minute of the crit, of which that minute included Dave McKenzie commentating as if the person who didn't win, infact won, and the Team Dimension Data swanny riding down King Will with about 8 wheels in his arms. Chapeau!
XII: ODE TO A CRUSHED THIRST
Much is made of both water and “hops based sports drink” in the local cycling scene – but we think there is a new kid on the block. One deserving of equal if not more praise. Solo: The Thirst Crusher, the original thirst crusher has helped us, and the wider crew get through the week with greater joy and hydration. On days where the mercury in our phones hit the mid 50’s (celsius) it was Solo but the 1.25L bottle that saw us through to the sunset. The ultimate summer drink as far as we are concerned. It has fruit with 5% real crushed lemons. It has water, important for growing cyclists, and to maintain your body’s water storages, and importantly it has sugar, which will help see you to the end of your ride. Sure it may be lacking in certain departments where beers excel, however you can drink as many of these glorious, cloudy yellow bottles of pure summer joy as you’d like and still ride home with your hands off the bars.
As we departed Adelaide via sky travel, looking over the sunset soaked Fleurieu Peninsula, we tipped our cap to thee. Our thirst has never been more crushed.
XIII: COUNTRY FRIED CHICKEN
Straight out of the saddle, Don & Richard loaded the Peug for what would become an Interstate dam hall-of-fame entry (literally no pause in the pace for 8 hours solid). To liberally anoint the occasion, they utilised a Maccas bathroom to baptise bodies in a surplus bottle of Witchhazel. Riche made a chilly bin on the passengers side by filling a servo plastic bag with a bag of ice, and quicker than you can say ‘Ride BMC’, Dr. Tim was in the bag: mission get-lit. They departed Adelaide around the same time Adrian got up into the sky, only 3 and a half hours behind schedule. With them they drove into the (not quite) sunset with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and Lugo’s parting advice: a recommendation to visit Country Fried Chicken on the way home.
Four hours in, after conversation that visited depths of existentialism that would do Camus proud, they found themselves ripping a u-turn after spotting the Country Fried Chicken sign in a town called Keith. It was a decision that would find them singing the highest praise to Yung Lugo for such an ace recommendation.
Look no further than the logo of Country Fried Chicken to get a real understanding of what you are in for; in a spiritual and culinary sense. Keith’s Colonel is situated amongst the greenest pastures you ever saw, with his happy chicken surrounding while he sniffs in ecstasy at what he’d just fried up. It’s as if this were a premonition of exactly how one would feel after eating it – you’d be excused if you came just a little bit after sniffing what was in that coveted white box.
XIV: GOOD, BAD & UGLY
We wrap things up a Good, Bad & Ugly. A seminal recap of the week, a culmination of the words said on and off the record, irl quotes, url messages, and experiences from the period Sunday through Sunday. We’ve taken it all, rolled it up and smoked it a little, coming up with some ideas for how TDU could be better than it already is.
- The SBC welcome ride did it again, when doesn’t it. There is no 30km loop that encapsulates the Adelaide Hills, and introduces it in a better way than our way. We are completely unbiased.
- The Tour Village is getting more and more on the #summerfeel each and every year. Upon our first visit years ago it was slightly stale, but now its a hub of activity across the board.
- Instagram Takeovers. Fun when they come off right, more fun when they don’t. Just ride the wave and let the likes, unfollows, blocks, spam follows, auto-replies, comments and #engagement bring you back into the shore.
- The Exeter. Collingwood and Fitzroy called, they want their style back. Only difference is Adelaide does it better.
- Solo: The Thirst Crusher. Fantastic drink, will get you through even the toughest of Tour Down Under’s. Needs to be more readily available though.
- Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Heaps of flora, no marijuana, but you can get high off the sheer horticultural craftsmanship.
- Non bike activities. Drinking beers, throwing tennis balls at each other, visiting the botanic gardens, galleries or playing lawn bowls. You’ll get mocked by those who deem it more enjoyable to cook yourself on a century in 50 degree weather but your body will thank you for it.
- Richie Porte. Light em up again next year, see ya later...from inside Casa di Toscana tbh.
- The Barossa Stage always falling on a really hot or shit day. One of the two. For once just happen to be mid 20’s and filled with good vibes.
- Lack of bunch ride speaker docks. Not that many people keen on a cappella sing-a-longs either. At all.
- Distinct lack of Vine references, or Vine viewing nights with friends. With Vine2 imminent, cycling needs more comedic material in its life, and there is none better than those 5 golden seconds of video at a time.
- Instagram Takeovers. Lmao.
- Outer Harbour Winds. Goddamn let us never ride out there again. An exception can be made, or will be made for Alex who often heads out there to train. And perhaps some of the local boys, but for us Melburnians. Give us death instead.
- Bad as in Bad News. As in what we received when we got into Clarendon Bakery who was already sold out of the giant-big-as-your-head cream filled donuts. Outrage. Next time we’ll start our pilgrimage at 4.20am.
- Pigeons. You ever had to deal with them? They’re annoying and hazardous as shit, and thats before they start evolving.
- The pure, unedited, uncut South Australian heat. In case you hadn’t heard…just fuuuuuuuuck off.
- Do it for the likes, doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Do it for the vine”. Less unapologetic social climbing TDU2k19.
- Start off with the obvious – SA supermarket trading hours, fkn duh.
- Our faces upon seeing $7 protein choccy milks at a nearby inConvenience Store.
- Only a single descent of Montacute Rd. Instead we took on uglier roads multiple times. Christ.
- Scenes as deep into the week we began missing the sheer presence of Mr Ben X Lehner. Pure tantrums were being thrown. Saturday morning we were truly blessed by Satan himself to have witnessed not only his, but Ariella’s arrival into Bambi’s Kitchen.
- Checker Hill. Fuck that hill right off. Do not climb, not even steep anyway.
- Skipping Cudlee Café for a coffee van. Dumb AND ugly decision making.
- Your dads face after Alex drops the shit out of him for questioning his sockdoping choices.
- Ugly – the complete opposite reaction we had to Alex’s Hall & Oates Insta live segments.
- Kit choices. A lot of people really cared, more people got it wrong. Ride to Willunga in a button up Coopers shirt you bought from an Op shop for some gold coins next time.
- Busted elbows. Praise be to the pigeons.
- Chopping wheels and riding off without stopping. Names won’t be mentioned, firm but diplomatic messages have been sent. Palms, elbows, hips healed.
- Every restaurant turning into a sauna for the week. Cheers Adelaide.
- Having to wait a whole year for another tour. Our fifth tour. Holy shit.