TOUR DOWN UNDER '16: PROLOGUE SPECIAL!
A day characterised by minimal sleep, even less food, a reintroduction to Adelaide's tap water for some, and of course some searing heat. Whilst we were hit with setback after setback, we approached them in the only way we knew how, in Soup Boys style.
Over the next week you can expect nothing short of the most comprehensive and incomprehensible race reportagé ever seen. Of course we will be following the race at various points, but the Tour Down Under also serves as a chance to participate in a rare reunion between Victorian and South Australian members of the Soup Boys. As such it will be strongly mixed with appropriate celebration. For now, and subject to significant change depending on the lack of sleep we are already guaranteed to get, and potential debilitating sunburn, the next week will include the following.
THE (NOT SO SECRET) PLANZ
An exclusive insight into what we will be doing on that day, or what we intended to do and completely let go to shit. It's the Tour Down Under, anything can happen...and does...just remember the hubbard smashing into Campbell Flakemore last year? Yikes.
We've always been big on the beats at Soup Boys HQ, whether for that pre-ride jam, or the #summervibes shisha sessions on the balcony. Each day we are going to provide 5 key songs that you should listen to as part of your morning routine, guaranteed to keep you fresh and ready to take on the world.
BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS
A rare insight into the cafe culture of Adelaide. Possibly not as good as Melbourne's but way better than Sydney's, we have our very own expert on the case.
CHURCH OF THE DAY
Well we are in the "City of Churches" after all. To prove to all those that have never been to this wonderful city that this is not in fact a complete charade, we will document the best looking or culturally significant church that we find on our journeys each day.
Well it is the #TDU2016 after all, and I suppose to make the pro's feel like their time hasn't been completely wasted we will document the days racing to our greatest capacity. Last years edition was great, and looking at the course we think this time around might be even better.
Considering we weren't allowed to enter a team into the #TDU2016 we are going to be spending the week sandbagging like hell as we transfer ride ourselves between the Adelaide CBD, cafes, and various spots in the hills to catch the race and participate in good times in the great outdoors. If that's not the definition of transfer ride well maybe we just changed the game.
GOOD, BAD & UGLY
You know how it goes. The best & worst from the week. Looking at the forecast it is probably going to focus on two things in particular. 1) the weather, and naturally 2) Melbourne people complaining about the tap water. Good thing San Pellegrino is in bountiful supply in this wonderful city. It's almost like they foresaw it.
This is possibly the one chance an amateur can take out the coveted prize as we cannot possibly catch the pro's at every cornering opportunity. All you've gotta do is hashtag it on your choice of social media, and who knows you might personally get awarded a prize come next weekend.
II: GOOD, BAD & UGLY
- Lewis a.k.a Lucas a.k.a Yung Lugo a.k.a Buego for being a super nice guy and picking us delinquents up from the airport at 9am despite a mix up in times due to the time difference. Not only did he do that but he introduced us to Chickens Plus (more on that in a moment), helped assemble bicycles, and chaperoned us through the streets of Adelaide back into CBD via river side trails, passed streets lined with Nonna's homes and their spectacular gardens, and as all commutes should, weaving through some dodgy industrial estate places.
- The chips at Chickens Plus goddamn. Sure there might be much better ways to say "Welcome to South Australia" but on this day, those chips at 11am for breakfast hit the spot, made better by a side of aioli.
- The weather, only because #summervibes, not because of the unrelenting heat.
- How could they not be in here, Gene and Johan from behind the coffee machine in the Rapha H-Van. Not only are the incredibly handsome and ace the Allpress game, but they sit it on a good pace when invited on an afternoon cruise.
- Gorge Rd. If you've ridden it you know. If you haven't you must. Photos won't do it justice ever, but that wont stop us from taking some this week.
- Coca Cola. Because you might only drink it once every few months but when you do it saves you from bonking 10 or so kilometres from home. We tip our caps to the black doctor.
- The Speck pizza at EST. More pizza places need speck on their pizzas. More pizza places need to stop trying to be subtle with their application of artichokes on pizzas. It makes it better you guys.
- Airports. They can be romantic in a weird sort of way, but not at 7am when you've slept no more than 3 hours with the knowledge of the day you're going to have to endure once you land.
- Continuing with the first world problems theme, short flights. Just detour via Coober Pedy for all we care, just so long as we can get extra mid flight napping time in to rest our weary bodies.
- The term lycra louts, often yelled from a passing ute as a group of innocent bicyclists sits waiting at a red light. No D-Lock justice delivered today.
- Cars speeding up towards someone on a bike who is directly in front of them. What is with that?
- Corkscrew Rd; also known as getting corkscrewed. There's no photos of the road itself, but there's a snap or two of the aftermath.
- We've tried putting it off for a while now but Adelaide tap water, its the kind where you don't even want to use it to brush your teeth with. I guess bottled water is a very, very real thing this week.
- Finally the weather. It was good, it was okay, but once it hit the corkscrew it was tough for everybody, whether they finished 2 minutes ahead of everyone else, or just cruised to the top. Best part is there will probably be a round 2 (or 3 at some stage).
- Not specifically ugly, but with the potential to have ended up being so. A stray bidon flying across the road and into a rear wheel, nothing that couldn't be handled, but for a moment there every single piece of metal on a particular someones bike was drawing that bidon in with supreme magnetic force.
- The dehydrated faces of getting corkscrewed. Eggs could have been fried in an instant. But they were quickly wiped once the descent down Montacute Rd began, and were permanently wiped once coca cola was sipped, near shotgunned at the bottom.
- Convenience Store clerks not putting up wet floor signs then complaining that you stood on freshly mopped floor. The boys just wanted their Peachee and their reluctantly purchased yet vital bottled water.
- Again almost falling under the guise of so ugly its beautiful, the smorgasbord of corporate kits that are on show this week. We are already astounded at the wonders on show.
- No hotel wifi. Or at least some that is very lacking in the existing department. There is the very real chance that we will be hotspotting the entire week, what a saga. We can only hope those at Telstra and Optus are kind to us, and understand our plight. The silver lining to this is that for the most part we have one thing to keep us entertained, and that is the ABC Jazz constantly playing through the radio.
- Cramps. Because they're bad at the worst of times let alone when you're trying to find the silver lining and tapping your foot along to some jazz music. You feel?
III: GETTING CORKSCREWED
The first ride for the week departed the CBD, specifically the Rapha Pop-Up and snaked its way through quiet inner city roads and bike paths before reaching Jack's house for a quick break in the shade of his tree lined street. We then hammered through towards Gorge Rd, an incredibly smart idea considering we decided to commence the ride in the hottest part of the day. Gorge Rd was as amazing as we had remembered it, and Corkscrew Rd was as punishing and unforgiving as we remembered it. It's the kind of road where you can't get the camera out unless you stop. And if you stop it's damn hard to get going again. It is for that reason there are plenty of photos of Gorge Rd, and approximately 0 photos whilst headed up Corkscrew. We promise we will bring some to you soon, as even a google image search returns nothing of quality.
IV: MONTACUTE TEENS
It would be nothing but fitting that a gathering of the cutest teens on 2 wheels descended Montacute Road together, ducking in and out of the shade, taking the "esses" like absolute pros, and in the case of Alex, channeling the mad Lawrence of Arabia vibes all the way to the Coca-Cola stop at the very bottom. It's only a short descent, but its special. Does anything of a similar length in Melbourne come close to it? Probably not.
V: THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE CLASSIC
The "People's Choice Classic". Named after sponsor and Adelaide based financial institution People's Choice Credit Union, arguably the bank with the most inconvenient opening hours (coming from experience via several of us) but nonetheless a worthy sponsor. Elite women and elite men battle it out in their respective separate races at twilight, hammering around park land and the border of the CBD.
No doubt the best part about all of this was the fact that the race was called the People's Choice Classic, which meant we were completely open to making the choices of accepting track side Alpecin samples, and the even better choice to not really watch the race, instead opting to eat pizza at a nearby venue. All we know is that Caleb Ewan took the Elite Men's race thanks to a great lead out by one of the Trek Segafredo riders. We only know this because we watched the final sprint from filmed footage on Jack's phone positioned at the end of the straight. The decision to do pizza and beers after the day we so valiantly endured was nothing short of fitting.