A MERRY SOUPMAS
The final week before most split for the festive season. People are getting dressed up for the last weekly bunchies of the year, coming down or nursing hangovers from work Christmas parties, stretching their legs in anticipation of the Festive 500, or stretching their bellies in anticipation of Christmas lunch. This is our Christmas Card, our way of saying happy holidays to everyone, disguised in the form of a short blog post.
I: 2017 SHOWREEL
We got up to some proper mischief this year, a little more than previous rotations of the sun. There were new locations, plenty of new bikes, fresh faces and benchmarks reset. We played handball with some professional cyclists, signed autographs for the pro peloton, and ate some wild food at some newly discovered cafés. Take a look at some of our favs, some of the bigger ones from 2017.
It was at the close of summer that Wade Wallace requested our presence at CyclingTips HQ. At that particular round table meeting at a very squarish bench plenty was discussed, some has been realised, some for another day. One of the things that was discussed there at CyclingTips HQ, then again at the Prince Albert Hotel in Port Melbourne was a #roadtripping feature. Thanks to Dean’s genius, we settled on Canberra. With 2 cars, Mal the embedded videographer, a whole stack of bikes and kits we journeyed up to the ACT for what was a typically rollercoaster weekend.
VELOCLUB SOUP BÆS CX
Having dabbled in CX in the previous season, in 2017 we focused some efforts on creating a combined mens and womens CX team, enter Soup Bæs CX. Conceptualised and developed beneath the meeting palm outside the Cayman Islands studio, the team partnered with CyclingTips Velo Club throughout season 2017. With riders across a bunch of states we had proper good repping, Alice the pick of us as she took a podium in A grade women’s, and battled it out in the National Series in the Elite Womens.
THE DIRTY DUO
In the space of a month we were treated with two events that have slowly but surely cemented their place on the Soup Boys calendar. Unlike their stature, the roads we ride during are far from. At the start of September we had the Hells 500 Ol’ Dirty for another year, crashing, vibing and lantern rouging our way through 70km of Marysville’s best fire trails and gravel roads. A month later we would find ourselves crossing the border into NSW along gravel roads, before backing it up the next day at the Rapha Dirty 130, the Riverina at its absolute best once again.
The most interesting “meet me halfway” point we could find between Melbourne and Adelaide was the Grampians, the site of our years AGM. Over the Melbourne Cup weekend we lazed, rode a little, swam, roasted and discussed concepts of “thinking big”. Setting what could be a new benchmark for cycling teams and/or collectives, we released (most of) the minutes to the general public, dropping a few hints as to what they can expect in ’18.
II: CHRISTMAS STAFF PICKS
Christmas is a time of giving, and a time of receiving, sometimes simultaneously. Stealing from the much loved Staff Picks format of Mr Porter, we asked some of the members of the Soup Boys and Bæs to give us their Christmas Wishlists. Extending beyond just the wants and needs they hope to find under the Christmas tree, they also offer insights into what things they seek to achieve, and what they predict happening in 2018.
WANT: A Soup Boys Kit.
NEED: Ben to sell me his Soup Boys kit.
BIKE: Curve Belgie.
PREDICTION: I will be slower in 2018.
WANT: A Giant sponno.
NEED: A Giant sponno.
BIKE: A limited edition, one of a kind SouthernHoax custom Giant TCR with a Shimano Groupset and PRO components.
PREDICTION: World Peace.
WANT: Carbs. This diet has me all sorts of fucked up rn. Give me all the Christmas foods, put me in a coma and catch me next year.
NEED: Rust repairs. The team car has cancer & I’d really like to keep the roof on it for another 30 Years.
BIKE: I plan on building a road going bike in the new year, but if I had to put one on my wish list it would be another Euro.
RESOLUTION: Save considerable dollars, or more accurately not spend every dollar I earn.
WANT: Will to stop pestering me about my Soup Boys kit.
NEED: Cash to build up my new bike!
BIKE: Start/finish my Bombtrack & get a dually for the ~$tUnT$~
PREDICTION: Will to start klunker packing to be even more like Flexgoogly.
WANT: To be debt free and in a corporate job and a go on a holiday.
NEED: To move on and get over it.
BIKE: BMC Team Machine track bike.
PREDICTION: Focus on track and crit racing, goal is to race in both races in at least minimum B grade but goal is A grade. Train legs 3 days a week.
WANT: Absolute peace and prosperity for everyone in my life.
NEED: Zara Influencer t-shirt and nothing else.
BIKE: BMC ALR01 or TrailFox
PREDICTION: Like a wave that would strike fear into Kelly Slater, Cycling Kickstarters will boom as a trend.
RESOLUTION: Continue having fun with the stuff that lands on my desk of life, flick through the Gazzetta dello Sport in the 'hometown' this spring.
WANT: Love. NEED: Light.
BIKE: The Shamash of St Kilda East, AKA Nebuchadnezzar of the Baeboi, AKA Sacred Soup ladle and the Agarwood of Amouge.
PREDICTION: We will be uniquely connecting with an outback-wear endorsement in 2018. We will then need this gear in the Himalayas of 2019.
WANT: Oleg Tinkov to come back to Instagram bc I’m running out of content for Strava activities/I miss him.
NEED: A new helmet, preferably maybe Kask.
BIKE: BMT Time Trial bike.
PREDICTION: Race more than 1 & 1/10th of a crit and not place dead last :~)
WANT: Clif Bar sponno.
NEED: To go riding with a pro.
BIKE: Got a couple of new Engine 11's coming.
PREDICTION/RESOLUTION: It will be a big year for the Soup Bæs CX.
III: XXXMAS LIGHTS RIDE
If it’s happened 2 years in a row, we guess that makes it a tradition. The Admiral Soup Xmas Lights Ride. For this, the second edition we would meet in the blistering summer sun at the Federation Square Christmas Tree. Channeling the Kasual Club vibe, we weaved through the maze of Southbank before taking bike paths around the inner suburbs of Melbourne – picking up some interstate friends along the way. Ben and Kip shot fire through the lens, while Adrian did what he could between a full memory card, low battery warning, and eating big, fluffy pieces of Pandorato.
Unlike the inn on that fateful night of 0BC, there was room for us at Loving Hut Northcote. The vegan friendly joint was brimming with large communal tables ready for our patronage, while our park up was so expansive it covered the entirety of the shopfront. 14km to Loving Hut had helped build the appetite, and after some hefty mains, the next few kilometres to the lights would present itself as the finest non-alcoholic digestivo around.
The Ivanhoe Christmas Lights: for a street that gets entirely closed down during December, has its own website, and frequently features on the news, was rather lacklustre. We’re not sure if it was because we weren’t there at peak times, but a few days before Christmas on a perfect night, and where there were tens of thousands of people suggest otherwise.
Fortunately the lights of Melbourne City were happy to oblige and lift the standard. For the most part we had split ways, some heading further east, some further north. For us that were needing to head across to the inner-NW, or those who were already in their neighbourhood, we parked up at Quarries Skatepark to take in the view of the last remnant of the sun setting over the western horizon, eat Pandorato, listen to music and say our well wishes for the holiday season. It is at this point that we would like to thank all of the Soup family, our extended family, our friends, acquaintances, business contacts, brands, companies, media outlets, faceless men of shell corporations. We’ve had a marvellous year of bicycles, and everyone who has been a part of it has made it so extra special. For now, we’ll extend our waistlines a few cm’s, ride a little, swim some more, and see you again soon in the new year.
Much love, the SBC.