A LOVING NOTE TO ADELAIDE
The Adelaide Division of the SBC gets to enjoy it year round, while their Victorian counterparts are only permitted a weekend or two during winter for CX, and a week long sauna session every January. Weather aside, it remains one of the funnest weeks on the calendar.
Throughout the week Kip put together a really nice, hell nostalgic video that summarised the week damn near perfectly. It’s amazing how a single sporting event can bring together such an enormous and diverse community, who are essentially there to see men and women ride their bikes a lot faster than they can.
It’s not until the entire procession of the tour begins rolling through that you finally start to “Feel The Rush”. The VIP’s snapping photos from their guest cars, sponsors cars flying past with bachelor degrees, kangaroos riding bikes and giant Y’s on top of them. Then the Marshalls, the commissaires, the media. And finally, in a flurry of technicolour brilliance, the race.
30 seconds later and its all over, but for that half a minute watching the race goes by is magic. Fortunately for spectators of the Tour Down Under, the Adelaide Hills are so damn accessible you can go chasing that rush AND get it quite easily a few times per day.
Then there’s the moments before the race comes by. Times like riding along the ridgelines trying to beat the peloton to a particular point on the course. For us it would be hammering from Stirling up to the Corkscrew, the threat of rain not stopping us from parking up on the roadside about an hour before the race was due to come by.
We spend the hour talking shit, cheering on your pop, your dad, your annoying boundless-energy filled 11 year old niece and whoever else as they ride their way up the corkscrew. You pose for #candid pics, you run into friends new and old.
“I have absolutely ZERO doubt in my mind that I would be 500 times the cyclist I am now if I lived in Adelaide goddamn.”
– Adrian, still kidding himself.
Eventually the crowds on the roadside swell. You occasionally open up the Tour Tracker app to suss what the race sitcho is. Soon you don’t really have to because you can hear AND see the caravan coming. Then it’s accompanied by the backing track of a helicopter. It hasn’t rained at all, and the race in all its 6.9w/kg glory is about to arrive.
While the Teardrop on a Wednesday night sometimes offer lighting conditions for the ages, it’s hard to look past the vibe and the setting at Victoria Park for mid-week crits during TDU. With friends as Marshalls we were able to cross whenever we pleased, and being a stones throw from the city meant the custard buns copped from the Central Markets were still warm by the time we arrived.
The flat circuit means you can see all the action from any spectating point on the circuit. Our friends did their thing behind the lens, other friends did their thing on the bike. But one thing our friends didn’t do was celebrate the victory a lap early.
With the racing over and the sun setting, it was time to return to the safety and warmth of the #concrete #jungle for dinner and drinks.
Like it’s fresh out of the Apple store playbook, every year the Adelaide food & wine scene surprises and delights us. Last year it was Crack that threw itself into our radar, this time around it was Etica at the opposite end of the day. Maradona on the menu’s, a hell nice house made rose lemonade and projector out front, a place like this, added to the ever growing list of other places like this has us thinking that Adelaide is about to pass Melbourne in terms of decent haunts per capita. Stay tuned next year to see if the growth continues along this trajectory.
It’s also the one week of the year we get a complete package of solid riding in. Add in the unrelenting conditions and what do you end up with? A body that wants what it wants, which for the most part is varying combinations of kinda fucked up beverages and food items to aid recovery, and to make you forget your body is covered in sweat, you’ve got low level cramping all over, and that the heat of the road probably singed your arm hairs off.
Enter the Chocolate Milk x Powerade x Solo collab. While they aren’t designed to chase one another, there’s no denying the combination is truly messed up, but try telling us you can’t relate to that dazed servo shop after 130km in the baking sun.
A PARTING NOTE
Until next year. xoxo