Tour Down Under – Day 8

Oh no, the final day! It has gone by so quickly.

Today I had planned an early ride with my mate Carl. This would ensure I wouldn’t get lost in the bloody hills again. We met at the bottom of Norton Summit, for my 3rd trip up in the week. And by far the slowest.

Last trip up Norton Summit with Carl. #cycling #morningride #cubecycl #tdu

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Carl always manages to take a camera along, and snaps some interesting shots.

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Oh good lord, the struggle is real.

It was actually a really enjoyable ride, if a little cool at some points. We bombed down the freeway and found a spot for a coffee at the crit track.

Coffee with Carl. #tdu #cycling #morningride #cubecycl

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Whilst there, we saw this…

Oh jesus! #cycling #morningride #cubecycl #TDU2016 #roadtrip

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So, naturally…

And here is the ride on Strava…

Then it was off to the final stage around the city.

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With a few laps left, I headed back to the hotel to watch Caleb Ewan smash them again in the sprint.

So that dear reader, is my Tour Down Under for 2016.

A big thanks to all that have made comments on Twitter about the blog. I am glad people are enjoying my look at the TDU.

I big thanks to John Galloway from The Velocast for organising the media pass. It was great to be able to get up close to the riders.

See you all again next year.

norbs

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Tour Down Under – Day 7

Stage 5, the queen stage, Old Willunga Hill. Such a great stage around McLarenvale and up the hill. Having been there a few times now, I know a couple of tricks and one of them is getting a park about 10m from the start area. Don’t ask. :)

It was windy and I was predicting echelons. I don’t think it happened, but I had a great day none the less. Here are some start line shots.

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Then it was time to shoot out to Aldinga Beach to check out the party atmosphere.

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It wasn’t long before the peloton came through, lead by the days break.

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Once the bunch got past, I was off, back to some spots I had been before. The fact they lap 3 times around the same course makes it a lot easier for me. Here are a bunch of shots from those 3 laps before they go up the hill.

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I then shot off to a new spot. An overhead bridge they ride under. And I am so glad I did. Apart from being muscled slightly off centre by a tubby bastard, I was super excited with how these turned out.

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Another good day out. I didn’t go up Old Willunga Hill, as I know just how busy it is and I freak out in huge crowds like that. There is always some nufty ready to smash into your camera or push you over.

I got back to the hotel and went for a swim and had a nap. After some dinner I went for a quick blast around the city, but once the sun went down, the cars got a little unpredictable for me, so I pulled the pin.

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Tour Down Under – Day 6

Ok, where were we. Sorry about the delay. Being a lazy two finger typist means these things take some time to throw together, and I just ran out of time in Adelaide. But, I have just had dinner here in Hay and will try and bang out a few days worth of posts. Let’s cook this chook.

Stage 4 started at Norwood.

Start line at Norwood. Slight breeze but warming up now. #tdu

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They were heading up Norton Summit, which was part of the stage (after the neutral zone) but wasn’t a categorized climb. I have no idea why. I do know that they smashed the KOM on Strava. :)

I got some shots at the start line as per usual.

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Then it was off to a place on the route I had found the night before…

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The climb up Norton had really sorted them out and there were some big gaps. This is a problem for me, as I was expecting to jump in behind the Road Open van for a few kms and then taking a short long cut to try and get in front of the peloton one more time before they headed to Victor Harbour.

I got to Handorf and got stuck behind a logging truck, and could see the minutes passing. Off in the distance I could see the helicopters following the break away, and slowly but surely they passed in front of me, which meant I was stuffed. I got to my next spot just as the last two riders went past. Oh arse!

So I drove home to watch the end of the race. The weather was starting to look a bit ordinary, but the reports were saying it was headed towards Victor Harbour. I got back to my room just as it started to get very dark in Adelaide. Then there was a massive flash and boom of thunder and the heavens opened up over Adelaide. The winds were blowing and it was a pretty severe storm.

So severe in fact that at one point I opened my door and there was a soaked pigeon huddled in the corner trying to get out of the downpour. It let me pick it up, so I took it inside and get it a bit of a dry off in the spare towel. Once the storm had past, I put him back where I found him, and ten minutes later, this is where he was.

With the storm, the temperature dropped, so I had a brainwave. Go for a ride! I grabbed all my gear and headed out for a run through the hills. Well, Adelaide was having none of these cooler temps, and before I knew it I was sweating like nothing else. The humidity was ridiculous. And I was lost in the hills once again. You can see on the GPS track where I went wrong.

These were my shoes by the time I got back.

Covered in crap from the roads. #cycling #arvoride #cubecycl #tdu

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Overall, not a bad day I’d say. :)

As usual, the full gallery is here… http://imgur.com/a/aSYCl

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Tour Down Under – Day 5

Stage 3 of the Tour Down Under and it was back to the corkscrew.

Starting out at Glenelg, I must say, I was slightly worried when I first arrived.

Rain at the start line. Can't see the tram tracks being an issue. 😀 #tdu

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Glenelg pier under some dirty grey skies. #tdu

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Luckily, the cloud started to burn off and the rain stayed away. Here are some photos from the start line.

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I didnt want to hang around too long, so I got the hell out of there and headed to my first stop at Ironbank. Found an ok spot and got these shots.

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It all happens so quickly. Once the went through, I jumped in behind the Road Open vehicle all the way to Stirling. The the GPS navigation lady sent me on an alternate route to Cudlee Creek. Where I managed this bunch.

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All in all, not a bad day.

I got back to the motel and decided a ride was in order. All inspired, I took off to the hills again. Well, until I got to a point of being way too hot, so turned around and went to Glenelg instead. :)

So that is day 5 done and dusted. Stage 4 tomorrow. It is going way to fast for my liking’s. Ah well, still loving being here.

All images available here http://imgur.com/a/aSYCl

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Tour Down Under – Day 4

Stage 2 today started just up the road from where I am staying, at a little place called Unley. According to Dave McKenzie, there has been a stage start all but 3 times since 1999.

Here are just a few photos from the start line today.

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Then, well before the start time, I was off. I wasn’t going to get caught again. I had found a spot about 1.5km before the KOM and it proved to be a good spot after a long fast downhill. A steep little pinch that had the punters that ride parts of the stage before the pros struggling.

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Once the bunch passed, it was back in the car and off to reccie the loop they would be doing around Stirling. I figured they were doing 6 passes, so I could get a few different positions. It worked out great.

Obviously with Adam hansen going off the front, there will be a few photos of him.

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With a lap to go, I bolted. I know what the traffic is like trying to get out of Stirling, So I was just about back to the motel when McCarthy edged out Ulissi at the end.

No rides today as the old legs are feeling it. Should be another to report on tomorrow I hope. They are starting from Glenelg tomorrow, and then off to the hills. Should be a ripper with the run in to home all down hill.

The full gallery of photos from the whole trip is below.

Tour Down Under 2016

PS. I am aware that some photos arent showing up. Sadly, Imgur seems to be struggling at times. Instagram is a pain in the arse and Flickr I can’t even upload to for some reason. Bookmark this page to go back to for all the photos. http://imgur.com/a/aSYCl

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Tour Down Under – Day 2 and 3.

So, the catch up post. Forgot to post yesterday, but to be honest, there wasn’t a huge amount happening.

Monday was the BikeExchange Norton Summit Strava Challenge. Something I was keen to have a crack at. I certainly wasn’t expecting to get in the top half of the entrants, but given it was 38C, the amount of people actually doing the challenge was way down on the 900 odd entrants.

I ended up about 30 seconds off my PB, but considering I had walked a million miles the day before, I couldnt complain. My result here. I ended up 63rd out of the 115 who had a go. I am happy enough with that.

I then tried to trace the ride Carl and I did last year and got hopelessly lost in the Adelaide Hills. Not the best place to get lost for a large unit like myself. But, some of the roads are magnificent.

Vines. #cycling #morningride #cubecycl #TDU2016 #roadtrip

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I ended up at a place called Crafters, and decided a stop was needed.

Yes, that will help. I then saw a sign to Mount Lofty. Ha, I think that was where we passed last year. Off I go. Oddly, more bloody climbing. But, once there, it was worth it.

I took in the view, and wondered how I’d made it. Then the plunge back in to Adelaide. Boy, what a quick descent it is too. That said, I would have felt way more comfy with disc brakes. There, I said it.

I got back to my hotel and was cooked. I took off my shoes, HR monitor and dumped the bike in the room and then waddled off to the pool. I threw my gear onto a chair and just fell into the pool, much to the delight of a bunch of women cyclist out side the pool fence. I flopped around for 10 or so minutes and then hauled myself back out of the pool and had a shower.

I then made my way to the Tour Village for a look see. First, a quick detour to buy a belt. Now Adelaide is baking at the moment, but everywhere you go is air conditioned. I can understand why, but when you are in and out of trams, shops and other places, it is no wonder I was feeling like I was getting a cold. One shop I went into must have been 15C. I just about dislocated a nipple. Finally, i found a belt big enough to get around me and then it was back to the tour village.

I bumped in to Bronwen @bondigal Thompson there and met her husband and son. She also took some photos.

After a quick chat I was off to take some photos.

Specialized disc "suspension" bike. #tdu2016 #cycling

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Look, but don't touch. #tdu2016 #lookbikes

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Then it was back to the motel for some dinner, some reading and lights out.

Today I slept in. Oh well, I may as well head off to stage 1 at Prospect. The forecast said 40C. Urggh.

Prospect. This cloud won't be around long. #TDU2016

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Feel the rush. #TDU2016

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Caleb Ewan better get used to this. #tdu #prospect #stage1

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I mooched around, said hi to a bunch of people, and just before the start, headed off to my first spot to take photos. Well, that was the plan. Traffic and roadworks meant I was behind the peloton, so I pulled the plug, otherwise I would have been driving like an idiot on roads I didnt know.

So I came back to the motel and watched it on TV and chatted on the Twitters.

Caleb Ewan, what a beast! He took that win easily.

I was inspired, time to get on the bike and head out for a ride.

I headed towards the hills, not really knowing where I was going. Before I knew it I was going up the freeway out of Adelaide towards Stirling. God, that is a hill.

I had to stop to see if I was still going in the right direction.

Then, I proceeded to get bloody lost again. If you people ever stop hearing from me, send a search party into the Adelaide Hills.

I managed to scoff down a banana on my way up, which promptly decided it didn’t like being inside me, and liked the sound of the roadside even more. After that I was like a Minion with tourettes syndrome. God almighty, I couldn’t shake the taste or smell of banana. Most likely why I missed the turn to Crafters. It was 40C and I was losing it.

Even the drop bears were struggling in the heat.

Lost again. #cycling #arvoride #cubecycl #tdu

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Finally, I was back at the top of Mt Lofty. Bloody hell. This is a lot of climbing for a flatlander like myself. I had cramps in my legs going up, and a cramp in my date going down! Finally, I got home.

I quick chat to the bride and then off for a pizza and beer for dinner.

Thanks for the tip Mr and Mrs Ferguson. It was terrific.

So that my friends is the catch up of the last two days.

For more photos, check the link here.

Now, I am off to bed. More jibberings tomorrow.

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Tour Down Under – Day 1

Today was the first day to go for a ride and check out some racing.

The ride was a flat one, to get me ready for the Norton Summit Challenge tomorrow. I went down to Glenelg and then North for a while til I found a quiet place for a coffee.

Cracking 1st day on Radelaide. #cycling #morningride #cubecycl #tdu #roadtrip

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Time for breakfast. Not a bad spot. #cycling #morningride #cubecycl #TDU2016 #roadtrip

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A thimble of mocha. #cycling #morningride #cubecycl #TDU2016 #roadtrip

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Wheel sucking like a champ this morning. #tdu2016 #cycling #morningride #cubecycl

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Then it was back into the Hilton to grab a press pass courtesy of John at The Velocast.

Some more mucking about and then it was off to the People’s Choice Classic.

It is hot. Ladies crit kicks off soon. #TDU2016 #cycling

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Break away in the womens race. #tdu2016 #peopleschoiceclassic

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The sprint to the line. #tdu2016 #peopleschoiceclassic

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Attack!!!! #tdu2016 #peopleschoiceclassic

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If you would like to cast an eye over a few more, check out the gallery here.

Tomorrow is the Norton Summit challenge, so I hope this fuzzy head is just tiredness, and not the onset of a cold.

norbs

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Tour Down Under – The Trip There.

It is that time of year again. The time I pack my gear and head virtually directly west to Adelaide. I love it. And I love the road trip. 1350kms of norbs time.

And away we go. Hay here I come. #tdu #roadtrip

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I had to do a couple of things in Nowra (25 minutes from home) and bumped in to a couple of people, so had a bit of a chat and set off.

it was a super slow trip. Accidents, slow vehicles and helping a couple of elderly ladies change a flat, had me getting to Hay a lot later than normal. But I had to head out and spin the legs after a long day in the car.

The yearly Benduck photo. #cycling #arvoride #cubecycl #tdu #roadtrip

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I am pretty sure I have explained to those that don’t know that Hay is flat.

Yep, zero metres climbed in 16 kms.

I took off a little later than I normally would from Hay, and ended up filling up the car at Balranald and then brunch in Mildura.

Brunch. Didn't have breakfast in Balranald after all. #tdu #roadtrip

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Dry #tdu #roadtrip

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Inspection station. Luckily I ate all my fruit. #tdu #roadtrip

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I finally arrived in my motel that is a lot bigger and closer than the previous two years. Got everything set up and then walked to the Tour Village to watch the team presentation.

Non Pro Cycling Central is online. #tdu #roadtrip

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Reasonable crowds for the team presentation. #tdu #roadtrip

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The presentation was running ridiculously late, and I bailed after Team Uni SA. I had to eat.

So I am looking forward to some riding during the week and with a big thank you to John Galloway and Scott O’Raw from Velocast, I have a press pass, so get ready for a bunch of photos.

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Happy Festivus from CuBeCyCl

The christmas ride turned into a smashfest today. I wasn’t expecting to be picking up KOMs on a coffee ride.

A record 12 people were out in the bunch today. Not exactly Beach Road numbers, but for our sleepy sea side village, this is huge.

Here is the final 5kms of the ride. The bloody triathlete is to blame!

And the Stravas.

Merry Christmas to all that follow the blog.

norbs

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Toot Toot, It’s the Tim Express

Friday is normally no drop coffee day. We had a bunch of 10 today, with 6 in the CuBeCyCl jerseys looking terrific. One of those was Tim, the triathlete on his TT Bike. Oh jesus.

He was going to give our local loop a red hot go, and gave the rest of us a head start.

Yesterday we had a fairly good hit out and went faster than I had gone for months. My legs weren’t great, but that is no excuse, I was smashed by the group. here is a few videos.

First, the end of yesterdays ride.

Now, today’s ride where I get dropped and just stop pedaling. My legs had nothing left.

And the Strava Fly-By of Tim catching us, and passing me. Tim is the green circle. You’ll see the bunch go with him towards the end when I blow up.

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