Tour Down Under – Stage 6 Report – Cracked, Boxed and Buried!

I can’t believe it is over!

Actually, I can. I am stuffed. I am not used to being out in the sun for hours a day, day after day. I’m not used to walking so far with a 10kg backpack on my back. I am tired, but very happy.

Two weeks ago I didn’t even know I would be having this experience. It has been a whirlwind of new people and new experiences. I have loved it. Even the times when i got frustrated with arsehats barging their way in front of me or my camera lens, I didn’t experience the feelings of wanting to tear them a new one for more than a minute or 2. I was just too busy to give a shit.

On to todays adventure. For my Twitter and FaceBook followers, you would have seen an angst ridden post earlier this morning. Here is the story.

I had a bit of a sleep in today. I decided not to ride because my legs are dead from walking Willunga Hill plus a few more kilometres this week than normal. So the alarm went off at 7:30am and it felt like I had just put my head on the pillow. I decided another 30 minutes wouldn’t hurt. A nanosecond later the alarm sounded again. Well it was actually 30 minutes, but it went awfully fast. My assignment today was to get some photos of my wonderful hosts, Carl and V, racing cyclocross in the morning in a park that todays stage 6 would ride by. Excellent.

Once again my digital map reading lady dent me straight into a closed road that Mr Policeman wasn’t too happy that I tried to turn in. I know he wasn’t happy because of the directions he gave me to Frome Road. Once again I was like a kid about to have a swing at a piñata. Completely directionally disabled. Before I knew it I was in the city. I am sure there are portals all over Adelaide that take you to a parallel universe.

I saw a cheap parking station and out of complete lack of confidence in my ability, or the stupid GPS’s ability, to find my way to the place Carl told me to park, I drove in there, just to be safe.

According to good old Google maps, I was 1.8km from where I should be. A walk wont hurt, surely. It was a beautiful day and the re were people everywhere.

I kept walking, across the River Torrens and into the park they were racing at. I managed to find them easily enough, and got told to go down to a culvert to get the best shots of people flying off their bikes. I can do that. I walked back to the area they suggested. Got the camera out. All ready to go. Switch camera on. “NO CARD” error comes up. oh for the love of all things holy. I flip the memory card holder open. No SD card but the trusty old 8gig CF card is there. I am saved!

Go to the menu and try and format it. Nope. Same error. “NO CARD”. Ohoh. I am developing a slight sheen on my forehead. I see another guy with an old Canon 5D. I ask him to see if he can format it. Nope. Excellent start to the day. I rummage through my camera bag. Nothing. Oh, this is bad.

Back on Shanks’s pony. All the way back to Rundle mall. It is about 10:00am. It is a Sunday morning in Adelaide, which everyone knows is stuck in 1979! I get approached by a young women who says this. “hi, I’m homeless, hungry and pregnant, you got any change?” My internal monologue went berserk. Luckily the “mother-in-law” filter kicked in just in time and she didn’t get the normal Norbury charm. I gave her a couple of coins and told her to have a good day. Considering the mood I was in, I demand a Nobel Peace prize, pronto.

I spied a Harvey Norman (electrical good store for the overseas folk) and saw it opened at 11:00am. I bought a coffee and waited it out. The door rolled up and I rolled in. Straight to the bargain bins first and bingo. An SD card for only three times the online price instead of their normal “over the barrel” price they sting you with. Shiny new SD card in camera, I leg it back to Carl and V.

Sadly, their race had long since finished. Todays first assignment was a massive fail. Sorry Carl. Sorry V.

We had a bit of a chat before the race started. I was impressed with Carl’s choice of a frothy chop for lunch. What a guy

A Frothy Chop

It was about this time we heard the race caravan coming up the road. They were throwing out all the usual free stuff. Old mate sitting next to us got a water bottle that he didn’t want so he handed it to me. A nice gesture. Sadly, when the flung the tiny satchels of sunscreen out of the car, charity was over. I am pretty sure he tore one out of my hand. You win some, you lose some.

The riders were now doing warm up laps, so I positioned myself on the outside of a corner and got this lot of photos.

The riders got called in and it was race time. The shots from the first lap ended up a bit ordinary due to me being more than optimistic with my ability. As they went by I decided to have some breakfast. On the inside of the track the Port Adelaide Cycle Club were selling sausage sandwiches and bacon and egg sandwiches. One of each was within budget, so I grabbed them just as the race went past for the second lap. These few shots were taken whilst holding a sandwich in one hand and using the camera in the other.

I then got my act together and started to walk the track. On my first leg I ran in to Tony Peach. We had a quick chat and I was off again.

The rest of the race was pretty uneventful. The only real thing of note was an indicator I was tired. I stumbled on the step up to the urinal and nearly ate some urinal candy. Nothing to see here. Check out the rest of the photos.

Once again the Lotto train got Greipel home, but not before a Renshaw jab that got the crowd all excited.

I walked back to Carl and V. I got this shot of V before I left on the long walk to the car.

It was then a soul destroying march back to the car. Actually, it wasn’t that bad. I chatted to a few people, saw a drunk guy fall off his bike and actually enjoyed the last of the race. It was all over.

And for now, so is this blog post. It is heading towards midnight and I have yet to pack my stuff up. So much for an early start tomorrow. And please, excuse any typos or other mistakes, I’m knackered. 🙂

Thanks for reading and thank you for all the kind words either in cyberspace or in real life. It means a lot.

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8 Responses to Tour Down Under – Stage 6 Report – Cracked, Boxed and Buried!

  1. Well done – have loved your coverage over the week. cheers

  2. Amanda1 says:

    I really like the blog and have many a chuckle over some of your unspoken thoughts. Amanda

  3. Ellie says:

    Your reports and especially the incredible photo’s have been the core of my TDU experience! Thank you Norbs!

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