Non Pro Cycling #tourquiz Stage 2

Who will finish 3rd on tonight’s stage which is as flat as a shit carters hat!

Posted in Tour de France | Tagged | 5 Comments

Non Pro Cycling #tourquiz Stage 1.

Ok people, each stage there will be a question for people to answer. No prizes, apart from bragging rights.

Tonight, where will Cav come in the prologue? Answer in the comments below.

Posted in Tour de France | Tagged | 5 Comments

Just #toursnacks

Get on board the #toursnacks train.

Aussie cycling freaks love to nip out to the kitchen in the dead of the night to top up for the last 50kms of each stage. Keep an eye on Twitter for the #toursnacks hashtag. Join the fun. Follow me, @norbs and @cyclingcentral to see when it is time to unleash the musette of goodies.

Posted in Tour de France | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Hashtag Snacks. What is all the fuss about.

I have been asked quite a few times now, “what is #toursnacks, #girosnacks, #thereandbacksnacks ?”

Easy, it is this cycling freaks way of staying alert during the wee small hours that Aussie cycling fans have to watch the sport we love.

I am not sure when it started, but I suspect it was off the back of the guide I wrote a while back about watching a grand tour in Australia. Snacking towards the end of a stage in a grand tour was one way to keep me alert. I am pretty handy on the tooth, so any reason to chomp down on some grub late at night sounds good to me.

With excellent support from Cycling Central, it has become a thing. It happens when there is 50kms left in a road stage, or a ore determined time for ITT and TTT stages. The word will go out and the masses respond with some truly excellent snacks. I even gave the #girosnacks a plug on the blog a few times last year.

So join in everyone. And the best thing is, you can ride off the calories the next day.

Posted in General Cycling Info | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

30 Seconds! God Help Me.

This is the sort of thing that really winds me up.

If you click on that you can see the car drivers sign language for “get off the fucking road”.

So, if you are the driver or classy passenger of Commodore BK43QE, have some patience you mouth breathing arsehats! I held you up for all of 30 fucking seconds.

If you know this knuckle dragging waste of space, tell them they are famous on the internet.

Posted in General Cycling Info | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Norton Summit in Under 20 Minutes!

Earlier last week I took another swing at Norton Summit, my goal, a sub 20 minute climb. Once I got to the top, I didn’t think I had managed it. But when I got back to the motel, I thought I had. That was until Carl made this comment on Strava.

Oh arse ache. One issue I have with Strava is the amount of segments that pop up when you ride in a popular area. I reckon there is more segments than metres climbed on Norton Summit.

So yesterday morning, Carl and I rode it again. I wasn’t feeling real well, but it would be my last time til next Adelaide trip.

I stopped at the bottom for an energy gel and a drink. Then we were off. Carl at the front, me sitting on his wheel, hoping he would pace me all the way up. We passed a few people, then Carl waved me through as he got blocked by a few other people that were slower than us.

I got onto the wheel of a bloke with tri bars and sat there for the first kilometre or so. At a tight hairpin, I gave it some gas and went by him.

We managed to go by a few more people, and I wasn’t feeling too bad. Around a bend, I was trying to figure out how far to go. I asked Carl “Are we half way yet?” No answer. Hmmm. A few more metres and I asked again. Nothing. Strange. I looked over my shoulder and got the shock of my life, I had put a few metres between the two of us. I must be going ok, I’ll be buggered if I am going to stop.

I little further up the road, I pass a tall skinny guy who jumps on my wheel. Awesome, I am hoping we can swap turns and I can have a bludge. I start flicking my elbow like a pro. Nothing. I keep going and then flick again. Still not coming around. Ah crap. I turn around and he is gone. Bloody hell.

I push on and still manage to miss the line on the road that marks the official end of the climb. I get to the point that I always stop and look at my time, I reckon it is 22 minutes.

Carl rolls up not long later.

Carl reckons it is a sub 19 minute time. I am not so sure.

He took me up a few more hills and got a bunch of terrific photos. See below. Then it was the plunge down to Adelaide. I managed to top 70kph at one point, plus a few hairy moments going down the hill.

A terrific ride and my first sub 20 minute ascent of Norton Summit.

So, a successful ride and a great ride to end the Tour Down Under.

Massive thanks to Carl for taking me out and for the photos below.

Posted in My Rides | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Day X – Y @TDU.

Ok, so I tried to be clever and schedule some posts about the previous 2 days. Tip to self, always test these things before going ahead. *facepalm*

So, today was day 5, I don’t want to know how many days got eaten up.

I was out at McLaren Vale today chasing the bunch around. I caught them quite a few times, which was great. Here are just a few shots from todays stage.

You can see all the photos in this gallery.

Tonight the plan is to ride out to Port Adelaide, along the beach to Glenelg, maybe grab a bite to eat and watch the sunset, then home for a nap.

Posted in General Cycling Info | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Day 3 @ TDU

No Norton on the menu today. Just a lazy roll down to Glenelg. It was overcast, and I think I felt the first drops of rain I have ever felt in Adelaide. It was breezy again, and it blew most of the day.

A first for me whilst out riding, a ballerina!

I love coming to Adelaide, but they don’t miss you when you get a coffee and banana bread $12.40 thanks very much.

Home for a shower and then it was off to chase the peloton. Had a chat with some farmers at Mine Rd. They saw the camera and asked if I was a big deal or something. I told them I most certainly wasn’t, then had 3 blokes on bikes all yell out “Hey norbs” within 5 minutes. Talk about timing.

Some photos I managed.

The idea was to wait for the peloton to pass, then go back to a turn off and try and beat them to the back of Checker Hill. All was going well til I saw a pair of ladies standing next to their bikes looking like they were in trouble. I helped with a puncture, but it put me behind the peloton, and made for a slow trip home.

The recent fires have made a mess of some of the hills. I stopped to get a photo.

Then it was home for a lay around before heading out to the women’s stage 4 crit.

The Adelaide SD card hoodoo stuck again when my card wouldn’t read, write or format. Luckily, Matt “The Climbing cyclist” de Neef came to the rescue. Thanks Matt. Champion!

This from tonight’s race.

Plus a few more in this gallery.

The cold feels like it is finally letting go, so maybe another crack at that bloody Norton thing tomorrow.

Posted in My Rides, Pro Cycling | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 2 @ TDU

This morning I dragged my body out of bed early. I felt ordinary. What an arse ache to get a cold on my holidays.

I buggered around in my room for a while and then jumped on the bike. I wasn’t going to let a snotty nose and fuzzy head stop me.

Of I headed to Norton Summit. My aim for the trip was to crack 20 minutes up that climb. I have dropped a fair bit of weight since the last attempt, and have a new lighter bike, so everything suggests a faster time.

Winding through North Adelaide, I realised the wind was misbehaving. It would mean on some parts of the ride I would be blasting into it. When will the fun stop?

It is a constant push up hill to get to the base of the climb. I did that ride at Hay the other day and had 8m of climbing for 30kms. I had over 100m before I hit the climb. Take that legs.

Norton is a bugger of a climb that, for a guy my size, starts out tough. And stays uncomfortable for a long while. It averages about 5% for 5.5kms. Not a massive col, I know, but for a 47 year old hack like me, a challenge.

I huffed, wheezed, gasped and struggled all the way to the top. It wasn’t pretty with my nose running like a tap. I got confused about where I was on the climb and put in an effort thinking I was close to the top. Nope.

I finally got there.

I took that photo. Had a drink. Blew the junk out of my nose and rolled back down the hill, convinced I was no where near 20 minutes.

I did a lap through and around the city. Stopped in to see who I could spot at the Hilton.

Porte, Kittle, de Kort to name but a few. I headed home.

When I uploaded the ride to Strava, I got a hell of a shock.

I have to say, I was pretty happy. That was until a local pointed made a comment.

Arse! There are so many bloody segments on Norton, I never know which one to count. Despite the bad news, it was still a personal best, so there is that.

I intend to have another crack at it later this week.

The rest of the day was spent wandering the Adelaide Markets. I ate the best plums I have ever eaten today. The produce there truly is superb.

An afternoon nap then off to the pub for a feed.

Looking forward to day one of the race tomorrow. Not having a media pass means I probably wont be at the start of the stages, so I will stake out some spots along the route to try and get some photos.

Posted in My Rides | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

TDU 2015 : The Trip and Meeting the Secret Non Pro

Car packed, goodbyes said, I was off on my yearly trip to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under. This is what I was leaving.

Split over two days, it is roughly a 1400km trip each way. Two days there, seven days in Adelaide and two days back. I love it.

I rolled into Hay yesterday. Unpacked the car and jumped on the bike. There was a killer westerly blowing, which made the first half of this a pain in the legs.

The ride back however, yeehaaaa!

There is a fair contrast between where I was this morning compared to tonight.

I showered and headed off to grab some dinner.

Waiting for my pizza, I saw an old bloke walk past with a pair of calf muscles that caught my eye. “That guy is a cyclist” I thought to myself.

He swung into the Hay Fish Shop and Pizza Bar. Ha! I was waiting for my meduim Americana at the time, so I thought he might pass me on the way out.

I waited a few minutes and he emerged with a cigarette hanging very loosely from his lips. As soon as he crossed the threshold, the lighter was underneath it and he took a long drag on the smoke.

He looked up. “How’s it going he said?”

“It going ok” I said, trying to swing myself around out of the wind.

“Not local, where ya headed?”

“Tour Down Under, in Adelaide”

“Like every other bastard in Hay tonight” he laughed.

We got talking. He was indeed a cyclist, although these days he just rode to the pub. I told him I rode a bit.

“oh yeah?” he said with a look that told me he didn’t believe me.

“Not a lot, I am just a fat old pretender” I offered. He laughed.

“A lot of people claim they are cyclists. It isnt like the old days when I rode. What do they call ’em these days?”

“You mean MAMILS” I said. He burst out laughing. It was a loud and infectious laugh. Followed by a very heavy smokers cough.

“You need to give up the gaspers mate.” I said with more judgement than was healthy.

“Probably. And the piss. And the pizza!” he laughed again.

We got talking. Little did I know I had just met the Secret Non Pro!

We chatted until my pizza was ready to go. I told him about the blog. He gave me his email address. He told me he would send me some stories of “back in his hay day”.

“Your hay day in Hay?” I asked. He shot me a cheeky grin and a wink. I wandered off.

His first email has already landed. It is all sorts of fantastic.

You will be hearing more from the Secret Non Pro in the coming weeks. It will be worth the wait.

This morning I left Hay at 5:30. It has been a long day. Mildura for breakfast. Renmark for a leak.

I rocked up to my tiny room this arvo and unpacked the car.

Had a brief chat to Margaret who grabbed the TDU guide for me. God bless her.

I am just back from dinner at The Archer Pub. Lannaaaaaa.

Tomorrow morning, my old nemesis, Norton Summit. I feel flat. Lets see how I get on.

Posted in General Cycling Info | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment