Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Tour Down Under 2017

Before I get into the TDU, I didn't end up doing the long ride with Leadout on the 14th Jan due to cramps and pains. This is something which I am trying to manage in 2017 with medication as nutrition and exercise is not working at all.

So we decided that we would drive up on the 18th Jan instead of flying as we were taking our bikes as well as my cycling caps etc. The drive was good but it is a long day. It's a good thing that the speed limit is 110km/hr for some of the route and there are plenty of overtaking lanes which meant that you were not always stuck behind campervans and trucks going well below the speed limit for too long. I am a pretty careful driver so I would only overtake on the dedicated lanes.

Obligatory Giant Koala Stop to TDU
We arrived at our AirBnb accom around 3:30pm that day. The house was located only 2 blocks from the town centre where The Village was located and a walking distance from all the major locations of the TDU such as Rundle Mall for the carpark crits and to all the bike shops of the CBD.

We picked up a friend from the airport who arrived at 6:15pm and we then headed to the Norwood crits to watch her husband and the rest of the cycling team race B grade crits hosted by the local Norwood Cycling Club.

I went for a small ride on Thursday morning with the BlackSheepCycling group. It was a breakfast ride and it was flat which was a relief for me as I wasn't prepared for the hills. The ride took us through the bikepaths and then ended at Henley Beach. We had a quick break there before Jason, a friend Kathyrn and I rode back along Henley Beach Road into the city. We stopped at Cycle Closet which is a shop in the CBD which only stocked clothing, socks, helmets and some accessories. I was overwhelmed by the clothing/kit/socks but only came out with a Ridge Supply jersey and a gilet from Spin Cycling which was on sale. I am going to reward myself with a new (expensive) kit when I lose 5kg and a new helmet when I lose 10kg. We then took a shower and then ventured into The Village to watch the final 60km of Stage 3.

My friend Dayna and I at The Village
On Friday, we ventured out into the city and checked out Giant Adelaide as well as our second visit to Cycle Closet before we headed into The Village to watch the last 60km of Stage 4. We met up with the BSS boys watching the highlights of the Stage before we headed for dinner. The BSS boys do all their big rides during the day, some over the actual course themselves so they don't know who wins each race, they make sure they don't log onto social media and head into The Village to watch the highlights and find out how each stage pans out.

On the Saturday, we decided that we would drive out to Willunga Hill to watch the race as the riders passed through that point twice. The drive was about 50min away and we found a park for the car as well as out butts about 1.2km from the finish. I have to say, the atmosphere of being on the course is amazing! Although we were not close to the finish line, more like half way up the climb, we didn't need to fight through crowds to see the riders at all. We saw plenty of people we knew ride passed and we cheered for them. I am promising myself that I am going to do the ride from our accom all the way to Willunga next year.

My #instafriend Felicity and I at Willunga Hill - I realized that she was standing
10m from me only after she posted a photo and I saw myself in the background.
After the stage was done, we rushed back to the accom to get ready for the event which I was doing to help a friend raise money for charity. Due to the timing of the event so close after the finish of the stage, the event was cancelled. I did end up selling a cap or two but I didn't stress out too much. I didn't really plan the whole trip around selling my wares. I still donated the caps and musettes to my friend and she can use them to raise money for charity. We then walked over to the Carpark crit to watch the crit race up 6 levels of car parking.

The Canadian and I did a small ride up Norton Summit and around Montacute Rd for a 50km, 600m elevation day. It was hard and I am currently so unfit for hills.

I am already looking forward to TDU2018. This will be a goal for me to train through 2017 so I can join in with the group rides and get out to the stage courses.

On another note, officially joined Lead Out Cycling...I am looking forward to improving as a cyclist. I have also committed myself to lose 10kg by Dec 2017. I am being more mindful of what I consume as I am no longer running and high intensity cardio work.

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