Hooray!! UCI World Cup starts this weekend!

I love the UCI World Cup events – in particular, the DH. It is my favorite annual race.

Much to the delight of Southern Hemisphere riders, Cairns has been included on the DH schedule for the last couple of years. For me, that has meant an annual pilgrimage to Cairns for the big event. This year the World Champs round will be in Cairns! So the local tracks need prepping now. So this post is a review of the last two UCI World Cup events – and an invitation to join the Cairns 2017 UCI World Cup Working Bee Team!

This means the local tracks need prepping early. So this post is a review of the last two UCI World Cup events – and an invitation to join the Cairns 2017 UCI World Cup Working Bee Team!

 

Great memories of the last 2 Cairns UCI World Cup Events

Last year I went to the Cairns UCI World Cup with mates and it was an all social affair.

Last year I posted about what a great event the 2016 event was and what blast it was catching up with old friends, making new ones and soaking up the World Cup vibes – here’s a few mates I managed to catch up with…

 

UCI DH World Cup

UCI DH World Cup

UCI DH World Cup

 

Last year was a total contrast to 2015. I worked the 2015 Cairns event, which was epic given that it rained non-stop a week prior to race day.

This turned all the tracks into slick and slippery death-defying shoots covered in thick gluggy toothpaste!

Boy did everyone work hard that round!!! Ahhhh the memories!!!

UCI DH World Cup

(See Instagram @Bicycles_Create_Change for more past UCI DH World Cup pics).

Remember Cairns UCI World Cup 2015- aka ‘Rumble in the Puddles’?

If you need to refresh your memory of how epic the 2015 UCI DH Cairns round was – check out this 2’32” Badass mashup video…

…and yes…that is me in the opening sequence!!

But this year will be a little different. I’ll be watching remotely as I won’t be making the trek to Cairns this year for the big event (*sniff*).

2017 UCI MTB World Cup Calendar

Redbull’s Official MTB website has the follow details outlined for the current 2017 UCI World Cup Calendar schedule:

There are six rounds each for XCO and DH – and the World Cup 2017 is starting this weekend – woohoo!!

The World Championship heads to Australia and Cairns at the end of the World Cup season with a full program of XCO, XCE and DH racing on show.

I can’t wait!!!

The UCI is expected to confirm the calendar in late June and the dates will be subject to change until then so don’t go booking trips to the events until then! Scroll down for all the downhill (DHI) and cross country (XCO) rounds.

  • April 29-30: (DHI) Lourdes, France
  • May 20-21: (XCO) Nové Mesto, Czech Republic
  • May 27-28: (XCO) Albstadt, Germany
  • June 3-4: (DHI) Fort William, Scotland
  • June 10-11: (DHI) Leogang, Austria
  • July 1-2 (XCO/DHI) Vallnord, Andorra
  • July 8-9: (XCO/DHI) Lenzerheide, Switzerland
  • August 5-6: (XCO/DHI) Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada
  • August 26-27: (XCO/DHI) Val di Sole, Italy
  • September 5-10: (XCO/DHI) UCI World Championships, Cairns, Australia

Cairns MTB World Cup Working Bee Shout-out

As a member of Cairns MTB Club, I received this shout-out invitation for World Cup working bee helpers. So if you are keen to be part of the action and for anyone in the area… here are the details as sent to me FYI:

With the UCI MTB World Championships just around the corne, there is a way you can be involved now. The Cairns MTB Club has been asked to construct a new spectator/media trail in the “Vines” section of the Downhill track. We have been offered an incentive to get it done ASAP and we want to pass some of that incentive on to the people that help build the trail.
We need are people to help out on regular Saturday/Sunday morning working bees from 7:30am-10:30 am, for about six – eight weeks beginning on the 10th of June.
We do have a budget to meet so the quicker we can get it done, the less we spend on it, giving the club more funds to put back into trail maintenance and development. The job is to create a 1.5m wide riding/walking trail in “Vines” area running alongside the downhill track. There will be a lot of shovel and mattock digging involved.

The Reward

For every working bee (3 hours long) you can attend and do productive work you will receive a gift voucher to use at the bike shop of your choice.
 You can put it towards that new something you have wanted or you can donate the money back to the club to help fund the Black snake rebuild and extension. The Gift Vouchers will be handed out at the end, once the work is completed and has been approved by National Parks. All workers will need to “sign in” with their details at each working bee so we can keep accurate records of attendance and hours worked.
If this is something you are interested in getting involved with, please email Club President Craig at President@cairnsmtb.com with your expression of interest.

Reminder

The first Working Bee will be held on Sunday 10th of June and then every Saturday and Sunday morning until the job is done.

A week ago I got an email about an upcoming 3 Day Startup (3DS) intensive.

3DS is a 72-hour learning-by-doing workshop that comes to your campus to teach entrepreneurial skills to university students in an ‘extreme hands-on’ environment. In doing so, this program helps university students develop and translate their research into a start a company over the course of one weekend. Intense!

So as part of the Advance Queensland program, 3DS offered their program exclusively for Griffith University Higher Degree by Research candidates. The Advance Queensland program has an extensive suite of services, events and programs under its Entrepreneurs and Start-up banner, with a strong focus on supporting academic research and industry collaborations.

So I applied.

And today I got word that I have been accepted to attend next week’s 3DS intensive!

3DS – An unsettling space for me to be in

I am intrigued to explore possibilities of how I can commercialize my research. Taking an entrepreneurial approach to layer over my predominately community-based, NGO grassroots practice will be a very interesting exercise in reframing my current conceptual, ethical and professional perspectives. This is the main aspect I am most interested in having challenged during the 3DS intensive: scaling up and operationalising my bicycle research (and programs) for profit.

This is a very uncomfortable space for me to consider as all my previous ventures have been staunchly community-driven and non-commercialised – as evidenced by this blog, and IG, my research and myself being completely ad-free, unsponsored/unfunded, and non-monterised.

 

So what happens at 3DS?

During the event, participants work with peers from different backgrounds and get mentorship from some leading entrepreneurs.

One the first day, participants form teams, develop an idea, conduct market research, talk to customers, create a prototype, and pitch to real investors by Sunday night.

Participating in 3DS means getting connect with talented people, exploring ways that your research topics can be commercialised, create something collaborate from the ground up, and learn about what it takes to establish a company.

 

The 3 Day Startup (3DS) program

3 Day Startup (3DS)

Image Source: 3DS Website

 

Bootcamp (1 week before program date): Participants meet, get introduced to key entrepreneurship principles, and learn best practices for maximising the 3 Day Startup program experience.

Day 1: Participants arrive – with or without startup ideas – and a facilitator leads the group through dedicated brainstorming, preliminary pitches/feedback, and team selection modules. Some teams work late into the night, and others prefer to rest up in preparation for day 2.

Day 2: Customer Discovery (teams exit the building, hit the phones or social media, and talk to potential customers), structured mentorship, intermediate pitches and feedback sessions. Day 2 places heavy emphasis on business model generation.

Day 3: Continued execution (including pitch workshops) leading into final pitches/demos to an esteemed panel of mentors and investors.

Phew!! Sounds super useful and super concentrated!

I’ve also been checking out some of the material and online content 3DS provides through their blog. I’m feeling inspired already!

So what might eventuate?

I don’t know yet!!! But, I am keen to be challenged and ready to get inspired.

I’m also very interested to see what ideas might develop and explore ways to operationalise my research.

I wonder what opportunities this experience may present and what direction this could take me…. some unique possibilities I hope!

I’ll let you know!

 

See the 1’48” video below for an overview of 3DS.

Happy International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia!!!

 

Officially today is the actual day of celebration (17th May), however there have been a wide range of events happening worldwide for the whole week.

Of particular interest to lovers of life on two-wheels is the Tirana Gay (P)ride March in Albania.

 

Tirana Gay (P)ride MarchSource: Watermark Online

Tirana Gay (P)ride March

The Tirana Gay (P)ride March was first initiated in 2006 has been gaining significant participation and coverage over the last couple of years and is fast becoming one of the most colourful, cultural community-driven events in the Albanian calendar.

This story is great for a number of reasons. Aside from being an awesome international event addition for this weeks general celebrations, it is also great as Albania doesn’t usually make headlines (at least not enough for positive reasons). Also, most people do not usually associate progressive, fun, international bicycle-inspired community demonstrations for gay rights to come out of small Southeastern former Eastern Bloc European nation. But there you go!

So kudos to the Albanians for being such a wonderful and supportive international example.

(Queensland take note!!)

A dual protest for 2017

This year was an extra special event. To mark the international festival, participants in Tirana’s Gay (P)ride Parade rode bikes for one cause, whilst elsewhere in the city two hours earlier (yet overlapping), another protest was being held in response to the country’s political opposition.  The city was inundated with bikers strewn in multi-colored costumes with balloons, flags and pennants flapping the wind as they rode past a protest tent erected in front of Prime Minister Edi Rama’s office to raise awareness and support to pressure the current Albanian government to extend their 2009  anti-discriminatory laws to legalise same-sex marriage and also to recognise trans-gender citizens.

People taking to the streets to protest is not new, but the inclusion of highly decorated bicycles adds an extra element of personality, intimacy, community and creativity which is hard to beat and difficult to ignore.

Best of luck Tirana …our bicycles are with you!!

We hope you have a fun and successful ride to celebrate your 2017 IDAHOT!

Tirana Gay (P)ride MarchSource: Fox News

Below is a 7 minute video of the 2017 Tirana IDAHOT (P)ride March.

More details:

Official International website.

IDAHOT Facebook Page 

Twitter: @may17IDAHOT

Official hashtag #IDAHOT2017

Great news!

Late last month, I submitted an abstract to AWCC 2017 to present a conference session entitled ‘Bicycles Create Change’!

This week I got an email from the Australian Walking and Cycling Conference organiser that started with…

AWCC Abstract Accepted

Hooray!!

It was a lovely email to receive and I am very excited about doing this conference roundtable presentation.

I’m going to draw on insights, outcomes and learnings I arrived at after designing and managing some of my community art bike projects. The session will focus on providing some important, interesting and constructive considerations that could benefit other community bike events.

BUT!! The next couple of month is going to be a very busy time though! Funding submissions for the collaborative community art project

Funding submissions for the collaborative community art project The Albatross. 70 assignments to mark now, then a series of end of course exams. Also, need to prepare my PhD confirmation paper and presentation for early August. Phew!

So – that’s my limit for taking on any extra projects! my answer from here on in is NO MORE!

(Although I did register for the 2017 Bayview Blast Ride/Race this morning! But riding is different!!!)

So aside from riding…..

I am officially at full capacity (and very happy with my lot!)

AWCC Abstract Accepted

This week is Bike Week Queensland 2017.

Bike Week is an annual cycling festival that hosts a range of events in and around Brisbane from Sat 6th May -to Sunday 14th  May.

There were many events, meets, rides, conferences and seminars (as you can see below) that were registered events for this bike festival. You can get more info about the program here.

It is the largest cycling festival in Queensland and caters for a range of cycling disciplines, styles, levels and interest groups.

This event is organised by Bicycle Queensland and has been running since the 1990’s.

Bike Week Queensland 2017

Bike Week Queensland 2017

Bike Week Queensland 2017

Bike Week Queensland 2017

Source: Bike Week Queensland 2017

Bike Week Queensland 2017 – Ride2Work Breakfast.

I attended a few official (and unofficial events). Today I rode in early to meet with the rest of the Griffith University BUGS to participate in the Ride2Work Breakfast Event. I have ridden once before with the GU BUGS from Brisbane city to Uni, but today was extra special. We met at the Law Courts in town and Bicycle Queensland had pavilions set up, the QLD Minister for Main Roads, the Hon. Tim Bailey,  spoke (and it was great to see he had ridden in on his bike as well) and there were stalls, prizes, coffee on arrival, a basic breakfast and lots of cyclists to meet. The police were there offering a service to photograph and log your bike to your license as a theft-protection service, which many cyclists took advantage of.

Bike week – Bike Summit (Friday 12th May).

I would have loved to have attended tomorrow’s Bike Summit, but alas it is my busiest day teaching at Uni. After such a positive experience discussing bicycle policy, programs and advocacy in Melbourne at the Bike Futures Conference earlier this year in Feb, I was keen to hear what the changes, trends and differences are in Queensland.

Although I was a little disappointed with the lack of detail in the program that was distributed – to me it did not give quite enough detail to really explain what each session would entail. I know there were many BUGs groups going in for the afternoon session, but the program scarcely recognised if/how the advocacy and Q & A sessions might be run – didn’t really instil much confidence.

So I stuck to attending the practical and active events this year and had a great time! See Instagram @bicycles_create_change for some additional photos from the day.

Bike Week Queensland 2017

Source: Bike Week Queensland 2017

 

All in all

I had a great day today. I appreciate all the planning and hard work that went into organising the events that were held.

For those events I went to, I made an effort to mingle and make the most of the social and community participation aspects.

It was lovely to be around people who were happy to talk bikes and it was very reaffirming to see so many cyclists in one place.

If only this dynamic could be the mainstay and not only a once a year week-long event!

But, I ‘spose you gotta start somewhere!!

This year is a very special year, in addition to being the 200th ‘birthday’ of the modern bicycle, it is also the Giro D’Italia 100th edition Race – Horray!

The Giro D’Italia starts today and this year features a 3,572km course from Sardinia to Milan and includes six mountain top finishes as well as two testing time trials – I can’t wait!!!

 

What is the Giro anyway?
The first Giro D’Italia was held in 1909 to sell more copies of the local newspaper La Gazzetta dello sport.

In the initial first ten years, there were some major changes regarding classifications and format until its current race design was finally settled on. An Italian won every Giro for the first 40 years until the Swiss rider Hugo Koblet took out the event in 1950. It was pretty much an Italian only affair from 1909 – 1953.

After that, Italian champions often prevailed, but by then there were many other international riders winning such as Eddie Merckx (5 x winner) Bernard Hinault (3 x winner) and Miguel Indurain (2 x consecutive).

It took until 1988 for the first non-European, Andrew Hampsten (US) to win a Giro.

Giro D'Italia 100th

Source: Wikipedia

Who else is celebrating the Giro D’Italia 100th Race?

Er, anyone who loves the pro tours of course! ….and heaps of others people….. like you and me!

As you would expect, the media was in full celebratory flight, with the Independent, and the history of the race (and a focus on British rider successes of course) being promoted by The Telegraph. On a different note, Eurosport contributed 10 things to look for in this year’s race, whilst Sky Sports celebrated with a preview the 2017 race and a prediction that Nairo Quintana (who has featured on this blog before) will take out the gong this year.

I like Google’s humble and playful homage to the Giro, complete with a quirky little animation of riders going over the hills in the background, with today’s banner being:

Giro D'Italia 100th

Source: Google

What’s the fuss – it is just another Grand Tour race, right?

Well-known for its brutal weather and hill climbs, the Giro has a very special place in many cyclists’ heart. Famous for testing rider’s endurance, stamina and mental fortitude, the prominence of snow, rain and regularly produces a gruelling slog-fest race that is remarkable by anyone’s standards. On a number of occasions, the weather has gotten so bad, that races stages are flat out cancelled.

Hardest stages, whatever – I could totally to that!!!

I like this short 4.20mins video as it gives a super quick overview of just how brutal the Giro can be. It has some of my favorite historical stages like; ‘the day the big man cried’; when 81 riders started, but only 8 managed to finish; and (as a fellow Aussie who lived in the same areas where he grew up), I am extremely delighted to see the stage where Cadel Evan is wearing the leader’s jersey (Maglia Rosafor one day during the 2002 Giro (which Cadel ended up coming 14th in overall).

So this month, be sure to yell ‘Forte!! Forte!! Rapido!! Rapido!!’ full volume at your TV on all of those unrelenting snowy mountain stages!! Woohoo!!

So many good bike conferences in 2017….

There are a number of bike-related conferences coming this year that I would love to attend.

This year is the 200 year birthday of the modern bicycle, so I feel an extra special pull to get together with other like-minded bike enthusiasts and celebrate our common love of all things two-wheeled.

Outside of sports and pro-cycling meets, there are two main conferences this year that have caught my eye.

Asia Pacific Cycle Congress

The first is the Asia Pacific Cycle Congress to be held in Christchurch, (NZ), 17-20th October, 2017.

Mike Lloyd, a NZ academic who has published a couple of papers analysing a well-known mountain bike rage incident and then subsequently reviewed the same scenario from a mirco-sociological video analysis stand-point, reminded me about this conference.

I would love to go to this one, but have a prior date booked that overlaps, so will have to hold onto this one for next year. Plus I will be post PhD confirmation by then, which means the Uni will pay for me to go! Woppee!

Australian Walking and Cycling Conference

The second conference is the Australian Walking and Cycling Conference. This is being held on 17-18th July in Adelaide, Australia. Their website boasts that:

The simple acts of walking and cycling have the potential to transform the places we live, our economies and how we engage with our environment. The Australian Walking and Cycling Conference, to be held in Adelaide on 17-18 July 2017, explores the potential for walking and cycling to not only provide for transport and recreation but solutions to challenges of liveability, health, community building, economic development and sustainability.

The conference theme is Low tech movement in a high tech world.

After handing in my PhD Early Candidature Milestone Report last month, I am keen to take a step back from the theoretical, conceptual realm of ideas and connect back with one of the primary reasons I started my research – making positive community connections.

So I applied to this conference to do a Learnshop session based on some past Bicycles Create Change events.

I am planning a fun and interesting session – so fingers crossed!

Here is the abstract I submitted (parallelism much?!).

Australian Walking and Cycling Conference 2017

Australian Walking and Cycling Conference 2017

ANZAC Day 2017

Today is ANZAC Day in Australia. April 25th is one of Australia’s most important national cultural holidays. ANZAC stands for the Australian & New Zealand Army Corps. ANZAC Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand men and women during the First World War. There are Dawn services, parades and events all day, all over the country.

I left my house early this morning and got caught up in a local ANZAC Day Parade being held down the main drag of my suburb. It was one of many events being held today. The largest ANZAC events are held in each capital city – and Brisbane was no exception.

As I watched the event pass by, I saw that many of the locals had ridden in to participate. A good idea considering roads are closed because of the parade, as well as traffic and extra parking difficulties.

It reminded me that I had heard about bicycles being used in WW1 and other conflicts. So I went home to investigate further and this is what I found …

Australian Cycling Corps

Before the official formation of cycling units, bikes were used for transport and other military needs. It is not well known that the AIF had cycling units that were used in many of the major battles during the First World War such as Messines in June 1917, and Passchendale July 1917.  These units were deployed to the front line as well as undertaking cable burying, traffic control and reconnaissance work.

What kinds of bikes were used in WW1?

They were issued from England and manufactured from Birmingham Small Arms Company – better known as BSA.  This company was also a major British arms and ammunition manufacturer since the Crimean War (1854-1856). These bikes did not come with bottle holders as today’s do.  The men would carry water supplies like the regular army corps.  Also the soldiers were issued with the Short Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE) .303 calibre rifles, having the option of either attaching it to the down tube of their bike or swung across their back.

Australian Cycling Corps

The Military Roadster

The models of the bikes ranged from the Mark I through to the Mark IV.  For further information, pictures and a peek into the histo-military use of this model – the Military Roadster has an amazing article by Ian Skinner called Pedal Power (1991) which gives comprehensive details and unique insights about these bikes – including manufacturing background, bike specifications and how and why it these models were used. I highly recommend a quick look at it – it is truly a step-back in time!

Soldiers who were lucky, were issued with a Mark IV.  This bike had a free wheeled hub, which basically means you were able to coast without having to pedal constantly – as with the Mark I to III.  Those models had a fixed hub, which means they were Fixies (or Track Bike) – amazing!

The Mark IV was also issued with a hand operated rear brake.  This brake would have nowhere near the stopping capacity of the disc brakes that are often on contemporary mountain bikes and some road bikes. These bikes did not have the luxury of knobblie tyres either (tyres that have protruding pieces of rubber for extra grip); but would have been a standard military issue of little or no grip, more like standard tyres, as can be seen in the bicycle below.  This photograph was taken in Ypres, Belgium on 26 September 1917.

Australian Cycling Corps

The humble military bicycle – then and now

The AIF cycling units have often been forgotten in military history but the humble bicycle played a very important role in the logistics of warfare.  The simplicity of the bike made transportation quick and reliable.

Even in 2008 the Australian Military were using the bicycle in East Timor to improve flexibility of field patrols with a unit called Bicycle Infantry Mounted Patrol (BIMP) as seen on the front cover of Edition 1200 of the Australian Defense Force (ADF) Army magazine.  Now 100 years on, and bicycles play  an important role in military life, just as they do in civilian.

Australian Cycling Corps


For further information, the book History of the First AIF/NZ Cyclist Corps 1916-19 CYCLING TO WAR by Ronald J Austin goes into detail of the Corps and is an excellent overview. Request it at your largest library!

This post is modified from previous article by Ally Roche written for the Australian War Memorial.

Yesterday I attended the annual English Australia (Queensland Branch) PD Fest.

My ride into UQ, St Lucia on Leki my flower bike put me in a particularly good mood. It was a beautiful morning despite the clean up still happening due to (ex-) cyclone Debbie having passed through. Although I admit to stopping on the bridge to marvel at the state of the Brisbane River (click on the Instagram link at bottom of this post for more photos of Debbie’s impact). Once on site though, I found a great spot for Leki to chill out for the day just near the Conference entrance with all the other bikes. It was lovely to have other delegates come up looking for me and tell me they had seen my bike outside I knew it must have been me. Leki is far better than any name tag!

english-australia

What is the PD Fest?

This event is primarily for teachers who teach English at various levels to people from overseas. Delegates come from a range of organisations all over Queensland. Participants are in various roles (not just teaching), but the commonality is that we all work with International students, migrants, refugees or any other ‘English as a second language learner’.

I presented at this conference two years ago and so can appreciate the effort that the presenters and organisers put into making this event happen. This year I was interested in attending to see if there were any new ideas to experiment with in my class and to see what other projects, practices and approaches other teachers were using. I made an effort to meet a few new people, all of whom were interesting company and had a wealth of teaching (and life) experiences. There was a good array of sessions that were thought-provoking and useful – as you can see from the schedule below.

English Australia (QLD Branch) PD Fest 2017

Here is the full Conference Program book: 2017 PD Fest Program Book

English Australia (Queensland Branch) PD Fest

$6 million Partnership Fund – anyone want some?
I stayed to the very end. I was keen to see the All Star Band play – and all day I been thinking about something that Patrick Mafenstein (Group Manager – International Education and Training Unit, Trade & Investment Queensland) had presented in the morning session. He had outlined the new Queensland state strategy focused on International Students and ELICOS Education – which involves a $6 million partnership fund. One of the stipulations to apply for this funding is that application needs to be a consortium (two or more organisations – to spread the resources, work and results around). Here is an outline of the Strategy and all its details: International Education Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016-2026

International Education Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016-2026

Source: International Education Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016-2026, pg 5.

 

During his presentation, Patrick asked if anyone was thinking of applying for some of the funding and as far as I could see only two hands went up in a full auditorium.

At this stage, one of the PD Fest organisers jumped in good-naturedly to tell the audience that the EA Queensland Branch was in a position to apply (was a consortium) and would welcome ideas on some projects.

Supply bicycles to international students studying in Queensland

So this is my idea for English Australia to apply for a slice of the international student funding.

To address one of the major strategic imperatives (specifically #17, as well as community engagement), I think Queensland should pilot a program where international students are supplied with bicycles for greater educational, employment and recreational mobility.

This idea could go in any number of ways and is only limited by the imagination (and interest and budget of course!). Part of the program could be safety and some riding skills as well as basic mechanical skills (changing a type etc.) needed to get started.

Additional considerations would be things like helmets, lights, reflector and locks.

To my knowledge, there is no ‘educational’ initiative that is specficially addressing international student transportation needs, so it would be ‘innovative’ as well as being sustainable, novel and practical.

The cost of transportation is currently high for international students and the impact of being isolated and unable to ‘get out’ can have serious negative impacts ranging from boredom to depression – but having access to a bicycle is mitigates such issues – it also means students are out and participating in social community life.

Mobility is an aspect of student life that is fundamental to community accessibility and interaction, yet is rarely discussed. Bicycles are a great way for students to also access other livelihood imperatives, such as health, fitness and vocational opportunities.

Queensland has some great weather for cycling, so there is even more of an impetus to get students out and about and enjoying it.

There could be an opportunity to link into other local community groups and programs or develop the idea to meet other strategic imperatives. WOudl be good to link into the local community via canvassing and collecting bicycles and collaborating with local organisations and bike and/or men’s shed to refurbish appropriate bicycles for use.

Anyway, that was the idea I pitched to the organisers at the end of the day – will be interesting to see what (if anything) happens…I’ll keep you in the loop!

What is the Indian Pacific Wheel Race?

The Indian Pacific Wheel Race is an epic one-stage, unassisted 5,500 km adventure race across Australia. The IPWR website has all in the background and info you need including the route coordinates, so I won’t rehash those details here. This race is well worth taking a look at just to gauge how ‘motivated’ you consider yourself to be as a rider….

The Indian Pacific Wheel Race (also known as the IndyPac or IPWR) also has some specific rules given that it is a long-distance unsupported road ride. It is very well managed and I am impressed with the level of technology used to track riders and how effective the communications and media coverage for this event is – by the race organisers, the riders themselves (see Jackie’s page below) and the race supporters and rider fans.

It starts in Fremantle, WA and ends at Sydney Opera House, taking in 4 main section:

1. The desert (incl the Nullarbor Plain);
2. Rolling hills of the famous wine districts of South Australia;
3. The iconic Great Ocean Road; and
4. The Australian Alps.

Here is an overview of the the course:

Indian Pacific Wheel Race

Source: ABC News

Jackie Bernardi

Jackie Bernardi is one of only seven female riders registered for 2017 IndyPac.

I admit to being completely biased as Jackie has been a dear friend for many years.

It has been amazing watching her transition from rock climbing to cycling and equally inspiring to hear about her rides, adventures and exploits over the years and and to see how devoted she is to riding.

Jackie has been particularly active the last couple of years in Australian long-distance bikepacking adventure races including the Cloudride 1,000km race in the mountains surrounding Canberra and the Great Dividing Trail Race in Victoria, as well as going further afield last year to race the 4,500kms Tour Divide that runs from Banff (Canada) over the Continental Divide through the U.S. and down to the Mexico boarder, where she was one of only 11 female riders out of 191 starters (only 73 completed the race)  and of which she was #1 female for the race in a time of 19 days, 21 hours and 41 mins!!! So she is certainly up for the IndyPac challenge!

Jackie is an inspirational woman and a phenomenal athlete. Her tenaciousness on the bicycle is nothing short of impressive. It has been great to see Jackie’s updates and videos as well as track her progress throughout the race via the Jackie Bernardi IndyPac 2017 Facebook page  – which gives some great insights into the conditions, issues, tips and pure will power required to undertake and push on in a long-haul event like the IndyPac.

Indian Pacific Wheel Race 2017

Source: Jackie Middleton

 

Update below shows Jackie coming in hot to Adelaide and setting a mean pace earlier this week for the half way mark.

Indian Pacific Wheel Race

Source: KO’s Facebook update.

Sad news cuts IndyPac 2017 race short

Today the IndyPac Race was cancelled due to the devastating news that early this morning, a car crash killed Mike Hall, one of the IndyPac cyclists.

At the time of the accident, the race was still underway. Mike was in second position and the lead riders were due to arrive at the finish line in Sydney later today (Friday 31st March).

Mike was a 35-year old British cyclist and well known for being one of the world’s best ultra-endurance racers and holds the record for the fastest completion of the Trans Am and Tour Divide bikepacking races in the US.

The sad news has been difficult for riders, organisers and many of the race’s fans and other cyclists alike. 

Today there were a number of  Mike Hall Memorial Rides in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne, all of which had massive turn outs.

It is such a heartbreaking way to stop any event, especially an international endurance road race.

Our thoughts are with Mike Halls’ family, the IndyPac riders and their support community.

 

Indian Pacific Wheel Race

Source: Sean Conway