The Tour Down Under has hit town, bringing with it all manner of teams, their colours and personalities.
I tell you what - with the 6 stages covering several hundreds of kilometers up and over the Adelaide Hills and surrounds - you need a big BIG personality to survive and win in this sport.
Just take a look at the elevation profile of these rides:
Anyway, even though the Tour didn't start til Sunday 16 Jan we were lucky enough on Friday 14th to hear that Lance Armstrong via Twitter had announced a group ride starting at Glenelg for the following morning - all in support of the Queensland floods. He kicked off the support by donating $50,000 and the idea was to mobilise a couple of thousand punters to join the ride in solidarity and also raise funds.
With Simi tied up with her hospital rounds we got our 50k morning cycle out of the way then I popped along to Glenelg to find the group. See if you can find Wally:
4,000 or so riders turned out and after a few words from Lance, we all set off - yes I was close enough to touch him:
And set off we did!! I had no idea of the route but whenever I stole sneaky peeks at my speedo we were doing a constant 43-45kmh and we weren't looking like turning around any time soon.
At one stage I was riding next to Stuart O'Grady and thought I was having an out-of-body experience, but it was short lived as I watched him dive off to the right, mount the kerb and fly (on his bike) along a footpath to catch up to Lance & Co at the front. Gone.
All in all we covered about 40km and by the time I got back I was exhausted, reduce to one syllable words if I could manage more than a grunt! The only disappointment was that I didn't see anyone collecting funds for the flood appeal, so hopefully everyone went home and did their bit.
No matter what you make of L.A, he is still able to inspire others and make you realise you can always aim higher.
More info of the ride: http://www.news.com.au/how-tweet-it-is-to-ride-with-you/story-fn6bqphm-1225988479874