Or possibly as it should have been more aptly titled, Tour des portes de garage à rouleaux.

Wow, I don’t think I have ever seen so many roller doors in one outing, well, not since the last time I drove through Mawson Lakes anyway!

This was the first time I am aware of anything like this being organised in Adelaide, and we enjoyed it so much, we can’t wait for the next one! Unfortunately due to too many events on in the one day, we had to leave the Boucle at Wayville and go watch some derby action, but we are really sad now that we did not get to the end.

But wait you say, what was Boucle de Burbs??? It was an awesome ride created by Sam and Emily from Treadly Bike Shop, Ebeneezer Place, Adelaide, and it was about 40km’s of lanes, alleys, old night cart lanes, major roads, back roads and local parks. The idea was to all meet at Bonython Park, (ok, so maybe a few got lost at the very start and could not even find the starting point!), where riders would be given their boucle t-shirt and issued a route map, and have to find their way through to a park in Mitcham.

Emily and Sam serving out the love at the registration desk!

It was not a race, but more of an adventure. The idea was to get there in whatever time you wanted, with an offical event finish time of 3:30pm, after an 11:00am start. Now 40km’s on the road in Adelaide, you would expect to smash it out in just over an hour, given that we are reasonably flat here, and it was a Sunday in the City of Churches. But although we caught up with a few who were going for the land speed record on the event, Sarah and I took it as a nice casual ride, that included for me the obligatory photo opportunity stops, and a couple of coffee shop stops.

Sam and Emily had kindly gone out on Saturday, and put up some route markers for us, just so that if we were in dire need of assistance, at the entrance to some of the narrower and more concealed lanes, there would be a piece of red paper, taped to a pole, and folded to indicate the direction we should be heading. How kind were they?? Given my inherited navigational skills, thanks dad, where I can get lost just backing out of the driveway, Sarah was our navigator, and she did an amazing job of riding her fixie, reading the map, and keeping us on track, all without getting flustered at my constant “wow, look at that house”, “corrr, look at that tree”, “Shoot, that is awesome stained glass”, “check out the size of that roller door!”, and the obligatory, “I love this shit!!!!”

That being said, she did get us lost once, and we turned that fraction too early, heading down a dead end lane instead of the next lane that we were meant to take. Still, it was a fun opportunity to look at more garage doors, and take a photo mocking her navigational abilities, and the opportunities that were presented to us by the collection of old bricks and lumber.

Of course, with my awesome navigation skills, I had to go to the very end just to ensure it was a dead end….

The ride took us right passed Sarah’s mum and husbands house, so we decided to make a quick visit and say hi. Not sure what they made of these two grinning cyclists, both laughing and enthusastically attempting to explain what we were actually doing!

Thankfully the maps also had some places of interest marked on them, including the Red Berry Cafe, where we stopped and enjoyed an awesome coffee and some cake. This is a tiny little cafe, but obviously extremely cyclist friendly given the bikes that were in the cafe, and a poster of Eddy Merczx and a Molteni t-shirt. We also caught up with Clayton here, who sadly was one of those who missed the start, but was absolutely loving his day out on the bike, and has more spoke cards in his wheels than any bike messenger I know!!

Awesome coffee at the Red Berry Cafe if you are passing by that way!

We were hoping for something a little more substantial than a piece of cake for lunch, so temporarily satisfied, we set off again! Our next stop was at the recently revamped Young St Cafe, on the corner of George St. Very glad that we stopped in here! The owners are Bulgarian, and looking in the counter window, there were all sorts of Bulgarian and Greek home made delicacies, as well as the standard deli fare. One item piqued our curiousity, as neither of us had ever heard of it before, Banitsa. The shop owner actually took a piece out, and cut us off a slice each to try, which was extremely nice of her.

She said it was the Bulgarian version of the Greek dish Spanokopita, but without the spinach! It was extremely nice, so I changed my order from the roast pork to a slice of this. She was extremely nice, and was going to get a whole new piece out, since she had already cut two pieces off this one for us to try, and so therefore wasn’t the full serve anymore!! We had a great break in there, and were chatting with the owners and some other customers about the boucle, cycling in Adelaide, and all manner of random subjects. The owner made us an offer as we were leaving, bring back more cyclists, 10% off for all!! Woot, the Smudge discounts continue!!!

From here, the boucle took us for a journey through the Glenside facility, whoch brought back some memories for me of a time long ago, which were thankfully shortlived, as once we got out of Glenside, the Wendy’s cow was on the opposite side of the road, and I have wanted to take that bad boy for a ride for a long time! After saddling up on the cow, it was time to roll on again, and since the cow was not moving, I had to get back on to my bike instead!

Rodeo de Nowhere

From here, we only had a few more laneways that took us straight out to the Wayville Showgrounds, exactly as Sam had said it would, and in plenty of time to catch some derby action! It was kind of sad for both of us though, after having ridden down lanes we never knew existed, including old dirt (see mud!) lanes, gravel lanes, and some that you could barely call sealed, to have to stop the ride short, but we have agreed to finish it another time, and to definitely revisit Young St!

Well done Sam and Emily, it was a fantastic and fun ride, filled with lots of energy and excitement from all of the participants, and we can’t wait for your next fun adventure for the cycling community, be it a summer beach battle, or a midnight meander, we’ll be in on that one too, and promise not to double, (or in my case, triple), book on the day!

Ahh, those Eastern Suburbs, just trouble you know….

Keep the rubber side down,