James Nankivell goes from riding a recumbent bicycle to taking part in a Grand Slam ride. 

Being cycling enthusiasts here at Bike SA, we’re all involved in one form of cycling or another. But one you might not have run across is recumbent bicycle racing. There’s a strong community following for it here in Adelaide and the race series is known as Pedal Prix.

Pedal Prix is highly competitive and in order for our team to ramp up training, we took advantage of the Grand Slam challenge series which kicked off in February. The series of rides, which increase incrementally in distance, help to set clear training targets. With different distances on offer riders can work towards their own goals.

Starting with the first loop of 40km last Sunday, we joined over 300 other cyclists and took full advantage of our ability to slipstream, cruising through the largely flat ride out of Gumeracha. The rolling green scenery and relatively quiet hills roads helped make the day a pleasant way to train. Happily the cool weather aided us in maintaining a solid pace, largely spearheaded by our young gun on his $1 steel frame 80’s roadie!

Accomplishing a stand out effort of ignoring the advice of Barry (the legend). I attempted to maintain a blistering pace in the hillier second loop. After burning out about halfway through I wound up completing the distance in granny gear with the helpful moral support of none other than Barry himself! (The downhill roll back into Gumeracha was bliss.)

We have a lot of training ahead to remain competitive, but with the first Grand Slam serving as an excellent benchmark, we’re off to a strong start. Of course, you don’t have to join an obscure recumbent racing discipline to use the Grand Slam for training! Anyone can do it. The next Grand Slam ride will offer distances of 50 or 100 km.

The next Grand Slam ride is taking place on Sunday 19 March and is a 50/100km loop taking place in woodside. More info @ bikesa.asn.au/grandslam

You can find out more about Pedal Prix here