We get it, you’ve only just finished buying your Chrissy gifts for Mum and Dad and that selfish Santa neglected to bring you that fresh kit you really wanted. Even your K.K. gift wasn’t cycling related. Now you’re embarking on a week of riding goodness at the Tour Down Under and you have one major dilemma... you’re broke. So what’s the best way to have an amazing week and not break the bank you ask... read on young Padawan.
Words - Katie Quinn Cover Image - Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo
Without a doubt this will be your biggest cost. Hotels bump up their prices and the best Airbnbs book out early. But hey presto... everyone you know **ahemmm “follow”** on the Gram is heading over and you could always beg for a bit of floor space in exchange for whipping up a mean Spag Bol for the household. You’re their Follower, and Follower just means Friend you haven’t met yet (or potential stalker – but don’t make this weird). You’d be wise to kindly inform any potential host that your form is better than theirs, and since you’re a climber you don’t take up much room. Failing this you’ll gladly provide free entertainment with all your best Dad Jokes.
2) Accommodation Numero 2
If times are getting tough call your mother. You’re bound to have a distant relative that lives somewhere in the vicinity of Adelaide. Be aware that since Adelaide was the only colony not built on the backs of convict scum they may be less than impressed if you don’t call beforehand. Note to self - clean those chain marks off your legs before you recline on distant Aunt Judith’s white sofa.
There’s a supermarket just around the corner from the Hilton. Scoff down a Clif Bar before you enter the air-conditioned thrifty-traveller paradise though, or else you may become the proud owner of Aisle Number 3. Two minute noodles should set you back less than two dollars, even with TDU inflated prices. You could potentially save yourself a bomb (and a ton of calories) by preparing and packing a light lunch. Sure – café food is fun, but squashed vegemite sangas are both nutritious, delicious and practically free. Or do your best to dress like the pros (fancy tracksuits anyone?) and if you’re really lucky, or really good at faking a strong European accent you could score yourself a seat on Gouger Street around 8pm.
Water is free... might taste a little different with their funny (aka clean) pipes Adelaide has and all that. That liquid gold we refer to as coffee always is hot and from memory only a gold coin donation around at the Rapha Pop Up. Bargain!
Another big cost. If you’re getting around Adelaide on anything other than your bike or your own two feet then you’re throwing your cash away. As for getting from home to the Festival State, if you weren’t savvy enough to pick up a cheap flight there’s still time to put up a FB post. Split the cost of petrol with a pal and share the driving.
The vibe at TDU is amazing. That’s why we love it. Obviously we’ll all be having a ball watching the race and climbing all of the hills by day, but don’t forget there are lots of street parties and free things to do in the evenings. Plenty of cycling-superstar spotting needs to happen at the Village and from the Hilton Bar balcony. Getting close to Sagan is basically a sport unto itself.
7) ALL OF THE KIT
It’s hard to resist the temptation to stock up on some new kit whilst in the heart of Australia’s cycling Mecca. Rapha and Black Sheep have special kit for the TDU just begging to be bought, worn, loved and Grammed. If you find a way to avoid the urge to make that new purchase, you’ll have to let us know how you managed!
Following these helpful cash saving tips will ensure your trip to the Tour Down Under this year presents opportunities to exercise on your steed, rather than taking up running… Running out of money! Sometimes all you need is a billion dollars to have a good time, or sometimes just a few good mates, some snazzy Lycra, hot summer days and a single beer on Wilunga Hill.