A legend about the beginning of Soup Boys tells that three founders met in a taco bar. Can you tell us more about it?
All 3 of us had just moved to Melbourne. I’d moved from the countryside to study, and Harry had just moved from Adelaide for the same reason. We ended up in the same class together, we became friends by discovering we both liked the same kind of hip-hop. The third co-founder was Harry’s brother Alex. He eventually moved to Melbourne for work, and Harry built him a fixie to get around town. We were all at a taco bar in the city celebrating the end of exams when out of nowhere Alex said we should start a bike gang called Soup Boys. We did, and the rest is history.
Except riding bikes you guys do a lot of other stuff. What else does link with Soup Boys?
A big part of what brings us together as a collective is our interests outside of cycling. From the very beginning we discovered we shared commonalities through music, types of food, creativity and a sense of adventure. We’re also fans of other sports like Formula 1, football and video games – all of this comes out in our content and storytelling, but also give us something to share when we are off the bike.
Soup Boys is a great recipe made with cycling, food, beers, fun and art. How did you find your unique voice?
When we started out there wasn’t really anybody talking about cycling as a sport or as a lifestyle in that kind of weird, casual way, so we didn’t necessarily try to develop or refine a particular tone of voice. We know that it won’t be for everyone, but the aim is to show people just like us that there is a community for them and a place to get their cycling fix in a more casual way.
How important is it for you to tell stories?
It’s at the forefront of everything we do. Across our entire collective we are all natural born storytellers, each in our own unique way, but at the same time complimentary to one another. We bring that together to showcase what makes riding bikes so amazing and special to us, whether that’s a fantastic adventure ride, local races, or even riding around the city.
On your Instagram we can see that you have a lot of good time riding together. Do you organise regular rides and/or races?
We hold a regular ride through our local neighbourhood during the week, which is used as a chance to catch up with each other rather that just speak in the group chat. For racing, we have a dedicated cyclocross team that races throughout winter, but on the road most of the time we only decide to race at the very last minute.
You are famous for tasting food during your rides. If you have to decide between fries with ketchup or Beef Burgundy what will you choose?
Because we’ve tried and tested so many different food options on all kinds of rides, we really are experts on this matter – so it all depends. If all you have left of your ride is a descent, then Beef Burgundy all the way. The extra weight will bring you bonus speed on the way down the mountain. Same applies if it’s a super cold day as something hearty will really hit the spot and make it a bit easier to jump back on the bike. That being said there is something special about the feeling fries and ketchup gives you mid-ride, especially here in Australia. If you pick up a “minimum chips” from a local shop and chomp down on them, you can feel the nutrients coursing through your veins almost instantly. It makes you feel invincible. To give you a concrete answer: if it’s an adventure ride go the Beef Burgundy. For a race, definitely fries.
Your locations are Melbourne and Adelaide. How would you describe riding there?
In Melbourne it’s all about the urban sprawl. We all live and ride around the inner suburbs where there is plenty of parkland, but is still dominated by suburban buildings. For Adelaide it’s all about the hills. You can ride for an hour and do 2 amazing climbs, then be back in the centre of the city in just 30 minutes. We’re also lucky to have a bit of a base in Victoria’s High Country too, which is all about the fresh air, big open climbs and amazing small towns. It gives us a nice change of pace.
Do you ride all year round? How are winters in Australia?
We try our best to ride all year round, but sometimes it can get hard. Melbourne winter gets pretty wet. Over in Adelaide it’s a bit nicer, and all the amazing riding close to the city means you don’t need to be out all day to get a good ride in. In our time we’ve experienced the best and worst of Australia’s winter, especially through our Winter Solstice ride that we have held on the shortest day for the last 4 years.
You have explored Europe for quite some time. What are the main differences between riding in Australia and in Europe?
From the crew that have explored Europe, the main thing that sticks out to them has always been the culture around riding. Here in Australia it’s still quite focused on sports and performance, even when you’re riding around the city. In Europe it seems much more relaxed, nobody is trying to race you down the street. You can get out and ride on whatever bike, wearing whatever you want. Another thing that sticks out is the infrastructure, whether that be bike lanes, or even the train network that allows you to head out to these small towns and adventure. Because we’re such a large country it’s a bit harder to do things like that here.
Describe your perfect weekend away with your team?
Find ourselves a big house out in the countryside, in a place that can offer some good road riding, gravel, and some stunning scenery. There would be plenty of music being played, we’ll watch some movies, cook a big dinner together, of course do some riding and go for a swim. Each year we’ve done something similar with what we’ve called the Soup AGM, which we have done over a long weekend in November.
link — https://www.soupboys.cc/the-stories/soup-boys-2017-agm-minutes
We are happy that you cooperate with Repete. Why do you choose to ride on our bikes?
A big part of it is bringing something different to the world of bikes. There’s a certain youthfulness that we picked up from Repete right from the get go, something that we haven’t really felt with a lot of other brands. As a lot of our own softgoods are DIY, we can also appreciate the craftsmanship of the bikes, and the work that goes into designing and producing them. Finally the Czech heritage appeals to our own design style, and is something really unique, just like us.