So who am I? Born in 1985 I grew up on the east coast of Australia. Cycling there isn’t as big as it is world wide, however like many cycling communities there are some strong diehard pockets of avid cyclists. I always however used to make fun of road cyclists. I never thought I would find myself wearing lycra let alone compete in some amateur races adorning the stretchy uniform.
I guess I’ve always been in two wheels though. My parents made me ride my BMX to school each day. This started in grade three and it was 5km each way. I by far rode the furtherest in my grade and also my school at the time. I loved it. I was lucky enough to live in a house backing onto lots of vacant land of which was uncleared. This allowed me to create my own bike tracks and jumps in the bush.
My cycling didn’t stop there. In high school I kept riding and moved up to a cheap mountain bike. I would often take the long way home from school. Finding jumps to hit along the way. Try race trains so I could get under the bridge as they passed over me. I didn’t know any other way. I did go to a private high school. Lots of kids would live closer to school than me yet get picked up in a car by their parents each day. Give me the option of riding or getting my mum to pick me up soon school is a no brainer.
Fast forward to finishing university and getting my first professional job I was really only using my quads for commuting. I had a steel single speed bike. Not many hills where I lived but enough stops that it was good for strength training.
It wasn’t until I was offered a spot as a fill in for a mini triathlon that I discovered road cycling. The swim was 400m open water. I did so badly that the life guard asked if I was okay. The run was basic, I have flat feet and really find running boring so I didn’t do too well. The cycling leg however I smashed. I used my single speed bike and beat a lot of cyclists that that that were on their pinarellos with full disc rear wheels. My bike handling saw me cut inside lines. Have Marshalls call out to slow down as I entered the uturns. I smashed it and I loved the feeling.
Not wanting to wear the lycra my next event saw me by a second hand cervelo S1. It was a hill climbing event and the night before I drank too much wine. I wore a cycling jersey but refused to wear lycra pants, instead I wore board shorts. I guess I looked really odd. Here am I with a fairly nice bike. But wearing a skateboarding helmet, sneakers and board shorts.
I ended up beating all my friends on that climb and overheard many other climbers say “look what he’s wearing” or “look at that sandbagger”. I loved the success. I didn’t train for it. It didn’t come naturally. It wasn’t however a gift. Instead I had just ridden a bike for a long time.
Addicted to this feeling I started to wear lycra and go to cycling specific gyms. I would easily do over 500km a week. Commuting 75km a day and sometimes doing 150km in the day as I added more distance on. I tried my hand at races, crits, road and track. I loved to compete and I was fit as all hell. My ftp watts per kilo was close to 4.8. A climber but not many hills around.
Life happens and I moved overseas for work. I kept competing but the racing scene in California is something else. My racing level didn’t carry over to the USA so I had to start near the bottom. These boys take risks. Half the races I was in there were crashes. Ambulances. Broken bones. Definitely broken carbon. I didn’t want to be apart of it. That’s when I quit.
I don’t know where you’re at with your cycling or fitness routines. But I know if I break routine I can pretty much gaurentee I’m taking a long break. It’s hard for me to get back on the horse. If I don’t have a goal then I give up. I didn’t ride road much since then. Mainly mountain biking.
Here I am now.