Saturday, 24 January 2009

More than a race

Very hot, very humid. So why not stay home and take it easy?

Because there is bike race at 8.15am and you need to sign on, warm up and race.


It’s fun, it’s satisfying, good people and provides an extra focus for training during the week.

It was a normal criterion meeting at the Nundah circuit in Northern suburban Brisbane, Australia.

All the club members who were not in Adelaide at the Tour Down Under and who had not stayed home to avoid the heat turned up and there were good fields for A, B, C, D and E grade events.

I signed on for D grade, did my warm up, worked hard during the race and left it to the sprinters to fight it out. All in all, a good day and a great work out that even left me with enough in the tank to do a rowing and weights session later in the day.

However, the real highlight for me was a conversation I had with an E grade competitor after the race.

He came 4th but explained (almost as an excuse) that he receives a handicap of a lap head start because he is a category 9 licence holder. Now I am 50 years old and \my licence is a 5. Now I am not sure how the licencing system works but was pretty sure this guy was not 90 years old.

So I asked how old he was and he is 70. This guy is overtly fit and healthy and a testament to a sport that accommodates his desire to compete. Fantastic indeed and a real inspiration.

We chatted for a while. He started racing in 1953 (you work out the age) but gave it away in the late 60’s and did not ride again until the 80’s. He returned to racing in 2000 and has done so ever since.

He told me he still have his original bike from 1953 and until 2000, had never ridded a bike with a derailer.

I mentioned I regretted not having discovered cycling at a much younger age and he said he regretted stopping when he did and was now making up for the lost decades.

While we were chatting 2 other riders came along and confirmed he was riding in the morning (Sunday). He then told me about their usual 60 kilometre Sunday ride.

As I said, truly inspirational and a pleasure to have a chat with.

Safe cycling.

1 comment:

Groover said...

There are some very inspirational riders in our club, indeed, and it's great to chat to them. To pick the brain of someone with 50 or more years of cycling experience is very special and humbling. We can learn so much from them.