peta

Growing up we always had a mixture of bikes around the house. My dad would pick up old bikes people thought were trash and get them running for us to hoon around the back yard in. Bmx's, flat bar road bikes, steel road bikes, you name it, anything with two wheels.

I will never forget getting my first 'real' bike. One from the shop that was brand new. A metallic purple Apollo road bike with gears, drop handlebars with white bar tape and shiny silver wheels. At the time it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen!! Though on the first day I rode it I crashed it and buckled my front wheel. A lapse in concentration because I was too busy talking to my dad in excitement on the ride. Something’s never change, I still don't shut up but thankfully I have learnt how to control the bike. 

 School and life got in the way a bit and I returned to my love of bikes in my mid 20's when I was given an Avanti hard tail MTB for a Christmas present. At the time I was furious that someone had spent $500.00 on buying me this bike, oh how things quickly changed. Within a few months I had a top level Giant Anthem racing bike and I was racing as often as I could.

It was shortly thereafter I was selected for the long team in the AIS Dirt Roads to London project. As part of that training I got a road bike and started introducing some road kms with regular 'training' instead of just riding with the boys. It was quickly established that my physiology was suited to track sprinting and I swapped over to that discipline within a couple of months. 

I never got the same rush of adrenaline on the road bike as I did on the MTB but on the track bike it was taken to a whole other level. The speed, the tactics, the power, the weight training. I was hooked. 

I picked up a handful of Masters Nationals Championships and Aussie records in a relatively short period of time. Life then threw me a couple of swift curve balls in my personal life and I also opened my own business. 

My desire to train twice a day was replaced with desire to succeed in my business and I no desire to race unless I could train properly. I just felt it was disrespectful to myself, my coaches and everyone else along the way that sacrificed and supported me on my bike racing journey. I would never be satisfied turning up to a race knowing I had not properly prepared and could not get the best out of myself. 

So I sold the track bike and took some time to rediscover the joy of simply just riding a bike. It had been so long since I had ridden bike for no other reason than to just ride. No heart rate, no power meter, no stats, just the wind in my face and the sun on my back. I quickly fell in love again. 

One beautiful thing about cycling is the friendships you make along the way. Another reason I will never put the bike down again. Styles of kits, colours of frames and favourite brand names may change but the friends you make over the years of cycling are friends you have forever. 

There is something pretty awesome about getting over a high mountain or a long day in the saddle with a cycling friend, it’s like a bond. Fuelled of course by the stories at the local cafe after your ride. The things you see, the chit chat, the grind, it all makes for the best day.

Even if you come back from a horrible ride in the pouring rain and punishing wind. The next day you will always have a smile on your face.... ‘oh yeah that was epic’.