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Cycle of life

30 July, 2012

Back in the day, I rode the Malvern Star to my part-time job each morning. It was dark that time of the day and I could hear the whirr of the dynamo against my tyre, and feel the resistance it created against the pedals. On weekends I rode down to the local shops. Back then we rode because we had to – my parents both worked and there was no alternative. It sure kept you fit! Once I turned 18, I passed my driver’s license test and the Malvern Star was relegated forever to Dad’s shed.

Cycling for enjoyment started many years later when I discovered that it was a great way to commute to the pub for a beer. The joy of cycling was infectious and soon saw a larger group of friends (dare I say peloton) emerging. We extended the distances, still finishing at the same point to rehydrate. As our endeavours approached elite level (25km), we would stop frequently for a rest and a chat to the chagrin of more accomplished riders.

We love our rides, both the exercise and the camaraderie. Lately we’ve flirted with the Dark Side and purchased the odd piece of lycra. We stretch it lasciviously over our bellies in a fetching sort of way but struggle to get the Jerseys to meet the Knicks. Sure, it makes you feel a little effeminate, but deep down we can feel the smouldering sexual tension radiating from our female contemporaries.

I eventually went to the bike shop, made the ultimate sacrifice and bought myself a new Malvern Star Oppy. Now, thanks to Zipp and SRAM, I get to the pub 40 seconds faster but have to buy the first round. We suffer for our art.

The peloton still looks like a mismatch but the ‘real cyclists’ have begun to begrudgingly give us an almost imperceptible nod as they pass in the opposite direction. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, they allow me to ride with them in the bunch. At 50ish we’re pretty laid back. I haven’t shed any weight. The further we ride, the more diverse the restaurants and bars. Now I ride because I want to, not because I have to. But every weekend when I climb onto the Malvern Star, I become that skinny smart-arse teenager once again.

Back in the day!

Iain Indian, Oak Park, VIC

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. 31 July, 2012 11:07 am

    Ride-On, this is one of the best in a while, good choice.

    Iain, we would never begrudge you on the roads mate, if you can throw your leg over it, and ride it, you are one of us (Hears chanting and sees glowing eyes). As you venture out further, you may not loose the weight, you just become a paradox to your doctor🙂

    • Iain permalink
      12 August, 2012 4:15 pm

      Thanks Eddie. My surgeon bought the same bike.

  2. Sjoerd Zwart permalink
    15 August, 2012 2:08 pm

    Riding should be a way of life… getting rid of the mandatory helmet for the home/shop/school trip is a good start. (Motorised) Drivers should be educated that they do not have the sole right of use of the roads is another topic that needs to be addressed. Then separate bicycle lanes on main roads makes things safer as well. I am Dutch and refuse to cycle over the footpath as some seem to prefer to do…

  3. Lesley S permalink
    15 August, 2012 3:13 pm

    I rode my bike everywhere from 7 years of age and to me it represented freedom. On reflection, I never thought I was fit, but when I joined the army at 19, I realised I had strong leg muscles that helped me to run. I still love riding and am looking forward to passing my car to my daughter soon when she gets her drivers licence so I can ride to work everyday and feel the freedom again at the age of 45.

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