I USED to be a hater. Cyclists on the Gold Coast are like seagulls on hot chips and I was quite passionate in my disdain for them.
They would ride past my house at 5:30 in the morning – in packs of ten, carrying on conversations at top volume.
When I was crawling out of bed at 7am, they would already be finished with their exercise and snobbishly critiquing the latest coffee shop.
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On the road, I was scared out of my wits on many occasions when a cyclist dangerously appeared out of nowhere.
Their blinding, neon get-up looked ridiculous – from alien looking helmets, to skin tight lycra, unmanly shaved legs and shoes that are the reverse of walking in high heels. It was awkward to witness so I can only imagine how it feels to wear.
I have to admit, though, I was intrigued.
Many years of running had not been kind to my knees or back and cycling is low impact. The gym gets old after a while but cycling interacts with the real world, outside, in the fresh air. Completing exercise and then getting ready for work is a process but cycling is functional in that you can actually ride to work – plus it is supposed to help the environment and your hip pocket.
What started as an innocent curiosity soon led me down a path of no return.
When a friend invited me to join him for a ride I was assured that my cowboy walk wouldn’t last more than a day or two. Without even realising it, I agreed to wear bike pants instead of boardies to expedite that process.
By my next ride I was convincingly persuaded to trade my 10-speed mountain treddly for a state-of-the-art carbon fibre road bike. This thing – just wow.
I knew I was sold though when my contentment with instant coffee was replaced with a discerning taste for double shot soy lattes.
Before I knew it, I had spent a couple of thousand dollars and found a new passion in life.
I don’t even recognise myself!
This weekend is the Gold Coast Cycle Fest hosted by Tour de France great, Robbie McEwan. If you are on the fence about cycling, you should get down to Metricon Stadium to check it out. I can pretty much guarantee you won’t be a hater when you leave.
I hope they have good coffee!
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