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Cycling is the new golf ...

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by blacknblue, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. ... with or without clubs

    John Huxley joins cycling enthusiasts in Adelaide for the Tour Down Under.

    Resplendent in the white, black and blue road-riding colours of the Sydney Cycling Club, the former president James "Doc" Guthrie steps off his $8000 bike, surveys the Adelaide cityscape and smiles.

    "You know, the beauty of this place is that here people wave their hands at you; in Sydney they shake their fists. Here people throw you kisses; in Sydney they hurl abuse," says Guthrie, 56, a university professor.

    He is one of an estimated 2000 Sydneysiders in town for the Tour Down Under, a week-long celebration of cycling that is part world championship, part community fun ride, part festival of bike gear and the active, cosmopolitan lifestyle it advertises.

    For Guthrie, the joint leader Pino D'Aguanno and their 20-strong group, that has meant riding 100 kilometres a day, often along the race course, joining 7000 other cyclists for the community ride.

    In between rides they have been chilling over lattes at the Cipo cafe, checking out old Malvern Stars in the Retro Velo exhibition, and swooning over the state-of-the art road bikes in the Super Elliotts shop in Rundle Street, where $20,000 buys a lustrous paint job and a lot of high-tech bike that weighs as little as 6.5 kilograms.

    And, of course, they have been following the tour, which this year has attracted the legendary Lance Armstrong, a seven-time winner of the Tour de France who formally came out of retirement this week to raise awareness of cancer, which he survived.

    He has proved a genuine sporting superstar: accessible, articulate, a man on first-name terms with admirers such as Barack Obama, Kevin Rudd and Wayne Gleeson, 48, who has travelled from Parramatta with his wife, Kirsty, to see him race.

    "Got him, got him," Gleeson shouts. He waves a camera in triumph after fluking a blurred shot of Armstrong, half-buried beneath a media scrum before the stage-ride to Victor Harbour.

    "He's a groupie," says Kirsty with a practised, "boys will be boys" smile.

    Armstrong's impact, as drawcard and role model, is incalculable, says Frank Conceicao, a stalwart of the Eastern Suburbs Cycling Club who runs training camps, free children's classes and a shop in Waverley that is riding the present biking boom.

    "He's huge. Him and the live coverage he attracts," says Conceicao, who like most committed cyclists dismisses lingering rumours of past drug-taking by Armstrong as scurrilous cheap shots.

    Alex Unwin, Bicycle NSW's chief executive officer, says healthier lifestyles, poor public transport, especially in Sydney of all the capital cities, and, until recently, rising petrol prices have also helped to create the road-biking boom.

    Whatever the reasons, bike sales have surged, out-numbering those for cars for eight consecutive years. The percentage of ride-to-work commuters has increased greatly.

    And, in words believed to have been used first by the visionary Melbourne investment house boss Craig Bingham, road cycling has "become the new golf", creating a new culture among middle-aged, mostly affluent men, seeking fun, fitness and informal networking.

    Some clubs quibble over the categorisation. Mr Conceicao points out that the 200 members of the Eastern Suburbs club range in age from 16 to 64, and include "retirees, high-fliers and everyday Joes".

    Doc Guthrie counts lawyers, builders, business executives and academics among his riding mates. But he says the club is open to all: rich, poor, young, old, male and, most definitely, female.

    He is enjoying Adelaide with his partner, Julz Stevens. Isn't the culture all a bit blokey? "Not at all," she says. "They look after us, encourage us."

    The Melbourne-based Bayside Bandidos, though, happily embrace a narrower demographic, advertising themselves on their vests as "the mid-life crisis bike-riding group".

    Its president, Richard Storr, says members must "dance like nobody's watching, work like they don't need the money, love like they've never been hurt". And "ride like a bandido", like they didn't have wonky knees.

    Inevitably, bikes have been the biggest talking point in Adelaide. One man waiting on the roadside for the race riders to fly by is almost knocked over in the press of the crowd. "I don't mind being pushed," he says, righting himself. "Just don't touch my bike."

    But there is little "mine is lighter than yours" bragging. And little evidence of competition among the road-riding tourists.

    Not that it is all smooth riding.

    Rod Knutson, of Sydney, was knocked off his bike. "Black eye. Split lip. Seven stitches in a finger. A reduced sex life. An $8000 bike totalled. These things happen."

    Even in Adelaide

  2. The biggest parallel between golf and cycling.... All the gear and still shit.
  3. WHAT? a cycle without an engine, well i never
  4. Bet they're having fun riding around Adelaide today - 45 degrees!
  5. For $8000 I'd expect my bike to have a bloody engine.
  6. An $8,000 pushy!

    Wow, that guy could probly afford rego for it...
  7. Shit stirrer.....
  8. Don't be silly! He still has to buy his lycra!
  9. what is it with that lycra, what happened to "ATGATT" :grin:
  10. ^^ That IS ATGATT! :LOL:
  11. All The Gay...
  12. More in common than you think, these lycra homos & you lot, you know....
  13. Does that also apply to girls? :roll:
  14. i find that my lycra slips on my seat.. can be a bit of a bugger if you hit the brakes to cheack out a nice new treadly in a bike shop as you go past
  15. We wish on female front. Im convinced half of them are gay, lycra my ass :jerk: I used to ride a mountain push bike for years, never recall wearing lycra. :roll:
    Used to be you would see these guys once in blue moon, now packs of them everywhere.
    Good exercise and getting fit, reduce polution, no probs, I get it. But the way they straddle the whole lane, doing half the speed of the flowing traffic as it is their god given right, purely selfish a-holes :evil: I reckon. If we all did same on motorbikes, how long you reckon it would take before cops pulled us over for obstruction to traffic?
  16. the only answer is pushy rego
  17. Good move! What do you do with kids then? We already have problems with childhood obesity - let's put up another barrier to exercise. :roll:

    What precisely do you hope to achieve by registering bicycles?
  18. Very droll, sir! :p
  19. its only because even as a kid i rode heaps and was still fat.. i used to ride to the takeaway shop of course