Cycle of life


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

We get great letters to the editor every issue. We often publish letters that we don’t agree with, but feel these pages should reflect your views, not ours. (We do, however, reserve the right to edit letters when necessary.) The letters are a very popular part of the magazine, and we love getting them so we can publish a wider variety of points of view. We’re also proud to host your comments on this blog. In fact, as of next issue the letters page in the magazine will be called “Letters and comments” so that we can incorporate the top comments from this site in the hard-copy collection. Write to us at [email protected] or leave a comment on any of the articles or pages on this site.


Ride On content is editorially independent, but is supported financially by members of Bicycle Network. If you enjoy our articles and want to support the future publication of high-quality content, please consider helping out by becoming a member

One thought on “4”

  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *