Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Amateur Australian Cyclists

Apparently heaps (Australian for a lot) of Australians do think that they are Australia's next cycling champion because now that it is Spring, the amateur cyclists are out in droves.  When I first arrived in Australia, I noticed that cycling seemed to be fairly popular here, but now that it is a bit warmer out, it seems as though I grossly underestimated Australia's penchant for cycling. 
There are many amateur cyclists roaming the streets and they are as diverse as they are many.  Old, young, man, woman...they all pedal their hearts out.  They often showcase their enthusiasm for the sport in groups, tight knit cycling clubs basking in the Australian sunlight, feeling the smooth pavement under the rubber of their tires as their legs pump like organic pistons.  They are totally committed to cycling, they are one with the road in a way that cannot be attained by operating a motor vehicle.  They are a fusion of man and the will to be fit but also reach a particular destination in doing so.  They spare no expense when reveling in their passion, donning full body Lycra racing suits, lightweight aerodynamic helmets, fingerless gloves to combat perspiration and ensure a steady grip, and of course, those special expensive-looking cycling shoes that lock neatly into the harnesses of their pedals.  Their bikes are not just the forgotten mountain bike in the garage or the old Schwinn collegiate hanging up in the shed, instead, their steeds are top of line racing cycles, perfected machines that are often more expensive than my last car.  Truly amateur athletes, hearing, and rising to the challenge.
More often than not, the "cyclists" are middle-aged, overweight men with disposable incomes who have taken cycling on as a hobby, or as a "way to get in shape".  Coming from Connecticut (where I would sporadically see the lone cycling enthusiast), I asked around to see if I could determine why, here in Australia, there was such a huge influx of amateur cyclists.  I was told that when the Tour De France came through Australia, all of these people were "inspired" to get into shape, etc.  Apparently their interest wanes a bit and then resurges, since at certain times of the year you see more of them than at other times.  Good for them for taking some initiative I suppose.  Below are a couple of songs I enjoy running to, but I suppose they would be equally good for cycling.

Wolf Gang - Lions In Cages
Queen - Don't Stop Me Now
The Pass - Cross Walk Stereo

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