Today marks one year since I made the decision to switch to cycling. It’s been a year of learning, experimenting, appreciating, believing. I’m looking forward to see what 2013 can bring me. Or should I say, I’m ready to take on 2013. As what D.Plews would say: Good things happen to people who make good things happen.
I wasn’t expecting things to fall on my lap. But neither was I expecting to start from ground zero. Losing my carding was a massive blow. Attempts to justify a probational status were futile. It was shut down with red tape, administrators with very little clue about the doors it could potentially open to our nation’s elite sports system. More importantly, shut down by people with no faith, no belief. With the small group of people who did see something, all we could do was put our heads down and started doing the work.
My first go at the track was not particularly a rosy memory. Spending race day morning at A&E sums it up. Big thank you to Track Cycling WA , the Clarks and the Wibberleys for the wonderful hospitality. It opened up a whole new perspective and it kept me looking forward to what might lie ahead.
Things began to shape up after 6 months. It’s quite clear the priority cycling gets in the country, let alone attempting to take on the track, where there isn’t even a velodrome. Bold dreams the skeptics have said and here I am now, ushering the new year in the summers of Perth, hitting the boards, doing my road Ks, becoming a cyclist.
Coming into the cycling community not so much as a rookie athlete, but as a newbie cyclist can be rather touchy of sorts. Some are more welcoming than others. It’s like joining a new company but unlike your conventional job, sport isn’t something people are used to. The best way to learn in my situation is by experience. As much as I would have hoped for, there’s no one who is going to show me the ropes. From my observation, mentoring isn’t particularly a big thing at home. But there are exceptions and fortunately for me, I’ve been helped along the way. The amazing people who have helped and supported me in my career will forever be part of my life.
I would not choose to learn the ropes anywhere else. The Wibberleys have opened their doors to me and they are the most wonderful family. Thank you for helping me settle in, getting me along to bunch rides and introducing the cycling culture. Coffee shop etiquette is just as important as rules of bunch riding, though my cornering still needs a lot of work.
I can’t wait to get back onto the track. Round 6 of the Summer Track Season had probably my best rides to date. After weeks of falling short in C grade, I’ve finally been able to put some race tactics into play. I’ve gradually learn to watch what is happening around me, I’m more comfortable on the bike which means I can actually react accordingly. In the process I won my first C grade scratch race, came in 3rd in the points, and 3rd in the 1500m Wheelrace. Thank you Track Cycling WA for awarding me winner of round 6 for Track Rider of the Year. It’s a small step, but it just might be the step I need for a break through.
2012, it has been a blast.
Photo courtesy of Julia Kalotas Photography