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On community and challenges

February 15, 2010
I started Adelaide Cyclists not quite one year ago and starting riding a 'road bike' not to long before that. I was given it because I had been invited to join the Sunday morning ride with Kennedy & Co through my friend Fairuz and it was made very clear that my Giant commuter MTB I ride to work on most days was not going to keep up so I inherited Fairuz's Giant OCR2. My first ride into a headwind on Military Rd saw me waiting at Semaphore for the group's return from Outer Harbor and on my initiation to Norton Summit I only got half way. I am still a bit slow on the hills but get there and faced that headwind on the TDU and battled through. I am lucky to live near the hills so pretty much every ride I do I go that way and every ride throws up some kind of challenge. But I have never ridden to Lobethal.

If you are a regular to this community you will know, the use a cliche, the gauntlet has been thrown down to me to ride there in an event created by members Mark and Nick. Behind the scenes there has been a fair bit of good natured ribbing and virtual chest beating. A couple of weeks ago I thought I'd ride it and send Nick the pictures and GPS logs but the event was created before I could get there. So  The Inaugural Angus Kingston Lobethal Loop is on this Sunday at 7.30am and I'm ready! There will also be a collection for charity.

I guess setting up this online community puts me front and center of the cycling community so I am happy to be the fall guy for many reasons but mainly because Nick and Mark have used this site to create a spontaneous community charity event and I am grateful for that. It will be an event that will be continued as a regular group ride and get together (perhaps sometimes less challenging for others to join in).

It will be a challenge for me, as was the TDU. I am always mindful of the advice I have heeded that is to improve as a cyclist you need to always ride with people who are better than you. But while this is is my challenge it is not one all cyclists share. Many people ride a bike on a daily basis and don't need to ride to Lobethal to show their dedication. I am always in admiration of cyclists who use a bike for a daily commute (and one longer than mine) or who do not own a car and use the bike as their only means of transport in all seasons. That, to me, is a much greater challenge and one that I do actually aspire to but with a young family is so very much harder than getting a good cadence in a low gear and riding up into the hills.

Thanks to Nick and Mark for organising this group ride and as I said before if you would like to donate some money the charity is the Leukaemia Foundation – SA for my father who died of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma five years ago. Next time we'll pick a different charity.

Hope to see some of you on Sunday. More event details here.


pic: Carfreedays (Flickr.com/ CC)

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