Friday, November 18, 2011

Cycling's heroics* - #1 - Kayla Beaconsfield's effort

More than seven thousand cyclists joined the likes of Simon Gerrans, Matt Keenan and Kayla Beaconsfield, taking over Melbourne's EastLink in the Ride for Home. The charity ride raised $300,000 for Hanover, a welfare charity who help out many Victorians experiencing homelessness.

I caught up with Kayla (daughter of tweep Mark Beaconsfield), 11, yesterday to find out how she went on the 15km ride with her family.

 I'm guessing you’ve never ridden that far before all at once? How did it feel?
I have ridden 20km before, but it was different because we stopped at some parks. But there were more hills on our 20km rides. If you count the ride to and from the station on Sunday, we did almost 30km.
And how was it “taking over” the EastLink? Did you guys see Gerro or anyone else?
It was fun. The road was wide and smooth and there were no cars to worry about. We didn't get to see anyone, they were doing the longer rides.
Your dad know what your average speed was?
No, we didn't take any notice, because we were having so much fun. Dad said we went 50km an hour down the hills in the tunnels.
Was there a point out there on the ride you thought, this is too hard, I want to quit? If so, what got you through?
On some of the uphills it was hard. Dad helped by giving me a little push. But that was near the end and I knew there was not far to go.
You reckon you’ll join your dad for really long rides one day?
I do some rides with dad. When I get better at riding we will go further.
I hear you ride to school/from school – was that good training for last weekend’s ride? How far is that ride?
Dad brings my bike to school and we ride home together. It is 1 and a half km. I sometimes go out after school and ride around the block, so that helped with the ride.
If you could improve your ride to school – e.g. better safety – do you have any ideas?
Dad has been teaching me how to ride safely on the road with cars. When we get to the main road, we go on the footpath and cross using the pedestrian crossing.
You follow pro cycling? If so, who are your favourite riders? And do you have favourite races to watch?
I watch it sometimes on TV and have been to a race with dad (Jayco Bay Classic) I like Cadel Evans and Jens Voigt because he says "Shut up legs!" I like to watch the ladies races too. At the race I went to, I got to meet the winner, Rochelle Gilmore, and the rest of the team Honda girls. They took photos with me and gave me a team hat.
Can you remember when you first rode a bike? What do you remember?
I only started riding about 2 years ago. Dad helped and when I got going I thought "This is fun"
Tell us about your current bike (if it’s not your first one, what was your first bike?)

It is a pink bmx, I used to have a smaller blue Bratz bmx, but then I got too big for it.
If you ever became a pro rider, do you reckon you’d still ride to the shops?

Mum and Dad don't drive, so when we go to the shops, we always walk, ride or catch a bus. I would love to ride in races when I'm older. 
If you could ride anywhere in the whole world right now where would you ride?

I never thought about it. Maybe somewhere with lots of hills to go down.
Tell us what’s the best thing about riding – why do you like it?

It's fun and we get to see lots of places you cant see from a car.
My stepdaughter is 8 and she sometimes likes long rides (she’s ridden 12kms before, over a couple of hours), but mostly doesn’t – what would you say to kids AND ADULTS who
a) Don’t ride

Give it a try, it's fun and it's good for you. 

b) Don’t ride, they really really want to start but are afraid (especially if it’s to school)

Go to a park or somewhere where there is a bike path away from cars and practice. Thats what I did. Don't go on the roads if you are nervous or scared. 

c) Do ride, but don’t want to ride very far

Do short rides, as you get better, you will start to go further and further.

Kayla's Dad - @markbeaky

Takin' it to the peleton


Time enough for a salute


*This is inspired by a quote from Bill Strickland "I'm done with cycling heroes,not cycling's heroics"
 ** I also think it's pretty heroic to teach your kids to ride

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Life Cycle

Anything could go wrong.
Today, it's a cleat that needs fixing.
Takes more than a tweak,
Eats into the hour I had
this week
to climb up the back of a razor.
But on I battle with winter,
with time,
this machine,
and obligation.
To him and her now I dash.
Put off the cycle.
This should be easy.