From rowing to cycling

09May08

I started rowing in 1999 as a 14 year old at school. My first few experiences of rowing involved falling in the not so clean Yarra River in Melbourne. Despite my early failings I stuck with it and ended up making the school 1st VIII and becoming Captain of Boats. While in the 1st VIII I had the luck to be coached by among others a guy called Drew Ginn. At that stage Drew had already won an Olympic Gold Medal in rowing and was one of my idols. He introduced all of us in that crew to cycling as a way to cross train for rowing.

I bought my first road bike in late 2002. It was a full aluminium Giant equipped with Shimano Sora. I loved it. I had only had it for a month or so when I got hit by a car for the first time. For some reason I was hooked straight away and no amount of lost skin was going to stop me from riding. So despite my mother’s pleadings to not ride I went out and began to explore the roads around Melbourne. Over the next couple of years I increased my endurance, began shaving my legs and dreaming of winning the Tour de France.

I was still rowing but my love for rowing was slowly beginning to be replaced by my love for the bike and riding. Right up till 2006 I was still riding my faithful Giant, which had survived a number of car crashes and despite a few new wheels everything else still worked, well kind of anyway. However, once it was replaced by a Cannondale with Dura-Ace (big step up from Sora) there was no looking back and I began racing in 2006 winning my first race.

By the end of the of the 2007rowing season I decided to stop rowing and concentrate on fully on cycling. By that time rowing had begum about chasing a goal and I was no longer doing it for the enjoyment. The complete opposite to cycling. By that stage I could ride for 6hrs and never get bored so the decision was easier than my family and friends thought it was.

I celebrated my first 12 months concentrating on rowing last month. It has been an unbelievably steep learning curve and sometimes I feel like I don’t even know how to ride a bike. I feel so lucky to have been given this opportunity over in Belgium and half the time I still can’t believe that I am here.

Some people have said that rowing has probably held my cycling back. However, without it I probably wouldn’t have found cycling so thanks to rowing and Drew I am currently riding and racing in Belgium doing what I love.

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One Response to “From rowing to cycling”

  1. 1 tim schulz

    loved reading your story – i’m a rower in sydney, and ride my bike a lot. I’ve been riding a cheapie MTB for a while, but have recently got my dad’s old road bike going, and love riding it. i think i’ll stick with rowing though, for the time being!


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