Beep, beep, beep – 5:00 were the digits on the clock as I rolled over in bed. It was a Tuesday morning and today’s training ride was hill climbs up the You Yangs. Dad was already up and putting on his riding clothes. As I climbed out of my warm bed, to put on my riding clothes, it was still dark outside so I grabbed my lights for my road bike and walked to the kitchen to fill up my drink bottle. We both went out to the shed where our road bikes were hanging from the roof. We put our riding shoes on, helmet, gloves, then off we rode into the early morning with our tail-lights flashing. Six Ways is our meeting spot to wait for the others guys that will join us on our morning ride, as The Lara Latte Group.
That is my daily routine most days of the week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s are easy rides of about 32km (EDITORS NOTE: Easy=Average speed 1kmh less than hard!). Tuesdays are normally hill repeats up the You Yangs, then Thursday is our hard ride of 32km normally with a average speed of around the 35km mark. Then the weekends are around the 50km mark in and around Geelong and Little River.
I’m Luke a 16 year old from Lara,who started riding in October – I wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps to be a great cyclist, I have ridden over 1,400km; I also race with the Geelong Cycling Club. Its hard work doing this but I have trained really hard with the aim to win my Club Championship, which I came 4th in this time. I was very disappointed with that result, but it has made me work so much harder now to be the best cyclist I can possibly be.
My determination to be the best is my thought as I pedal up the You Yangs. I’m the youngest in our group but the all the others take me under their wings to teach me everything they know, especially Rob Gaylard, aka The Silver Fox who teaches me about sprinting, Jürgen Strauss is the nicest guy you would meet, Scott Meadows is the best lead out man and a great friend, and my dad Barrie Kinnersly who is my hero out on the bike.
I’m sitting on dad’s wheel up the front with two others; we are riding up the hill at a steady pace with two corners to go till we reach the top and I dig in deep, my legs are stinging from the lactic acid build up, I push through and bridge a gap of about 100m, as I reach the top. I’m first over the hill, then as we decend down the You Yangs, I think 4 more climbs left.
I’ve had 9 races with the Geelong Cycling Club, achieving 3 second places, five thirds and one fourth place. I haven’t finished first yet and that is driving me to train harder, eat healthy and recover quicker, my mind is my key to my training and dad, of course who is my coach, has taught me everything he knows, and I reckon he loves watching me race and training with me, I reckon his dream has come true.
Doing what I do, I have to make sacrifices. I don’t get to sleep-in much, eat mostly healthy food, not hanging with friends as much, but I love to ride and race. My mum is the best, she makes me all my favourite food before my bike race, she supports me even though she hates me riding on roads with cars. When I am out on my bike my mind is free, with only the sound of the bunch chatting. But doing all this wouldn’t be the same without a coffee at Rods, which by the way is the best coffee shop in Lara after our ride, as we sit there we all chat about the ride, or how once again Graeme was up the road, or they ask me about my races and we laugh and hang stuff on each other. Then its home for a shower then off to school for six hours, then home have a shower do some homework then have a delicious tea made by mum, then off to bed. Then when I wake in the morning I do it all again. That was my typical day and I love it.
By Luke Kinnersly