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Lycra Love


Share the Joy.

Ok I’m going to deviate from real estate a little.   As they say, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’.

So what should a middle age man do with his spare time?  Please note that by spare time I’m talking about the time between 5am and 7am in the morning. That is, the time after waking and before school lunches have to be cobbled together, mercurially produced from leftovers and mysterious fridge remnants. Before pleats have to be ironed in skirts and bus passes uncovered from impossible hiding places.

This is a special time.  A time for men to gather.  Manly men. In coloured lycra. Some who shave their legs.

Sure much fun has been poked at this desperate pastime of men to salvage the fitness and power of youth.  A last desperate grab at the virility and strength of the young bull.  

I honestly didn’t believe the cycling bug would strike me.  I am not obsessive by nature….or so I thought.  A couple of rides a week that was the goal.  I bought a second hand bike and three years later I’m a tragic.

The upsides have been many. I’m generally much fitter. I’m an active role model for my kids.  But most importantly I have fulfilled a human need.  To belong.  Cycling is tribal.  With secret codes and hidden meanings. Like a Masonic secret handshake you belong only if you stayed up late watching the Vuleta or the Giro or the Le Tour.  You must know that Durace is better than Ultegra, that disc brakes belong on CX bikes, that steel is real and not all carbon is created equal.  

And there is another layer.  A social layer that goes beyond the coffee afterwards or the chat on the bike, talking faster wheels and lighter frames.

This other layer is “Strava”, social media for cyclists.  We share our heart rates, our cadence, our speed, our wattage and our ride routes.  And as always there is chest beating, a chance for one-upmanship, to win virtual trophies and trash talk each other.  This digital exchange continues long after the ride is finished. Covertly operated below desk height , while co-workers attend to paid tasks. Online bromances flourish. Lubricated by the serotonin and endorphin release that cycling brings about. That commonality of shared joy.

At the core of cycling really is the “hit” it provides. The anticipation and release. The Big Hill conquered.  The 100km ridden. The mad sprint against your mates. The dizzying descent at breakneck speed.  

I challenge anyone to ride a bike and not feel some of the powers of flight, and extraordinary speed.  Wind in your face. At one with the elements. We live in a beautiful city. Ride along the river. Dolphins, sunrises and early morning bird song. King’s Park, the Perth Hills and gorgeous ocean-side coastal rides.

So I do this because now it makes me feel whole. The cycling me is a better version. Whether I am negotiating a home sale or goal umpiring at kids football, the feeling as my body rebuilds each day is addictive and a reminder that tomorrow I get to do it all again!

Derek Baston

Vic Park Life

White picket fences and backyards with mulberry trees. Apartments and town houses and villas and everything in-between. It’s got a bit of everything.

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