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ALTHOUGH not competing seriously at the moment, Michael continues to cycle regularly - both on road and off - but with so many commitments and lots of travel for speaking engagements, it's not always easy to find the time.

Family camping weekends offer an opportunity to ride to or from the campsite and Michael often takes a bike with him when he flies, just in case he gets a few hours free.

He's often spotted on his bike in Canberra and surrounds and people sometimes even email him (via his website) afterward with a comment or two. Here's a couple of recent ones:

"I must say I was mightily inspired by you when I passed you on the hill leaving Wee Jasper yesterday. You're colossal."

"I briefly (I mean briefly) saw you at the lights in town today along Northbourne Ave on my old bike before you departed. I have heard...stories about how fast you are but nothing prepared me for the speed of your departure. You passed me and four others from a standing start. It was a sight I will never forget. Truly amazing!!"

Over the summer Michael has been a regular competitor in Canberra's weekly Citerium Races at Mt Stromlo and he joins bunch rides on the roads around Canberra a couple of times a week. last week he rode with a group of young tri-athletes in Sydney.

His favourite place to mountain bike around Canberra is Sparrow Hill but he also recently rode the trail between Glenbrook and Woodford in the Blue Mountains, first up the fire trail and then down.

"I won my first race ever at the Crits a few weeks ago. I ride in E Grade so am nowhere near the best riders but I really enjoy it and coming first in E Grade for me is a real achievement. I rode a good, smart race which is the most important thing to me.

"My favourite road circuit is about 80 kilometres long and it takes me out in a loop past Mt Stromlo and Uriarra Crossing and then back over the river at Cotter and home past Parliament House.

"The Sparrow Hill tracks for mountain biking are amazing but I also have Mt Majura on my doorstep. It takes me less than five minutes to ride there and then I have miles and miles of different tracks to choose from. It's awesome.

"Canberra is a fantastic place for cyclists. Lots of cycle paths, good wide streets and drivers that are generally pretty accommodating. I feel safe riding here and I feel cheated if I can't find the time to ride.

"It's kind of embarrassing getting emails from people who've seen me riding although I'm pretty conspicuous so that has to be taken into account. It could work against me though so I'm careful to always do the right thing. I don't want any emails from irate cyclists or drivers. I haven't had any yet...."

1 Comment Posted

Alan Anderson | Tuesday, 21 October 2014 11:39:19 PM
I am one of the three guys who built/is building the trail network at Sparrow Hill, and it gave me quite a lift to see your comments. Thought you might be interested in my new website, sparrowhill . info, dedicated to all things mountain biking at Sparrow. And a plus for us and the future of Sparrow should you "like" the website on Facebook. Sparrow is a commercial forest, and I fear is due for clear-fell harvesting in a couple of years, destroying all tracks. I have started a campaign aimed at persuading the ACT Govt to redesignate Sparrow a mountain biking recreational area. So we're going to need all the strength we can muster.
All the best, and hope to meet on the track someday.