There comes a time in life when your body tells you that it is not as young as it used to be. You can never predict when this will occur, but the symptoms are pretty clear. If your kids can beat you at your favourite sport, then you are probably there. If the idea of chasing a soccer-ball causes a warning twitch in your left hamstring, then you are probably there. If your kids suddenly realise that you never played for the Wallabies, you weren’t a ruckman for Collingwood and you never even laid eyes on Bradman let alone bowled him for a duck, then you most certainly are there.
So what do you do? For years there has been but one solution… take up golf. It’s great! You get an excuse to frequent the pro-shop and a justification to purchase ridiculously expensive Titlelist graphite clubs and flashy clothing. You get to subscribe to golf magazines where you learn new tips, meet your heroes, and read about those dream courses that you just have to visit. You make new mates, keep yourself fit, forge a new interest and get to stay up all night watching the US Masters. And you get all this with the added bonus of being able to “get away from it all” for a few hours on the weekend. Best of all, you also finally have a sport that doesn’t interest your kids, meaning there’s still one that you can beat them at.
But lately there has been a vigorous competitor knocking golf off its pedestal – and that is the sport of cycling. It’s great! You get an excuse to frequent the cycling-shop and a justification to purchase a ridiculously expensive Bianchi carbon bike and lycra clothing. You get to subscribe to cycling magazines where you learn new tips, meet your heroes, and read about those dream rides that you just have to do. You make new mates, keep yourself fit, forge a new interest, and get to stay up all night watching the Tour de France. And you get all this with the added bonus of being able to “get away from it all” for a few hours on the weekend – while still being able to beat your kids!
Here in Canberra, cycling is huge. In fact there is a push to change the acronym “A.C.T” to stand for “Australia’s Cycling Territory”. Not only is Canberra the perfect venue for the sport with great bike paths, long smooth rides, numerous hill climbs (if you want them), and resident Olympians; it is also a city full of middle-ages executives itching for a sport that ticks all the boxes yet doesn’t involve a ball.
Hence, it made tremendous sense for the Canberra bureau of Parker & Partners to form a cycling team, making its inaugural appearance on March 3 in the “Big Canberra Bike Ride” – an event which raises funds for the Amy Gillett Foundation. The entire Canberra team of Parker & Partners (ie: Michael Hartmann) participated in the event. Resplendent in custom-printed lycra, Michael managed to complete the 110 km ride, raising around $700 in the process. Though grueling with plenty of leg-busting hill climbs and headwinds, it was much more a social and fun event than it was a race, and allowed the opportunity to meet other competitors and network with corporate teams, laying seeds for potential future business.
By Michael Hartmann.