Adam Dawson is the weekly rider! He loves to ride and gets out to the Dandenong's for some climbing whenever possible... easier said than done with two children under three. So of course coffee is important to him.
Adam's an engineer, and will be hopefully one of the guys taking out the level crossings in Melbourne. We spoke to him about why he loves to ride.
Words and Images - Adam Dawson
NAME - Adam Dawson
LIVES - Rowville, VIC
I feel a bit guilty talking upgrades as I've only had my current bike (a Giant Defy 3) for 9 months and it's done me very well despite its modest specs. That said, I'm currently eyeing off a Cervelo S3 with an Ultegra Di2 groupset as a big 30th birthday present for later this year.
FAVOURITE LOCAL RIDE
I was recently introduced to a 60km loop that takes in the 1 in 20 and some truly picturesque climbs through Kallista and Monbulk. The coffee and protein balls at the Emerald Bakery half way through are also a highlight!
MY CURRENT CYCLING GOAL IS...
It will be my first full year on the bike so I was originally aiming for 10,000km and 100,000vm for the year; it felt like a nice combination of respectable and achievable. I then got a bit braver and decided to try and do more climbing every month than the previous one.
At my current rate it will have to be a 150,000+vm year to achieve it. I'm hoping I haven't bitten off more than I can chew, but at the same time I'm discovering more and more great local roads to rack up the elevation gains on.
WHEN I AM ON THE BIKE I LIKE...
like to mix things up. I often commute to work and it's not uncommon to see me take five different routes in during a week.
HOW DID YOU LOVE FOR BIKES COME ABOUT
As a kid I was always on my bike but once I could drive it became very rare. I got back into riding when the stress and expense of unreliable cars finally got to me, and since then I just keep finding more and more excuses to get out on the bike.
I enjoy the social and competitive mix of cycling and the enormous energy boost it gives me at the start of the day. I also grew up around the Dandenong’s and have always loved being up there, but find that exploring them by foot or by car is nothing compared to getting out on the bike.
SHARE A CYCLING MEMORY
These days I love my climbing, but that certainly wasn't always the case. The first climb that defeated me was Station Street in Ferntree Gully (700m at an average of 4%). It doesn't sound like much but I was out of shape, very new to commuting by bike and rocking a folding bike with little 20" wheels and 6 gears.
The gradient steadily increases and every morning I would run out of gears about 2/3 of the way up, grind away until I was almost tipping over for lack of speed, and then do a walk of shame up the last 50-100m depending on how hard I'd failed.
One day I decided no; no walking today. I was in absolute agony and it felt like the bike was coming to a standstill at the bottom of every pedal stroke I was going that slow, but I made it up, and I never walked it again. I also went out and bought an actual road bike!
I LOVE TO RIDE BEACUSE...
It's like hitting the refresh button in my brain. After a solid 1-2 hours my head feels clear, I'm full of energy for the rest of the day and all of the little annoyances in life have melted away. It's fair to say that cycling's been a huge turning point for my health - both physical and mental.