The weekly rider - Justin Benson

Today we are talking to Justin Benson. JB loves to drop the hammer... With nerves of steel, we don't think he's ever touched his brake levers on a descent!

Most days of the week, you'll find him commuting out to The Glen from 'cycle central' St Kilda. He's out a little earlier some mornings as he and his ‘crew’, from MYOB and World Vision, head up to catch the early morning rays waking up the Dandenong Ranges - where going up means one thing… coming back down and pace!

Name - Justin Benson - aka "JB"

Lives - Where they all come to gather!  St Kilda, Victoria.

Dream bike - not sure I have one.  Just needs to be quick, light, have a bit of bling for a wheel set, and Di2 moving the gears.  Once you go electronic, you never go back.

Favourite local ride - anything up in the hills, especially in and around Emerald and Sherbrooke forest.  

My current cycling goal is... to get fully prepped for Scody’s 3 Peaks in March.  Also, I can't wait for my two year old to start to really smash it on his balance bike so that he can move on to pedals asap.  He loves to ride too - on his 'big bike’.

When I am on the bike - I’m in my own place, solve a lot of mental issues, don’t have to worry about getting boxed into traffic, and love to laugh my ass off when it’s pissing down rain… seriously, what am I doing?  LOL

That’s when it happened. Now I just love climbing… and descending… fast.
— Justin Benson

How did your love for bikes come about - I’ve always had bikes, but never really cared for riding as a pastime.  It was just something for getting me the 3km to work.  Then, when living in London, a friend got me into triathlons.  One bike was substituted for another and the training rides got longer and prettier.  Finally, when I returned back to Oz a few years ago, I met up with people from work and the surrounding businesses at our location, who not only commuted, but preferred to get into the hills.  That’s when it happened.  Now I just love climbing… and descending… fast.

Share a cycling memory - At the latest Amy Gillett Gran Fondo, of the 3 I’ve partaken in, my love for Di2 reached new levels.  I had changed my wheelset a day before due to rim issues on my standard set, which actually meant a bit of tuning was required.  Although I thought I had it spot-on pre-ride, it wasn’t until I turned to head up Skene’s Creek climb and heard that awful ‘tick tick tick’ as the chain searched for the gear and then slipped... repeatedly.  

A fair few riders around me gave the ‘ohhh’. And I know they were thinking, ‘mate, you’re cactus’… Oh no no no, my mechanical friends.  Pressing that little button, placing the rear derailleur into adjustment mode, I gave it a few clicks, returned, then back again for one more micro adjustment, and that was it, all whilst still climbing.  I never missed a beat.  Even I was impressed with how easy it was to tune on the move! 

I love to ride because.... it provides freedom, and a set time for commuting (+/- 5 minutes) to work every day.  I can also throw my 2 year old on the back of the mountain bike on a sunny day and head to the Zoo, passing as many trams as he can possibly point at.  It also accounts for 1.5 hours of exercise a day, which I don’t even think about as exercise per se.