I work FiFo as a Second Officer on a ship supporting the oil and gas industry for 4 weeks and then I get to spend time travelling and riding my bike for 4 weeks. An amazing lifestyle that allows me to go on adventures and see the world.
Images - Daniel Hutchinson
Melita Van Steel - Melbourne, Victoria
Making me choose one bike is like having to choose your favourite child*
Its a tough one to say but at the moment my dream bike is my current steed. A Stinner Frameworks custom steel road bike kitted out with Zipp components, Zipp 303s and Sram eTap. She is such a fun bike to ride, whether its bikepacking or crit racing, she can do it all.
*I do not have any children but could imagine it'd be hard to choose
What is your favourite local ride
Melbourne has a few good rides but my go to ride at the moment is a Nutfield loop. Its got some varied terrain, plenty of vert and gets you out past the suburbs and into some quieter country roads. Plus if I'm feeling extra adventurous ill throw in a Kinglike climb as well.
What is your current cycling goal?
Just to ride. My work keeps me off land and away from my bike so when I get home you'll generally find me out riding somewhere. I like to try new things, which earlier in the year was some bike packing (Sydney to Melbourne solo which was awesome).
As it gets closer to summer ill look at getting my crit legs back and enjoy smashing myself for 45minutes a couple of times a week but for now I will continue to enjoy the freedom of two wheels.
When I am on the bike I.... am usually always smiling (unless I'm hungry or we are on a pinchy climb) The bike takes me to another world and I love it and can't help but smile.
How did your love of bikes come about?
It all started in my early teens when a family friend suggested I give riding a go, he worked at bike shop and helped get me set up and out in the big wide world. Since then Ive been riding for about 12 years now but had some extended breaks thrown in there. You know, this teenage years you were out with you mates causing trouble.
I got back into cycling seriously about 3 years ago when I upgraded my bike and haven't looked back. Sometimes I wish I had kept at it throughout those years but I also wouldn't change a thing.
Share a cycling memory
One of my latest memories would be riding from Sydney to Melbourne. I set out solo with limited backpacking knowledge but I had a bike, a couple of frame bags packed, a rough map of where I wanted to go and set out to see what I could achieve.
It was such a crazy adventure, much of it is hard to put into words but to set out with a goal and get it done was such a great feeling.
It doesn't matter how far or how fast you go but as long as you go, it will be worth it.
I love to ride because....
Its free (except the buying a bike and gear part) but its such a great way to see the area you live in or a place you are visiting.
I also love it for the friends. I have made so many amazing lifelong friends that I've met out on rides. You can't go wrong with a shared connection of smashing yourselves on a ride and enjoying a coffee afterwards.
I'd like to thank the legends at Black Sheep Cycling for supplying us with some beautiful kit. I'd also like to thank Stinner Frameworks for handcrafting our custom bikes and painting them up for us along with kitting them out with Sram and Zipp components.