The Weekly Rider - Pete Arnott

Pete has done some ridiculous things on a bike. The Malburn native now living in Darwin has a palmares that includes multiple Everestings, multiple High Rouleur rides, a double Everesting, mountainbike stage races, and a continuous ride Melbourne to Adelaide. It seems Pete rather enjoys riding his bike.

We talked talked to Pete about his pedalling obsession.


 Photo credit - Brendan Edwards

Photo credit - Brendan Edwards

Name: Pete Arnott - Darwin NT

Dream Bike and why

Anything I'm given. I'm currently on a Focus Izalco Max (I prefer Izalco Mini due to it's size), and it was a birthday present from my partner - so I'm lucky enough to have an amazing girlfriend and my dream bike! And she suggested we holiday in Adelaide for the TDU next year... I should drop a knee.

What is your favourite local ride and why

A tale of two cities.

Most Friday mornings I ride a 30km loop starting in the northern suburbs of Darwin, heading south to the city and returning to one of my favourite cafes in Nightcliff. The traffic is typically light, the sunrises knock the socks off anything on offer "down south" (down south is a phrase you quickly pick up in Darwin, meaning basically anywhere else in Australia) and I always ride it at a relaxed pace. Throw in some of the few hills that Darwin has to offer and some tropical scenery and I'm in my happy place.

In Melbourne, probably a Dandenongs loop that includes 2 laps of The Crescent - one of them at full noise. It is perhaps my favourite road anywhere.

What is your current cycling goal

Numerous and ridiculous. I don't shy away from too many challenges on the bike, and I usually have a project on the go. Currently I've turned my attention from riding for really long periods of time (like, Dave Edwards long periods of time), to getting faster... much faster. And I do have unfinished business with Burgundy St in Heidelberg (Melburn, not Germany)

When I am on the bike I.... 

Pedal

How did your love of bikes come about?

I've always ridden a bike of some form or other from about the age of 4. I got quite into mountain biking at the start of uni, and a road bike purchase came a few years later. But it really took over as a passion a few years ago. I'd spent years back country skiing, white water kayaking, bushwalking and generally spending a lot of time outdoors - but this came with time constraints and and a reliance on weather. And when I started riding hills with a bunch of new mates from Hells 500 in Melbourne, I realised how much reward came out of a small time investment.

Share a cycling memory

Riding from Melburn to Radelaide with 3 incredible humans? Nah - those guys have covered that pretty well.

A double everesting? Nah - I wasn't even the first.

Everesting in Darwin by completing 850 repetitions of an 8% "hill". Nope - that was horrible.

The Big Lap? Yes!

One week before i moved from Melbourne, some mates invited me on a ride dubbed the Big Lap. 300km in length with 5000m of vertical elevation in the Victorian Alps, including some little ridden roads, it was one of the best rides I have ever been on. My legs were pretty fucked after riding to Adelaide the week before - on top of a week of mountain bike stage racing in New Zealand - and I could feel a cold coming on. But I was so excited to be out with such an awesome bunch, and with a support car in tow, I was stoked to leave my pockets mostly empty.
Starting in Bright in the dark, and finishing there almost in the dark, it was a full day out of beautiful roads, stunning scenery, exceptional climbs and I don't have another adjective for how good one particular descent was. Akin to racing the 3 peaks course, but basically a private tour, I would jump at the chance to do it again.

I love to ride because.... 

I find it so satisfying. I get as much out of a flat out road crit as I do a mountain bike marathon, yet have no preference of these over a relaxed recovery ride or 30-odd hours of hill repeats. I don't treat riding as an escape from anything or as an outlet. I treat riding as my life.
And also so that I can eat more food and drink more coffee

Any sponsors you'd like to thank? 

The fine folks at The Ride Cycles in East Kew, Melbourne have always looked after me well down south (thanks Paul and Aaron!). In Darwin, I have Blue Cycles (run by 2008 Australian u23 TT champ, Matt King) helping out. And occasionally my bro-in-law throws me a bone through Local Empire and The Living Edge (cheers James!)

 Pete on his Focus "Izalco Mini" - Credit Robyn Stanley

Pete on his Focus "Izalco Mini" - Credit Robyn Stanley

A couple if interesting facts about you

I'm often referred to as "Pedal Pete", but sometimes also Pistol, Pocket and anything small that starts with P.

I've completed several everestings and several HRS rides - including a double everesting.

Early this year I took up an invitation to ride from Melbourne to Adelaide with some other Weekly Riders well known to you :p.

After every everesting/hrs/eric ride, I've turned up on a Tuesday morning for the Hells 500 RFWYA ride to prove that I can still rip legs off up steep hills when I'm shagged.

I've recently been rather engaged in writing a blog - www.pedalpete.net - it's all about my riding

Despite all the long rides I've done, I prefer hitting short and very steep hills the most. At 163cm and 55kg - I can get up most steep pinches quickly and easily!

I struggle to find well fitting kit, so often have shit falling out of lose jersey pockets.

I set a top 10 on the Lake Mountain Strava segment with a hangover (quite possibly still drunk).

I am constantly criticised for my lack of ability to provide an adequate draft for the riders behind me.