Presented by Black Sheep Cycling
Rich Kemp is the La Velocita Weekly Rider! From motorcycle racing to mountain biking, cyclocross and road, Rich pretty much loves anything on two wheels.
A passionate Hells 500 rider he's Everested and immersed himself in all cycling has to offer. We talk to Rich about why he loves to ride.
Words Rich Kemp
Images - Lewis Greenhalgh, Angus Crisp and Andy van Bergen.
Name: Rich Kemp
Dream bike: An upgrade to my current Sworks Tarmac as it's becoming a bit long in the tooth and deserved of a comfortable retirement.
Favourite local ride: The Dandenong's is rife with brilliant routes and fabulous vistas, but sadly due to its location I don't get out there enough.
My favorite weekly ride is RFWYA which brings together our motley crue every Tuesday from 6:30am for tough hit outs around Kew and surrounding streets.
My current cycling goal is: My goals are many and varied. I have an itch to complete a special Everesting in the coming months... and there's the small matter of this year's Melbourne to Warrnambool. Next year I hope to win a VRS race and to stay away for the win at The Hell of the West rather than for only half of it.
When I am on the bike I... Look good.
How did you love for bikes come about? I've been obsessed with 2 wheels forever. My Dad was a famous professional motorcycle racer and I'd inadvertently inhaled those competitive fumes from a very young age.
Having raced BMX as a youngster, I'd always had bikes, but it wasn't until I'd retired from racing motorcycles internationally that they took over my life. I'd needed a competitive outlet after returning to live in Australia, so 2 mates took me and my old London commuter up to Kinglake... I hated it soooo much that I took up endurance mountain bike racing instead - as well as competing in occasional Track & Cyclocross events.
Years later the road bike again beckoned, only now I was strong enough for the climbs such as Kinglake and beyond. I began road racing this year and happily embraced that competitor buzz again.
Share a cycling memory: I recently represented Australia at the UCI World Masters Championships in Denmark and had a blast. In retrospect, it was fun to have been handed my own arse in such a professional and surreal environment.
I love to ride because... Riding has provided me with some of my best friends and people. I consider them my brothers and sisters. From my Hells500 brethren and the amazingly supportive Everesting family I'm so very lucky to be a part of, to those I've met racing track, cyclocross mountain and road bikes, it's a sport and pastime I dearly love and to which I will be forever grateful.
Cycling not only fosters the competitiveness I crave, but also provides camaraderie and fun! Its freedom, fitness, friendship and something I'm so glad to have found and which is now such as a major part of my life.