Sam Jeffries is the Weekly Rider! He's ridden from the MCG to Adelaide Oval via the Great Ocean Road in under 60 hours and finished the Peaks Challenge, Falls Creek in 24th, in time of 8:22 in the last couple of months.
Sam describes himself as 'another middle-aged, lycra-clad cycling tragic' but we think that he's a Hells 500 powerhouse that squeezes cycling around his beloved Radelaide Hills, being GM of a digital marketing agency and family. Awesome.
Words - Sam Jeffries
Name: Sam Jeffries
Where do you live: Aldgate, South Australia
Dream Bike and why...
Dream bikes come and go on very regular basis but always on the wish list is the simply stunning Colnago C60. So much style. So much class. So Italian.
What is your favourite local ride and why...
I don't really have an absolute 'favourite local ride' as I'm stupidly lucky to live in the Adelaide Hills, just 20 minutes by car from the city centre and on the doorstep of some of the best roads and routes in the country (yes, Im a touch biased), where else can you ride from a capital city and be riding brilliant climbs of quiet roads within 30 minutes?
Damn, we're lucky - we have no jobs and an economy in free fall but boy can we ride to our hearts content! From my home in Aldgate I'm insanely lucky to be able to have a 2 hour ride that takes me across to Deviation Road, duck down through Basket Range and loop back over Mt Lofty. An amazing 50kms with around 1,000km vert. If time is on my side there's always a Little Italy or Pound Road extension to really punish the legs and lungs up some 7% - 9% climbs.
What is your current cycling goal...
A simple goal that's going to be difficult to achieve... saying 'no' to Dave Edwards when he suggests the next cycling challenge.
It was Dave that was the brains (?) behind our MCG to Adelaide Oval ride in February and continues to make me excitedly nervous about how that could be topped.
When I am on the bike I....
feel like I'm free from the daily treadmill of life. Hey, life's great - I have a top wife, and couple or mostly excellent kids and a job I dig. BUT, when on the bike the mind runs free. It's such a simple release.
How did your love of bikes come about?
Cycling found me pretty late. I was fast approaching 40 years of age and tipping the scales at close on 100kg on my skinny and shoulderless 6'3"; frame. I was smoking too much and exercising too little. I've never enjoyed running so purchased (online) a Reid Osprey road bike... I was instantly addicted (note: the Osprey didn't last more than a couple of months before the seemingly endless bike upgrades began).
There's so much to love. I love the banter & back chat of social rides with mates. I love hitting hills solo in terrible conditions that let you know you're alive. I love Masters racing as it keeps my competitive streak satisfied. I love commuting by bike as it's so much better than sitting in the car. I love crazy-arsed challenges that test equally both the body and mind. I really do just love it all.
Share a cycling memory...
The ride from Melbourne to Adelaide is an absolute stand out and was both the craziest ride and fondest memory to date. It was remarkable on so many levels - we (David Edwards, James Raison and Peter Arnott) just hit if off and were on the same page from the moment the idea was hatched. Big thanks also to the legends that are Rich and Georgia Kemp who collected us from the airport, fed us, put us all up for the night... then Rich jumped on the bike and took us down to the end of the Napean Highway - the toppest of top people!
The task of riding flat-out from the MCG to Adelaide Oval really hit home when sitting on the Queenscliff/Sorrento ferry with around 100kms in the legs and realising we still had around 1,000 to go. A lot of banter, a lot of encouragement and a lot of madness is shared over a 60 hour period and those memories are going last a lifetime (however, there are few of those that I'd like to erase!)
Also thanks also to the big Melbourne Hells 500 crew that came out at 5.30am and played our wingmen down Beach Road.... that, right there, is what it's all about.
I love to ride because....
For me, it allows me to push myself - I'm now 45 but still feel there's a lot more I can do and improve on. So far this year I've ridden flat out from Melburn to Radelaide, won a couple of races with my local Adelaide Hill Masters Cycling Club, came 24th overall at Peaks Falls Creek and still reckon there's a bit more life in the old legs.
I also love the camaraderie - the cycling community in Adelaide really does have each others backs. The Thursday night before Easter there were three gents Everesting Knox Tce up at Skye and the support was simply massive! From 5am in the morning until they finished at 4.am Friday morning (23 hours later!) there were heaps of people riding laps to give their support. Many of weren't great mates but just cyclists that wanted to show some respect - it's quite amazing.