Sarah Hammond is the Weekly Rider. A serial Everester, she's planning to take on the epic 2016 Trans Am, a 6,800km self-supported race across the U.S.
We talk to Sarah about why she loves to ride.
Name – Sarah Hammond
Lives – Melbourne
Dream Bike – Custom Built full Ti Baum, all shades of purple
Favourite local ride – Toolangi Yarra Glen loop
My current cycling goal is - The 2016 Trans Am, currently the only Australian on next year’s roster, this 6,800km self-supported race across the U.S. will be the most difficult challenge I have taken on both mentally and physically.
When I am on the bike I……am generally trying to work out where the noise my bike is making is coming from, due to my less than passable bike maintenance skills.
How did your love for bikes come about – what started with the humble commute to work, was the natural progression to follow of alloy becoming carbon, one bike becoming many and flats becoming up. I’ve always been motivated by challenging myself and constantly finding ways to out ride my last goal. I’m incredibly driven when I set my mind to something. The bike gives me that, without limitation.
Share a cycling memory – in 2008 I entered the Marysville Lake Mountain 140km charity ride. With barely more than 50km ever completed prior and only receiving my first ‘real’ road bike the night before, I set out to complete this challenge. It was horrible, the bike wasn’t fitted to me, I didn’t know how to use a drop bar, I had to stop to get my bidon out of the cage and I still hadn’t mastered cleats. I pushed on though and eventually rolled into Marysville thinking it was over, when it was pointed out that the finish line was ‘up there’, the summit of Lake Mountain. How hard can it be?
Within minutes I was off the bike walking thinking what the hell? I had no food or water left and the incline did not appear to ease off for what felt like forever, I eventually started pedalling again at the same speed I was walking when my mate who drove out with me came past in the car after finishing. I got off the bike and was so ready to quit as I wasn’t even half way. My mate did what all good mates do, he deliberately didn’t stop knowing it would force me to finish. This was the defining moment for me when I knew I wanted to be a stronger cyclist.
I finished the climb hours later and it took me almost 5 years to revisit Lake Mountain as it was this torturous memory for me. This time I rode it with ease realising how far I had actually come. It never gets easier, we just get stronger.
I love to ride because – It provides balance in my life for me. We all get so caught up in the manic day to day. Cycling is an outlet from the crazy, an opportunity to hang out with my favourite people, a way to see the world and travel across it. And of course a reason to eat more.