The weekly rider - Lloyd Shanks

Lloyd after completing the Audax Alpine Classic Extreme, a 250km epic rid though the Victorian high country

Calling all riders.  La Velocita is looking for people  to share their cycling stories with us.... where you ride, why you ride, about your bike and more.  

Today we are talking to Lloyd Shanks, long time cyclist with an eye for boutique bikes.

Name - Lloyd Shanks

Lives - Fitzroy, Melbourne

Dream bike - I am currently in love with my custom Lightspeed AX Eddy Merckx complete with mechanical Campagnolo Record, Thomson/White Industry accessories and custom leather Busyman saddle and bar tape.

If I wasn't pedalling around this beauty and money was no object I would be on a Storck Fascenario 0.6 (G2) with Super Record EPS and Lightweight wheels. I think my accountant might suggest I pay off a little more of my mortgage before I "invest" in something of this calibre.

Favourite local ride - Mt Pleasant loop, Dandenongs loop including the wall. For something a little further away Lake Mountain has always been a nemesis weather wise, the current tally is Lloyd 2 : Lake Mountain 1.

My current cycling goal is... To recover fully from a periformis strain and ride Fitz's Challenge in Canberra and then train up for what will be my seventh Alpine Classic. Love the Victoria Alps.

When I am on the bike - I forget about the worries of the world for a short while and am only concerned about the burning in my legs.

Lloyd's custom Lightspeed AX Eddy Merckx or "Eddy" - a titanium masterpiece

How did your love for bikes come about? It all started at the age of 15 when a few friends had started catching the train out to Belgrave to ride up to One Tree Hill and plunge down the trails. I went out coughed up $1,100, which was quite a substantial amount due to my hourly wage of $5.50, on a zero-suspension Balance CR550 with Deore LX running gear.

At the time the RockShox Judy suspension was highly sort after however a set of these would set you back around a thousand dollars, the equivalent of 180 hours behind the grill at KFC. It wasn't going to happen so I just soaked up the bumps with the arms for a year or two until I had a more substantial pay packet.

In October 2006 that I started loving the road form of cycling. I purchased a 1996 aluminium Francesco Moser with Shimano 105 drive chain. What followed became a passion of building bikes, training and taking part in events like the Round the Bay in Day, Otway Classic, Kinglake Ride and eventually the Alpine Classic and Alpine Classic Extreme.

Share a cycling memory - My fondest memory of cycling was a day in Borg d'Oisans, France in 2011. It was hot, around 36 degrees, and we spent the day wandering around town eating croissants, cherries and consuming un-homogenised milk.

Don't be fooled by the calm blue water, Alpe d'Huez and a world of pain is around the corner.

Rising above pool in our camp ground (Camping La Piscine) was the beauty and horror of Alpe d'Huez. We spent the afternoon gazing up at its glory and contemplating the right time to give it a crack. When the mercury had dropped to 32 degrees, around 6:00pm, we rolled out of the camp ground. For the next 1 hour 10 minutes and 43 seconds we experienced what our heroes go through each July.

The pain, the suffering, the glorious unmatched views
— Lloyd Shanks

The pain, the suffering, the glorious unmatched views of the valley below. Each hairpin brought some relief until the next ramp which pitched up in front of us and riding into the village, which was mostly deserted, was an unforgettable experience.

I think I could actually hear a crowd, devised by my own imagination, roar we we took the final turn and approached where the finish line would have been.

I love to ride because... In today's sedentary life we need to challenge ourselves and push ourselves hard enough to release the endorphins and hormones which balance us out and make us happy.