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 Ray Hassall, coffee loving Brisbane based rider who likes mixing it up with some of the biggest names in cycling.
Name - Ray Hassall
Lives - Brisbane, Australia
Dream bike - Baum Corretto with Campagnolo Super Record and some fancy Zipp wheels. Is that a thing? I'm not really a gear head to be honest. I do remember seeing a few all-black high end bikes at Cafe Racer in St Kilda when I first started riding and thinking they were beautiful bits of machinery....they're probably museum pieces now.
Favourite local ride - Brisbane Corso, Mount Coot-tha and Mount Nebo. There are some really interesting looking climbs in the Gold Coast hinterland I'm keen to have a crack at when I'm fit again.
My current cycling goal is - To get back into riding! I've had a year off with family, study and work obligations and I'm just 'starting' to get back on the bike.
When I am on the bike I - Occasionally fall prey to the delusion I am athletic, always enjoy the company of friends and watch the scenery.
How did your love for bikes come about - An attempt to woo my (now) wife and a way to offset a fair few years of dissolute living. I quickly realised it allowed me to indulge some passions (sitting around drinking coffee) and opened my eyes to a whole new incredibly rewarding subculture.
Share a cycling memory - Where to begin? My wife talked me into doing the Audax Alpine Classic not long after we started dating. I think I did the 50k version on a cross bar bike that first year but from that point on I was sold. I did two more, a 200 km and an attenuated 125 km the year after (with a fair bit of assistance). The whole weekend was just fantastic. The food, the company. I can't rate it too highly.
But I have very specific memories from a couple of training rides. Particularly a ride up Mount Hotham and realising we were riding higher than the launching point for the paragliders. That was pretty amazing.
Another weekend ride out to Black Rock through the mist in winter when everything was quiet and everyone seemed to be moving really smoothly up to the front and peeling off. Lots of fun. We're planning to head over to ride behind one of the classics when our son is a bit older and I hope that will be equally memorable.
I love to ride because - of the company mainly. Almost without fail I've met great people and had a great time with them. What more could you ask for?