The Weekly Rider - Wayne Schwass

He's an inspirational figure, Born in Christchurch NZ, moved to Warrnambool at 3, almost joined the Army at 16 until North Melbourne FC asked him to play for them.

He lived with mental Illness for 10 of the 14.5 years he played AFL and is now a passionate mental health advocate and is planning his next big mental health bike ride.

'Married to a beautiful lady and father to 3 amazing kids... Might write a book one day. When I grow up I want to be a pro cyclist!'

Name: Wayne Schwass

Where do you live: Macedon Ranges

Dream Bike

2017 Giant Propel Advanced SL 0. Giant are introducing SRAM eTap to their 2017 model which is an exciting addition and will help reduce the overall weight making these bikes even faster especially when descending.

What is your favourite local ride

I love climbing north side Mount Macedon. It's a beautiful climb of approximately 11 kms to the top of the mountain and during summer its a magical place to spend time with the active wildlife, lush green vegetation and picturesque views across the ranges. The descent down the south-side of mountain is fast and if your game enough your top speed is well above 90 kms.

What is your current cycling goal

I have 3 cycling goals.
1. Is to attempt an Everesting & High Rouler in December this year.
2. Compete in my first ever Crit series in December this year.
3. Tackle 3 Peaks Falls Creek again in March 2017


When I am on the bike I....

am free.

How did your love of bikes come about?

I started cycling in my last couple of years playing football but didn't get serious about the sport until we did a charity bike ride from Sydney to Melbourne in 2006. The more I started to learn and understand about the sport the more I feel in love with it. I love the fact you can get as much enjoyment from a solo ride as you can riding in a bunch.

Share a cycling memory

The charity bike ride we did in 2006 was to raise awareness about depression and mental illness. We rode 1100 kms over 10 days riding through 37 rural or remote towns and each night we held a community forum to talk about the importance of mental health.

Many of the 21 riders and 9 support staff joined because of the opportunity to ride from Sydney to Melbourne over 10 days but by the end of the ride many of the riders and staff had shared their own experiences with mental illness or openly said they'd learned so much about mental illness. I could never have imagined that a ride to raise awareness about depression and mental illness would have such a profound impact on many of the participants and the people and communities we spoke with.

I love to ride because....

it makes me happy. Cycling is such an important part of my life for many reasons, its a great passion of mine. If I'm not thinking about my family I'm thinking about my next ride. I love the feeling of being on my bike whether it be a solo ride where I'm trying to better my previous time or in a bunch trying to ride a smarter ride or hang on to a group a little longer than the last time.

Wayne is sponsored by Craig Jansen and the team at Giant South Yarra with my bikes and kits.