If you ride in Melbourne, you will have seen The King's Men storming up and down Beach Road, in the Dandenongs and at various events. We spoke to 'The King' about the how the TKM institution came about.
Words - The King Images - TKM
TKM was born out of a desire for a safe yet high performance ride away from the uncontrolled mayhem of the North Road Ride and The Hell ride. Me and a few mates started riding together around The Bouly and Albert Park Lake and eventually to Beach Road.
It was one morning when I jumped out of the saddle and sprinted for the BP line and crossed with my arms in the air proclaiming that “I am The King”. It was received with much amusement and the name stuck. Others, however, challenged my superiority and before long a tally was kept on a spreadsheet as to who had the most victories.
Soon others claimed they were unable to win the sprint as they spend more time rolling on the front of the group on the way back and were not naturally a sprinter. So the now self proclaimed King decided he would rank people on GC based on how much time and the quality of the time they spent on the front.
From there, riders were given their own names. A constitution was formed which has over 130 rules and regulations of the system and the general manner in which the ride and TKM is conducted along with club status rankings and associated privileges. Although as much a joke as it is serious it is the foundation of what is now one of Melbourne’s strongest and most intriguing cultures.
With a one in one out general policy, numbers are roughly capped to control peloton size and the integrity of the ride and the quality of experience that we bring our members yet we are trying to create some windows in the walls of The King’s Men Kingdom to allow more people to experience what is on offer as well as assimilate ourselves with other organsations and clubs involved with cycling including feeding riders into the NRS.
If you're keen to get a glimpse of the inner workings of TKM they are running the inaugural 'TKM Ride Different' on the 28 and 29 November 2015 that will take you from Wangaratta to Bairnsdale via Hotham.