Guy Stoddart

For those with a keen eye, you’ll notice the Hells 500 jersey  Guy is wearing. Guy snuck in an Everesting just under a month back.

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This week I go for a ride with Guy through the Adelaide Hills, although Guy had to slow it down a little for me to keep up with him.

This is Guys story.

In the last 8 or so years cycling has grown to be a huge part of my life. After growing up bodyboarding and using a bike as transport I moved away from the coast, became quite motionless, sad, lazy and unhealthy.

Since starting to ride I’ve changed the direction of my life and now work as a personal trainer and aim to further my studies possibly becoming a sports psychologist, although at the moment I love the hands on nature of being in the studio in Unley.

I have a wonderful partner who is uber supportive and my number one fan/cheer squad. We are planning to get married at the end of a charity ride later in the year while in Byron. (http://inmemory.gofundraise.com.au/page/GuyStoddart)

My son who is almost 20 months is already hooked on bikes! He will wear cycling caps, helmets and glasses around the house and he isn’t ever very far from one of his many trikes!!!

Where is home?

Home is Adelaide and has been since early 2015, but home will probably always be Northern NSW, Ballina. The easy pace of life, beaches and the mostly happy times have a strong hold on me.  But it’s interesting how it’s changed as childhood friends and family have left the area and my own little family has grown. If my partner and son are with me home can be anywhere.

  • How did you got started in cycling.

I was living on Beach Road, Melbourne and every morning I would wake to the sound of cleats clicking in after riders stopped at the traffic lights. I’ve always ridden for transport but one day I decided to do the out and back from home to Mordiallic and back. I was hooked!

From there I got some hand-me-down Lycra and bought a proper road bike and I’ve not looked back!

  • Are you just a roadie, or do you cross over to other disciplines?

Roadie! Though I do run and do triathlons. Just depends on the focus of the year. Last year I didn’t ride too much and focused on long distance running and next year I’ll be back focusing on triathlons.

  • How many bikes do you own and what is your main go to bike?

Well 3 that are mine and 2 that Helen and I share for commuting or family rides with our baby seat.

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Recently I bought a Giant TCR which I’m in love with!!

  • What bike do you covet?

Geez! Ummm. There a lot of sexy bikes out there! Probably the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX. I saw it in January while the Rapha pop up shop was in town. ‘Twas love at first sight;-)

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  • How do you store your bikes?

They all share the walls in the garage. Though the TCR does get some spare bedroom time.

  • Do you do all your own maintenance or do you use a LBS? If so, which one?

Hahahahahaha no! I am pretty average at fixing my bike. I’m planning to do a course this year to become more sufficient with bike care. I can do the basics, that’s all..

  • What cycling specific tools do you have in your “bike shed”?

A multi tool, couple of spanners and Allen keys. Cleaning products and old shirts as rags. As I wrote above I’m a novice mechanic.

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  • What is your favourite piece of cycling kit or accessory?

Tough. Hmmm. Let’s say cycling cap. Why? Because I’m one hairy chap and it keeps my locks from blinding me when I gets windy. Keeps the hair out when I hope off the bike, and my son loves finding them and wearing them. I associate caps with the smiles and passion my 19 month old already has for cycling.

  • What do you love about cycling?

Being outdoors, being active, exploring and being self reliant. I wrote a bit more below about how cycling has impacted my life. It’s been a huge positive in my life!

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  • What annoys most about cycling?

Besides the basics of not having enough time or cars that drive too close it is having to eat so much. Seriously that’s the most annoying thing. Training for longer distances I find keeping the calories up tough work. It’s the biggest concern I have for the Black Dog ride later in the year.

  • Other than yourself, who is your favourite cyclist?

Simon Gerrans. No real reason, just saw him at a St Kilda CC crits one year and he seemed like a good guy.

  • If you could have dinner with 3 professional cyclists, who would they be?

I’m not a close follower of specific people/cyclists. Probably, Simon Gerrans, Danny MacAskill (bike skills!) & Peter Sagan (get some wheelie tips and he is a fellow hairy man)

  • What are your craziest/fondest cycling memories?

Thinking about this one there are a few rides that popped into my mind, however none stood above the rest. Cycling has changed my life. I’ve pushed myself beyond what I ever thought possible. I’ve overcome laziness, depression, a tendency to drink too much. I’ve met amazing people, seen beautiful areas of the world and the simple action of cycling still shows me beauty in people everyday!

  • What is your favourite post ride coffee/tea spot, and what would you normally buy?

Usually I’ll take up every second cause when I arrive home I put on my dad pants. Though we might take Noah out on a Sunday after my ride and the Market Shed for a vegan ice cream cakes never disappoints.

  • Have you ridden overseas? If so, where?

I hired some horribly heavy mountain bikes in India one time and tried to ride the hills to go Zorbing (roll around in a large inflatable ball). But the thing was so heavy it was pushed most of the way up hill… Flew down though.

And a couple of short rides near Bordeaux and in the English countryside.

  • If not, where would it be?

But I’d love to ride around S.E. Asia. Have seen some strava rides of people doing epic long days with lots of vert in Thailand! Warmth, hills, cheap amazing food! Sounds perfect!!!

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  • What is your favourite training route?

I’m still a newbie in the Adelaide bike world so fav training route is still anywhere starting and ending in Bright Vic.

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  • What is the biggest cycling lie you have told your partner?

Not very exciting here. We are very open and she is super supportive so no need to stretch the truth here.

  • What would you like your partner to buy you for your next birthday?

My weight in Clif bars!

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  • Is there a local cycling outfit/company/cycling club/cycling group/person that you would like to plug?

Hills & Yonder!!! Stumbled across the gear in January and really liked the designs. Recently I took on everesting and felt comfy all day in the gear! Looking forward to training for and riding the 2700km charity ride later in the year looking freeeesh and confident that my gear will feel good all day!

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  • Is there anything else you feel like talking about?

This year in honour of my mum who took her own life a few years back now I am training to ride from Ballina to Airlie Beach (then back again) to raise awareness and money for the Black

After riding in quite a few cities and towns around Australia have to say Adelaide is the friendliest! Keep it up Radelaide!

Jus picking up on Guys mention of the Charity ride he’s embarking on later this year, here’s a grab from the “gofundraise”web page that i find quite moving.

Hi everyone,

This has been a long time coming. For some time now I have personally wanted to push myself physically while trying to bring awareness and hopefully some funds for a charity that is close to home. With a conversation between my lovely lady and myself one day, the seed was planted. In October this year I will be leaving from Ballina, NSW and heading up to Airlie Beach, Qld, turning around then heading back. This will cover 2600km, and the plan is to cover the distance in 12 days. I’ll be starting day 1 with a marathon (42.2km on foot) then day 2 will be 160-200km on the bike, day 3 run, 4 bike….and so on for the 12 days. Why Ballina to Airlie? Ballina was the very first spot our family became aware of mum’s hidden struggle, where she first attempted to take her life. Airlie Beach was were she always wanted her ashes scattered. I’m not sure if I can fulfil her last wish as I write this due to matters out of my control but that is what I’m aiming for.

My family has experienced first hand what mental illness can do. My mum kept quiet about her struggle and it sadly ended with her taking her own life. She felt she needed to keep it all in, and felt ashamed when she attempted to take her life and survived a year earlier. She never spoke to anyone, despite us wanting to support her. After her death my family struggled to talk about it and some to this day refuse to discuss it. I would love to help make that discussion easier for people and one of the ways to achieve this is to remove the stigma. That is why I have chosen to raise money for the Black Dog Institute. They aim to help people feel comfortable enough to speak up when they are depressed or anxious. They help promote that mental illness is common, manageable and not a reason for people to feel isolated. They help provide resources for families and friends to support those going through difficult times. They are constantly raising the bar via research and implementing new ways to help people slay their black dog.

Depression is also something I have experienced at various times in my life. When I stumbled upon cycling, running, and endurance sports I found  a way to combat my own Black Dog. That mixed with the amazing love from my family and friends, and opening my dialogue, has put my life in the best spot ever! So it’s an honour to have the ability to undertake an adventure such as this with the support and encouragement from those closest to me. I’m constantly blown away by the enthusiasm and raised hands offering to help in anyway. My favourite request is from my niece who wants to help support during the run/ride, however it will cost me a t-shirt with “support crew” on it:-)

Please, if you can, donate to this amazing charity and spread the word amongst your friends. No matter what, please try to learn a little more about mental health (http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/ has great resources). And, if you’re in the area and have a bike or shoes ,I would love your company along the way.

I think we all have friends or family who have been touched by depression in one way or another, so please help Guy where you can.

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