08 Jan 2014

The Joys of Riding Rural.

Don’t wait for the light to come on at the end of the tunnel… Stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself.

08 Jan 2014


The following article appeared in the December edition of Triathlon & Multisport Magazine. Thanks to Rob Hay, the editor for allowing me to write the Welcome to my World article, it had a great response from friends, family and fellow CCTS club members. Also, thanks to Stewart Chambers for the photography.

Fringe Benefits

Living and training on the outskirts of Melbourne offers the best of both worlds, writes designer and triathlete Ryan Impey.

It’s cold. Just above freezing, and the frost is heavy in the paddocks around us. Despite wearing full winter kit, I’ve lost all feeling in my hands, toes, nose and ears. Someone curses the quick pace set so early on but at the moment it’s the only thing keeping everyone warm.

Pakenham, and the south-east suburbs of Melbourne, are the perfect training grounds for triathlon. Within a 60km – 80km loop you can head to the Dandenong Ranges and grind it out on a couple of climbs, ride to Mordialloc and do laps of Beach Road, or as we had done on this frosty winter morning, head further out to the rural areas of straight, open and quiet roads.

A great advantage of living on the edge of suburbia is that there is still a country town mentality here. Everyone knows everyone, people are (mostly) considerate when passing you on a bike, will occasionally wave or try to read what’s on your kit if you’re out for run. They’ll also stop and watch if you’re doing mass starts with four guys packed into a swim lane at the local pool.

“Don’t wait for the light to come on at the end of the tunnel… Stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself.”

The quote above used to hang in my parents study when I was a child, and for some reason, it has always stuck with me. My parents instilled in my brothers and I an ethic of setting yourself goals and through hard work and dedication you can achieve anything you set your mind to. This was reinforced in competitive swimming as a youngster, through to my studies at the end of high school and uni. It still resonates with me, even more so now, with my passion for triathlon.

I am a proud member of the Casey-Cardinia Triathlon Squad. Due to our smaller size, we are a tight knit group. We all get along and anyone wanting a partner for a ride, run or swim, knows that they’re only a message away.

For me, triathlon is the ultimate in a personal test of discipline. Do you have the motivation for those early starts? Can you follow your training plan? And can you push through those off-days? You may have a coach or be part of a club but at the end of the day if you didn’t do your homework and put the training hours in, you’re not going to get the result you were after – and you’ll only have yourself to blame. There is no other team member who let the side down, it’s all on your shoulders. I love it.

Just on the horizon, the sun’s glow has begun to appear – The light at the end of the tunnel – And we’re pedalling towards it as quick as our numbed legs can get us there.

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