The double life of a suburban crit racer

(The following is a true story, however names have been changed to avoid embarrassment – and possible divorce proceedings – for the main character).


I’ve been riding with ‘Dave’ for the best part of five years now. He’s a lovely guy, a regular at my mid-week training sessions and coffee rides, and also a devoted crit racer who’s out there virtually every weekend smashing it up at circuits all over Sydney. I’ve raced alongside him well over one hundred times, and feel like I know him very well. So it was with tremendous surprise during our pre-race warm up last Sunday morning that he revealed his wife of over 20 years has absolutely no idea he races on the bike. Ever.

What the fuck, Dave?!

“She’s probably fast asleep right now, snoring away,” he adds sheepishly as we spin along at 7:23am. “She thinks I’m just cruising when I go out on Sundays. She’d never let me race, it’s way too dangerous!”

Perhaps it is dangerous, Dave. But as we suggested to you last Sunday surely it’s not nearly as dangerous as when she finds out that her dearly beloved has been lying to her every weekend for the best part of ten years! I’ve heard of having a second bank account or credit card for hiding covert bike purchases. I’ve heard of tit-for-tat holiday arrangements to help keep the matrimonial peace. But really Dave? You’re either very brave or decidedly foolish. Odds are, just like Joaquim Rodriguez coming second at the World Championships, it’s going to end in tears.

Now Dave is adamant his wife is so blissfully indifferent towards his love of (ahem, recreational) cycling she’ll never find out about his long-standing Sunday morning ruse. But I’m not so sure. Surely, sooner or later, one way or another, the cat will get out of the saddle bag. It always does. And when it happens, be it this year, next year, or in ten years time, I suspect he’ll need more than nine lives to survive it. Cleaning out a backside full of infected road rash or even a busted clavicle will seem like a mere scratch in comparison.

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