Episode 48 - Rob Crowe

May 22, 2019 25 min read

Episode 48 - Rob Crowe

   

  

Rob Crowe OAM, Founder of Ridewiser, joins us in Episode 48 of the All Torque Podcast to talk about improving mental health and well-being through balanced cycling. Rob is an Olympic-level cyclist, a motivational presenter and Ridewiser Ergo Instructor.

Ridewiser Ergo trains your cycling engine. It is the ultimate physical, mental and social cycling development experience. It helps you improve techniques and achieve your cycling goals, whether it’s to awaken your top-end powers or build your engine from the ground up.

In this episode we cover: 

  • The story of how Rob started in sport to where he is today.
  • Learnings he took from Heiko Salzwedel.
  • The percentage of work and colours that Rob is willing to train in.
  • Rob’s suggestion on the length of exercise you need.
  • The funniest things that’s happened in his classes.
  • Rob’s opinion on the future of cycling.
  • His training events and ride with St. Kilda Cycling Club.

Links

Transcript:

FELICITY:

Welcome to the All Torque Podcast, where each episode we interview an inspiring person to share their story with you. I'm your host, Felicity Dales, managing director of Body Torque.

This is episode 48. I have here today Rob Crowe OAM, the founder of Ridewiser; a consultant, writer, and Olympian, improving mental health and well-being through balanced cycling. Your background includes achieving a Bachelor in Applied Science Psychophysiology; a cycling career spanning 15 years at Olympic level; and a cyclist; and then racing around the world as a neo-pro racing cyclist in the mid-90s. A Motivational Presenter and Ridewiser Ergo Instructor for 15 years, delivering world-class cycling educational, training; an Athlete Career & Education Advisor for the Queensland Academy of Sport and the VIS in 2000; Lifestyle Councilor for Australian Sports Commission in ‘99 and 2000. The best-known performances of your cycling raising career include winning overall G.C. Ken Marshall International Tour Austria in 1991; two-time Olympic Cyclist, 1992 and 2004; two-time Australian Road Champion, Road Race and Time Trial in 1991; and two-time winner in the first two road races ever run at Mount Buller in Victoria, 1989 and 1990.

Welcome, Rob.

ROB:

Wow. Sounds really good. Thanks, Feli.

FELICITY:

You’re welcome. It’s great to have you here. Tell us about your story. I know it's so certainly interesting journey from your athletic days to where you are today.

ROB:

Oh, goodness. Well, I was just listening to your summary. Well, it started with not being particularly good at sport at school. So I guess that was a precipitation of desperation by the time I got to yearning years. So I was already 19 at that time I discovered cycling through touring with Mom and Dad. And I saw the Seoul Olympics on TV, and suddenly this feeling sink that I would be good at that sport. So I took it up late; a lot of coaches say that 19 was pretty late to be starting. And a lot of people doubted the quest that I did have to go to the Olympics. But it was a very fast rise from the club racing rides that kind of get in Caulfield, Victoria through to the Olympics. So, in ‘92 in Barcelona; so that was 3 years from segue to Olympic and probably that sudden rise to the top of what was then amateur sport, I mean looking at professional sport; it's a put me off a little bit and I’ve come back and had another bite of the apple as State Captain of the New Victorian Institute of Sport. So I did sort of do it all very quickly and then start again.

FELICITY:

Right.

ROB:

The short version of the highs and lows of the whole story really is interesting, in that, I was part of a team at Barcelona with then Specialist Road Coach Heiko Salzwedel, who was brought in after the eastern block wall came down, he is quite skilled with developing a time trial engines, if you like, and we were, with his help, seeded second. For the first time in Australian history, there was a chance to win the medal in the Team Time Trial event at Barcelona.

FELICITY:

Right.

ROB:

We had some very unfortunate bad luck on the day of the Olympic, 100K Time Trial with a crash and a flat tire, which was unprecedented in 2 years of time trial training. So rather than suddenly popping up with a medal that was hoped, the Channel 7 News Broadcast was talking about us on the screen, live. I remember the reporting and when the flat tire came along and they said, “And we’ll leave the time trial and go to the swimming and be right back.”

FELICITY:

Oh, dear.

ROB:

That put us out of the medal; we were 12. I remember sitting for 20 minutes looking at the white wall of the team shade on the course, afterwards thinking, “What was that 2 years for?” But as you said in my history of results, I'd won 2 times Australian Championship in tours in Europe, which was big at the time. We didn't have a big budget and Australia was still relatively shunned out of the head of the peloton in the big races. So racing with guys like Jan Ulrich and Erik Zabel who were the kings of their era in the 1991 period, coming into Barcelona, the chance of an Australian guy to get to the front and be part of the meet was special. And we had very good riders, hard calibre riders in our team doing extraordinary things like, I'm thinking of big sprinters of the time, like Jamie Kelly, in our team, who arguably single-handedly won. Because we were all starting to get to the front of these races, and he won enough events in Europe in ’91 and secured sponsorship in Australian Sports Commission; finding to get us into ’92. And that was all the more sort of devastating that we didn't actually medal. So for me, personally, that was a great, big wakeup call about the sport. You know, at the end of the day with cycling, there’s one winner I guess in the sense that there’s 200 riders in the field, sometimes and one rider wins and the rest of them are not the winner. And this is sort of the reality of life that will leave us both to make an analogy that everyone focuses on the winners. And, I mean second is often right there, that it’s not looked at.

FELICITY:

No. Not rewarded.

ROB:

Not rewarded as much. And so that’s our culture and it happens in sport, and everyone loves the sport for that. Research shows the stage of life happening. And so, when I recovered from the idea that there were seemingly nothing came out of that loss that like a result, I mean I spoke about facing your fears and against adversity and having the courage and everything from that Olympic experience in many corporate forums. But the interesting thing to me other than learning life lessons from it all, was that 12 years later, I've got a phone call, asking me to join the Paralympic; 2004 Athens Paralympic team and lead on a tandem; the blind cyclist Kieran Modra, because he had lost his pilot rider that sits on the front to a hit breaking crash four months before the games.

FELICITY:

Okay.

ROB:

And this was quite also unusual and I knew from my experience of Barcelona if, goodness; that’s attractive. If I can do; if I can get to an Olympic experience on four months of me, that's a lot better than two years of sacrifice.

FELICITY:

That’s right. Yes.

ROB:

But I remember this dreadful experience of doing all the work and getting there and it not working; it's not a guarantee a thing of course, but you want to have the experience. And Kevin McIntosh, the then Paralympic National Cycling Coach said, “There’s definitely a medal in this career.” Don’t say that to me. This was the same thing that was said back in 1991. But he convinced me in to commit to the four months and we had a very dramatic time. And I was actually writing a book this year hoping to include the story of what happened; and that, because the book will be about more about my Ridewiser philosophy and the balance of physical and mental fitness. But the story itself of Athens was that, after a very tumultuous affair getting to that actual start line, we did break the world record and win a gold medal together. And that was probably the heart point, I mean a had a lot of great wins in my career, but the one that I had there on that day with Kieran Modra, stuck to the bar together, pulling against all odds; we had a lot of things go wrong in that later. In fact, it was interesting is a contrast; everything that could go wrong went wrong with that four months. Everything that looked like it could happen, properly happened in Barcelona, and then on the day it didn't work out.

FELICITY:

Right.

ROB:

And in interesting contrast, everything went wrong in the months leading up to Athens. But on the day, we were the best by a long way. So it’s just interesting, as another, you know, as the saying comes to mind; it's not over until it's over. You really don’t know. You’ve got to have all those qualities or personalities to stay focused and do it all the way to the line and then that's the result.

FELICITY:

Yes.

ROB:

Yes. That was a very interesting career there. And then I did go on and ride as a lower level, what we call Category III Professional Rider in different countries and a lot in Australia. And then, I realized that full-time cycling wasn’t really my gig. I had a lot of things going on in my mind through that period including some mental illness of my own, with a recurring depression that I struggled with during sport. But sport, if anything saved me from the really deep lows of depression; but I just decided that the combination of mental fitness and physical fitness needed to be addressed in a better way. It was a very stigmatized topic back then; it still is, but it's much more in the public eye, in the media. We hear it all the time about mental fitness or mental health, and mental illness and all these sorts of things.

FELICITY:

That’s right.

ROB:

And just last week, there was a big story about a very lucrative sports contract,[inaudible] had dropped it based on wanting to be mentally more fit in his life. So this kind of thing is becoming more common now. And I guess in the next 12 months, I'm aiming to reveal and release my information in that sphere and I'm going to use this great cycling career path that I had with these contrasting experiences and these highs and lows as you ask me to touch on and put it into a very articulate; so it leads all life lessons and this way put it together for people who improved their life experience.

So I did went and studied psychophysiology. Finally found the degree that suited my interest and built this business that I called Ridewiser; literally, it's the physical ride and the mental wise that put together. And that’s been my forum, if you like, for bringing this stuff through. Actually, I've been majorly distracted by the first ten years; this has happened about 12/13 years ago. I started doing this business of helping people, enlightening people, trying to teach this stuff. And I was taken; my focus was very much taken up by the physical. That's because in the mid-2000s when they started, there was a huge demand of the; and I mean you would know Felicity that the recreational cycling boom happened in mid to late 2005 to ‘09.

FELICITY:

Yes.

ROB:

So there were literally hundreds and hundreds of cyclist coming into the sport in Australia that were not necessarily registered or raised licensed like we all were when I was in my twenties.

FELICITY:

Okay. Yes.

ROB:

And that meant that there’s a lot of smart people looking for smart coaching, smart information, training skills development, how to get fit. And then when I get it, you would go and ask around and you’d end up with five different versions or opinions from different people, senior people that mass these people or coach, who was scarce at the time. And you just have to try and figure it out yourself. And we were lucky to have people like Heiko Salzwedel from these, to block come in and tell us the very regimented and well-researched style of training in the European cycling world from back then. It was not really available online or not well-known stuff.

FELICITY:

What did you learn from him, Rob? What stood out working with him?

ROB:

Well, I did take a lot of his principles and bring them into my business model actually, to answer your question. The idea that, which is more common knowledge now, it's used in all, in fact, it’s used across all sports. But it's very popular in cycling to see the human physiology work the output levels of effort working different modes. So you could say, crudely speaking, there’s an endurance mode, and the strength pushing mode, a wave pedalling mode, that we’re going harder and harder. And I've attached colours of my own to that; a blue, green, yellow, orange, red like this. And then, I've attached mental fitness or mind fitness; I call mind fitness attributes to those colours as well. A high-intensity red is a motor in the body that you must get fit all by itself. The other engines in the blue, green, yellow, and orange will help, so the idea that Heiko brought together for the training was that you need fitness is in all the modes.

FELICITY:

Yes.

ROB:

You need to be fit in blue, fit in green, fit in yellow, fit it in orange and then you can get fit in the red. And when we're racing at the top level like in the Olympics, we really got to be extremely fit in the red zone. So it was a process of 2 years of getting fit in the colours, if you like to use that.[inaudible] And I guess Heiko was very, for me, personally, he was very pushy about changing my outlook at the time, which was, that I was addicted, as a lot of riders are, as a lot of people in the sport are. We’ve going hard all the time and then collapsing fatigue, and basically stop right, lying down. It was zero or 100%. There’s only two modes.

FELICITY:

Yes.

ROB:

And his whole point with this, what I've used as a colour pyramid of modes, is that you need to operate in all the other modes as well. This is true in life. Like you need to have your leisure time, you need to have your creative thinking time; you need to have your high intensity focused deadline time. They’re just parallels that are brought in and made a model out of it in the sport. To answer your question, what did he bring? And I do this with my customers all the time, is, it's not surprising, maybe to you as a cyclist as well. But the biggest neglected colour or mode engine output is the lowest one…

FELICITY:

Yes.

ROB:

…which I call blue, and other people call base endurance, and scientist call energy system one; 65% to 70% of effort of your max, it’s the energy system that you used to ride for 60 km and just check and sit on 30k is very common cycling speed level and an effort level that stand for social riding. But it gets neglected because people mistakenly think that if I don't go hard, I won’t get fitter; and if I want to go hard that means 90% plus. But the physiology, actually, interestingly produces a lot more fitness at just below 85/80%.

FELICITY:

Right.

ROB:

This is a funny sort of body awareness thing to grapple with, because, especially when you’re charging, like more business charges $33 per sessions for people come indoors and ride on especially-designed ergonomic chairs that make wind resistance like assimilated to riding outdoors but constantly, increasingly difficult wind resistances make the human body much fitter, much more quickly. But the overriding tendency to people, as you can imagine, with all paid fitness classes around the world is that “I've paid for it. I'm only here for one hour; so I've got to go hard.”

FELICITY:

That’s right. Yes. People schedule a time. And they think that they’ve got to maximize that effort in that time.

ROB:

Yes. And I can appreciate that it’s costing money and they’re using it as the motivational hour in their week maybe to go 90% as often as possible and do the red, if you like, use the colour. Do red, red, red. And this happens, and that’s fine. But the risk is, if you don’t go a wave in and spend time on the week indoor commuting or doing your other rides through the week, and do lots of blue and a moderate level of green and some yellow and some sections of orange in tints time trialling that are below the red, then we will create a toxic environment in the body. I mean, I'm liking it with a classic analogy that I use all the time, that the ergo session or the indoor session is like because people want it to be their paid, intense red beat, it’s like the Cordial Concentrate and the rest of the ride. And what happens is, people will to start trying to drink concentrated Cordial and it makes you feel sick. And it’s exactly the way that your body receives the intensity if you don’t balance it there. I mean we could talk about it in other ways, we could say, the water is the recovery and the rejuvenation of the muscles and moving the oxygen into the blood and filtering the soul muscles and then block the gas of air. And that’s all true, too, it’s just that there’s quite a lot. I mean, when you look at that, the red is meant to only be 10% of your week. Now, that’s fine. If your week is 10 hours of riding, then 1 hour of red is good. All you have to do, all the other 9 hours; and you have to do the more different lower and lower levels of intensity and then you'll get a good mix. It’ll taste good.

FELICITY:

So would you work that in percentage terms, Rob? You know if you only had so many hours per week to train, would you work that out in other colours that you’re talking about?

ROB:

Yes.

FELICITY:

Would you talk that, use that in percentages?

ROB:

You could do, you could make that into a fairly simple percentage. I think it's probably worked out about 4 hours out of the 10 would be the blue.

FELICITY:

Yes.

ROB:

3 hours in the blue, 2 hours in the green, 1 hour, maybe 2 hours in the yellow and then the orange is the little chunks sort of like the hardest sections that aren’t flat out that you can sustain for a while. So really, bunch riding is like the orange, the second top of the; it might be good to see a diagram, it might be easy on the audio, but you’re thinking the red is like very intense. The last bit of the race; or maybe for social artist, it’s the last 2ks before the coffee shop. And the orange is like when you’re at the front of the bunch and you’re doing hard work in the wind for the rest of the bunch. And then you’re going back and sitting in the bunch which is light yellow.

FELICITY:

Yes.

ROB:

So coming down the pyramid with orange yellow. The green is working in the hills at your own pace. And the blue is not riding in a bunch and sustaining long range hours of endurance pace, which is still working. The heart rate would be doing at least, it’s hard to say across the population, but it’s always usually between 120 beats a minute up to 145 in the average person.

FELICITY:

Okay.

ROB:

It’s not true for everybody, but that’s blue; it’s below, a lot of the time, it’s below 130/135. And people just don’t want to do that. It's monotonous, it seems like nothing's happening; I think is the biggest culprit of endurance. The main one for the bulk of the population says no time to do endurance, endurance takes time, I mean, just for tip today with you, the shortcut. And then I teach people shortcuts; how to treat and get fit and get the colours to work. But if you haven’t got time to go off and do three hours of endurance, which a lot of family people are busy working, people really haven't go so they inadvertently fall into doing 1-hour red ergo sessions or bunch ride very hard. And the trick would be to sit without riding with other people maybe on an indoor machine or commute at blue temporarily.

FELICITY:

Yes.

ROB:

Do it twice a day. And this works, if you can imagine, that’s a commuting model time table.

FELICITY:

That’s right.

ROB:

The problem with commuting is a lot of the short trips in Australian cycling to work type lost as it is, that the short trip is less than 40 minutes. And I’m a very big advocate for constructive colour enhancement of your fitness using my pyramid as a language. Means you need to spend 40 minutes minimum exercising to get anything to happen that's meaningful.

FELICITY:

Yes.

ROB:

And the thing that sad about that to me is a lot of fitness centres around the world use 45-minute sessions, as many sessions in the day as possible for lucrative benefit but the human body; sure it’s getting sweat and the heart rate’s going up; that’s all happening in 40 minutes. But if you really want to build the engine, you need to get blood flow, organs mobilized, joints fully mobile and the body properly heated up, warmed up. That takes most adults at least, kids can get there quicker; more plastic, younger organs and bodies can get there quicker.

FELICITY:

That’s right. So would you say an hour would cover up on that? Because I know quite a few people that say do an hour, riding to work.

ROB:

Yes. Well the good thing, that's right. I was going to say, if you can extend your commute to an hour, just go a longer way and leave earlier and make it. Then it’s extremely viable, the morning and night, one hour blue, of course, people rob this off the blue by getting excited or getting late to work and they go into the orange and red again. But, that’s okay here and there. But if you make it your regular, default mode, you have about someone pushing you to go fast to beat them, or to get there first, or to compare fitness’s and this sort of thing; in that morning and night, what we call a double dose training model is very good for endurance building. It’s like turning the factory lights on, getting the motor running because it's at least 40 minutes long cause you have extended it to an hour.

FELICITY:

Yes.

ROB:

And then letting the whole factory cool down, all the conveyor belt switched off, the lights off; and that’s your workday. I mean, you do it all again in the evening when you come home and you try to get that extra, so let’s keep it in a minimum of 40 minutes; remembering that every minute then after the 40 is bonus development form.

FELICITY:

That’s right. Yes.

ROB:

It’s very motivating for my clients to hear this and think, “Oh, I'm not going in. I'm going to go an hour and 15.”

FELICITY:

Yes. That’s right.

ROB:

Sort of motivate, which is probably my biggest known…

FELICITY:

Attribute.

ROB:

…field in my career. Yes, it’s motivational stuff. But I'm bringing the motivation in with the technology and the techniques or the tricks if you like as to having it to happen. And that’s what people do. That’s one way to cheat and get blue without it, and you go out and give up 3 hours.

FELICITY:

Absolutely. That’s good, too. What’s one of the funniest things that’s happened in one of your classes, Rob?

ROB:

Oh, the indoor cycling?

FELICITY:

Yes.

ROB:

Well, there’s this clock; you see I've designed a whole, if I'm interestingly for an hour and fifteen minutes, the first fifteen is just a social warm-up run. So by the time the instructors start giving guidance and running, facilitating the group to do the drills, there’s one hour to go, and the clock, at the one hour to go point the formal part starts. And this giant glass clock, it’s brought out in the middle of the room and everyone in the Ridewiser ergo session sits in a circle. So we’ve got a circle of 12 ergos and people watching the centre of the room if you like; especially in the cycling position your head sort of angled down like because you’re sort of looking ahead of us, and you speed on. So when you focus, you’re looking into the centre of the circle. That’s where this big, glass clock is. So everything centres on this clock; the duration of efforts, how long those sessions will go, sometimes you’re looking at it for what time it is, how many minutes to leave. But really, it's all about distracting people from the difficulty other than getting the work done and having fun doing it. And so, there’s a bit of who hire between the drills and people ask questions. And they might ask the instructor because the instructor doesn’t ride; they come and help answer questions or guide you, tell you personally what to do. And one of the things I do is fill up your drink bottle. And so what’s happened over the years is people have gotten a bit lazy, and the instructors have gotten a bit lazy sometimes, and have a bit of fun throwing the drink bottle around. And I've always stipulated, “Do not throw the drink bottles across, over the top of this glass clock.”

FELICITY:

Yes.

ROB:

It's the one problem with the design, is that this great big place of glass in the middle of the room. And of course, one time, after manyyears of never having broken a clock, one of our instructors inadvertently beckoned like you do in a footie game to pass, pass, pass the bidon that she was standing above the clock. And unfortunately, the client didn't see the risk of doing this either and the bidon flew through; the other drink bottle came flying across to the instructor. And the instructor tried to juggle it in the air in a sort of just like afootie match, and she fumble all that and it smashed the clock. So for once, interestingly, only one time in 14 years of this type of classes running with the class clock, the clock was smashed to smithereens. 

FELICITY:

Smashed the clock.

ROB:

So you wouldn't believe it, but the time it took to find someone who could create this special piece of glass. I mean, I've been all around the world, so you rarely inadvertentlybecome an expert in a glass clock.

FELICITY:

In glass.

ROB:

Don't throw the bottle.

FELICITY:

That's right.

ROB:

That's the rule.

FELICITY:

I know, we hate to say it in their faces, telling them, if you weren’t already there. You might have been there that night but...

ROB:

And now everyone says it in every session pretty much to anyone who throws the bottle. Anywhere near that, that’s what everyone says, “Don’t throw in the clock.” But it’s only ever happened once.

FELICITY:

What do you think is the future of cycling, Rob? Where do you think it’s heading?

ROB:

Well, in our country, I don’t know; if you’ve ever been to Europe riding around the finest, the most well-known cycling nations like Belgium, France, Italy, Amsterdam or Copenhagen, the big cities cycling, it’s a very different attitude out there. Effectively, they’re miles in front of us in their evolving culture of managing congested traffic on the road and not enough space on the road. You probably know, there’s a lot of articles nowadays in the papers in the last few years especially about sharing the road between motorists and cyclists. There’s more and more bike pass, more and more bike lanes being painted in. We’re catching up, but I mean, it’s a massive cultural change. Really, it's an infrastructure change. It’s an expensive process and really it takes a critical mass of people who are in charge at government level and in lobby groups to get this to happen in countries where it hasn't been that way. So, as a quick example, in Belgium, you could ride along a country road and quite easily end up with a motorist driving behind you, admiring the cycling form…

FELICITY:

Yes.

ROB:

…and waiting for a gap in the road to pass quite happily. Whereas in Australia, it’s more regularly now that you would get tooted, yelled at if you were in a space of a lane that was blocking a car from passing.

FELICITY:

We’re a lot more impatient here, unfortunately.

ROB

Yes.

FELICITY:

So we’re not as tolerant.  

ROB:

We’re not as tolerant and we’re not used to the problems that are probably already happened in Europe, in these places where they’ve realized, if we don't change our culture, we will not, if we stand still in our course and the cyclers will just pass in on the sides, right? So I think, all these things, I'm watching all the time because I raced and lived in Europe a bit and saw this. And it is happening slowly; it’s a cultural thing. It’s going to take time. But we’ve got big competing factors pushing this to happen in the world, let alone Australia; like pollution, congestion of too much traffic; the traffic jam problems around in biggest cities in the peak hour; the obesity issue for people needing to get healthier and be more mindful of their bodies and minds and de-stressing and road rage. I mean, even the death toll for cyclists is rising to say a thing. But see, looking all the time and when it hit a certain point, they’ll change their policies. It's literally, not enough people still die, even though it’s worse and worse and tragic, not enough people die from riding bikes to make it a; but that'll happen, that’ll come. I mean, we’ve got the advent of electric cars coming, which is going to make a massive change to motorist behaviour if people aren’t in charge of a vehicle. What are we calling; an AI-driven electric car…

FELICITY:

That’s right.

ROB:

…with its own decision pathways who’s going to wait, like the European driver. It's going to wait until there's a safe space to pass, and the motorist won’t, in the sense that they don’t override the system, they’ll probably be playing on their iPhone anyway. But the car will just wait behind the cyclist until it’s safe. And this is good for cyclers, it's good for the stress in the country, it’s good for road safety management and all those sorts of things, and the way roads are designed and the rest of it. But I think that I can’t say how with this, population growing, pollution becoming a bigger issue, health and mental health becoming bigger and bigger issues, and the number; surely, the number of cyclers in the country is growing. The number of people starting to ride and the risk and danger of riding with cars is a major deterring factor. But maybe things will start happening more and more with them, as I was saying, the number of bike tracks, AI-driven cars, etc. I just can’t see how it's not going to change like to a cultural change and will be sharing the road with cyclers more openly the way people do in other countries; they have it for a long time.

FELICITY:

I think active transport will become a much larger topic, with the e-bikes and scooters. And as you say, the electric cars and AI and all that kind of stuff, there’s also other things happening in the space with, you know, should people using different transport options now that are available that are on the horizon. So I think, you know, the new era will be a completely different platform that we’re not really prepared for. But it will be interesting, and I think we need a lot more behavioural change around that for everyone, really. Not just obviously on bikes, because I am a cyclist, but for everyone with every modality. You do training events and ride with St. Kilda Cycling Club as well. What is involved there, Rob?

ROB:

Oh, you know about events that I run with St. Kilda. But I do independent organizations. So that is a prolific club in Australia that do pay for my services with road. So in contrast with the Roadwisers ergo indoor classes in the modern era, still largely, like laws to Melbourne; I do go into state and just ride with you recently, interestingly in Noosa in Brisbane.

FELICITY:

That’s right.

ROB:

But there’s a range of different services there, that the one you’re speaking of is, well, it’s not a fundraiser. There are fundraiser events; I was in another one last Friday. That's quite a busy calendar feeling, enterprise of its own which is being an Olympic cyclist and advising people on the road, how to ride more safely or bunch etiquette, and how to ride better in bunch cycling. But the more common event that you’re referring to is with the[inaudible], educational road rides in groups or rather than just going along and doing a; it’s a very, very popular and currently the biggest, what I think is probably the biggest involvement of people in cycling events in Australia. It used to be racing when I was younger, now it's challenge rides or Gran Fondos.  This event called Gran Fondo is everyone does it together, they all start like around the bay in Melbourne. They start from one point, they go along the courses, markers or signs, and people and marshals and you do the circuit and you finish. And next, you do it, and you do it a bit faster maybe. And you do it and they’re finding you, you take on the challenge of the distance or the hills on doing that in an educational setting way that the group sizes are so big, like in the hundreds, it’s more like in the tens; 10 20 30 40 50 people. And they stop together or they all regroup every now and then. And they learn something about how to ride them hills more safely or how to corner with more technical skill or how to use your gears and climb and use your body with the back against the gravity of the climb. And so it's a very educational; so that's a very Ridewiser standing thing. And that actually has been because of the first 10 years, I was referring to before, being a very cycling skill and fitness-focused demand of the fraternity. People wanting to learn, “I want to be fitter. I want to be faster. I want to be more skilled. I want to be safer.” And that distracted me, for the first 10 years actually, and this is where I've had to pull back in the last 12 months only and say, “Well, that’s great and it’s an ongoing demand.” But there's a lot of service providers doing that now. They weren’t really there when I started in 2005. But the way that I would have wanted to contribute is more to do with balancing the fitness is great. But the mental well-being and using cycling to get it is a big part of this cultural change. I think in the future, you asked before about the future, so I think it's going to be recognized more and more. It already is.

FELICITY:

Yes.

ROB:

But It’s got to be the motivating factor probably for a lot of people new to using the sport. As this is going to make me healthier in other ways as well as having a hobby, having a social exercise that fits in with my lifestyle; I can use for transport, I can use it as a toy.

FELICITY:

Absolutely.

ROB:

I can enjoy, but I can also become mentally more balanced, rest, calm, healthy, oxygenated; it goes on, on and on.

FELICITY:

Yes. It does.

ROB:

Extraordinary. So that’s kind of be the next five years of Ridewiser.

FELICITY:

Well, I can vouch for you Rob, personally, because I have ridden with you. And as you mentioned, we have both taken a part of the in giant steps and the charity rides and you have gone between the different groups A, B and C. And your fitness really, you know, and your skill allows for that so whilst on plotting away. And so, you’ve been very motivational and just there for when someone needs you which is being fantastic.

ROB:

Well, Thank you.

FELICITY:

And I'd l to thank you for joining us today. It’s been fun and insightful to listen to you and your story and what you're up to. And I look forward to hearing about your book, learning more about that, and promoting that when we get the opportunity to once you’ve written it and published.

ROB:

That would be alright.

FELICITY:

So our listeners could find you on your website, which is ridewiser.com.au. And you’re also on Facebook and Instagram as Ridewiser. We’ll have all those details in our show notes on our website, which is bodytorque.cc. So I look forward to catching up with you again on a bike at some stage and hearing more about the book when it's done.

ROB:

Great. Thanks, Feli.

FELICITY:

You’re welcome.

Thanks for listening to the All Torque podcast. We'd love it if you would leave us a rating and review on iTunes. This helps us to deliver the content you want to hear about. Please take a moment to share it with your friends and family on Instagram and Facebook. I'm Felicity Dales, see you next episode for another story of inspiration and motivation on the All Torque podcast.


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