HEADER

In the first of a developing series titled Obsession of the Unknown, we hand the mic to an everyday hero. You don't know him nor he you. But we all share the same pursuit of a passion.

 

 

MY NAME IS KERRY WYLDE. CALL ME WILL. A 52 YEAR OLD, PLUMBER WHO LIVES ON THE GOLD COAST. CYCLING HAS MEANT EVERYTHING TO ME. FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP, A RELEASE FROM LIFE AND A LOT OF FLEETWOOD MAC. THIS IS MY STORY.

 

 

 

 

NORTH BOUND.

 

Originally from Victoria, I grew up playing cricket in the summer, Aussie Rules in the winter. Classic stuff. I look back on those years with the fondest of memories. The good ol' days. But as soon as I turned 21, I bought a Kombi van with the little money I had, grabbed my surf board and drove north. No game plan, just driving until I felt like stopping. I distinctly remember the day. Windows were wound down, singing along to Fleetwood Mac. Shit that was over 30 years ago, time flies.

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DREAMS.

After stopping on the coast, I instantly fell in love. Surfing everyday for weeks and losing all my money to the casino. I needed a job. So I found myself setting foot into a local Gold Coast AFL club, I didn't know it then but this was the start of the best 15 years of my life. It would have to be the most challenging and rewarding time too. Or so I thought.

 
 

YOU MAKE LOVING FUN.

I met a country girl on a cruise over my break and we were married four years later. We built a house together, bought a dog, a goat (don't ask) then had kids (again, don't ask). Suddenly, I was challenged in a way I wasn't used to, but I loved it.

In the meantime, I found myself needing an interest. Away from football and cricket. Something that still pushed me but also worked as a release. I stumbled upon a local cycling group, just a few mates who got together one night a week and had a hit out around a local loop then afterwards a few drinks and a few laughs. I was out of my comfort zone again. Save for the drinking and laughing - at that I was unmatched. After many races and many laughs my interest in cycling became a family affair.

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OH DADDY

My son and daughter quickly got on the bandwagon, we were suddenly travelling around Queensland to different races, where we all competed together. My daughter later found a new hobby, dancing, whereas my son and I would train together every weekend. The 'Café Loop'. A weekly, weekend ride where we would hit 20km out and back, with a sprint finish to the house. I let him win every time. It was on one of the coffee rides where I first noticed how passionate and encouraging cyclists were, everyone we went past had something nice to say about my nine-year-old son and I. Cycling soon became something we didn't want to do just on the weekends, so my training partner and I joined a local cycling club.

 
 

AS LONG AS YOU FOLLOW.

We both fell head over heels for racing. The thrill is addictive. We would count the days down to Sunday. Race day. We would get up before the sun and ride out to the venue, even that was a race! Dinner table bragging rights were always on the line. The whole ride back home would be full of stories from the race. "Why didn't you come with me" was a constant question from his side. I'd always respond, but I think we both knew I couldn't.

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WORLD TURNING.

A big fat reality check. Being self- employed for most of my life it meant my hours of work were flexible, I could train in the morning before work then race on weekends. It's what I did. It's what we did. Like a lot of tradesmen back in 2008-09, work went quiet, real quiet. I had no choice but to take up a job in Brisbane. The early commute made it impossible to train. Suddenly instead of sitting on a bike seat, riding along the beach, I was watching the sunrise from the seat of my car, stuck in traffic. Fleetwood Mac would be a drive home ritual. One night I came home, well over work, and needed something, I needed a release. I dusted off the seat, pumped up the tyres and rode off. No game plan. Just rode until I felt like stopping. Perhaps it was a re-ignition, or just a realisation that there doesn't always have to be a finish line for it to matter, you just need to enjoy the ride.

 
 

GO YOUR OWN WAY.

Two years later I still work for the same company, albeit now on the coast. I still can't train mornings but coming home from work and riding 'til sunset is something I couldn't live without. It clears all the shit from my head. I've recently re-joined my old cycle club, racing every Sunday with the young blokes. There's more of 'us' these days, the old men, the middle agers, the one's that have declined the chance to get fat and play golf. The ones that have found their release.

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SANDS OF TIME.

I have met a lot of amazing people through cycling and many I now call good friends. We have so much in common. Cycling is for all ages and levels but there is nothing better than talking to the older generation. Why they ride, where they come from, what's their story. Some have just started, some were national, even world, champions. Their a new generation of cyclist. I'm in constant awe of these men and women, they inspire me immensely. Inspire me to still have my bum on the seat, listening to Fleetwood Mac for many years to come.

THIS STORY FIRST APPEARED IN OBSESSION, DISTRIBUTED EXCLUSIVELY WITH EACH BLACK SHEEP CYCLING LIMITED SEASON OR AVAILABLE TO BUY ONLINE.


INSPIRED BY KERRY'S LOVE OF FLEETWOOD MAC, WE DEDICATED OUR THE FORTNIGHTLY COLLECTION PLAYLIST TO THE SWEET SOUNDS OF THE 1970S. WHO DOESN'T LOVE A DISCO BEAT?

 

THE FORTNIGHTLY PLAYLIST.