I think I was about 14 or 15 years old at
the time. I had a reputation for being able to do long wheelies. Somewhere there's a photo
of me, looking like a young surfer kid, with shoulder length, bright blonde hair,
confidently riding my bike on one wheel. My Mum is on the case to find the photo and if
she does, it'll be posted on this site. Also, I'm told on good authority that there's
somebody under psychiatric care in an Adelaide hospital who can also vouch for my status
as a wheelie king, but that's another story altogether.
I was doing BMX before BMX was even invented (well, it might have been. It just
hadn't reached suburban Adelaide). I used to ride this mongrel of a bike that built was in
the fashion of the times. Full size road bike frame, big front wheel, small Dragster back
wheel, wide cowhorn handlebars and significantly, no brakes.
Having no brakes was more a matter of practicality that
bravado. My wheels were buckled. Which meant I could never adjust the brakes well enough
for them to work. So I simply ditched them and developed this technique of pressing the
sole of my left shoe against the back tire. As a method of slowing a bike, it was
surprisingly effective. As a means of wearing out school shoes, it was better still.
Anyway, the point of all this is that I can somehow remember saying to myself at the time,
that if I can still do a good long wheelie at the age of forty, I'll be really cool.
I turned forty in August of 2000, which isn't too far
from the time that the guys (and a couple of the girls) from teamabsolut nick-named me
Wheelie, for obvious reasons. So I guess I achieved the one great ambition in my life. And
not a lot of people get to do that. Then again, most people generally set their ambitions
just a little higher. So that's me, well at least a little bit of me. I celebrated my
fortieth by buying a new Intense Tracer. I'm sure you'll be interested to read it's just
as good on one wheel as it is on two. And it's built to last, which is good. Because I've
still got one ambition left in life. Which is to do a good long wheelie at the age of
sixty. Now that will be really cool.