Being Ross ~ “Papa Smurf”

I met this gentleman on Facebook back in 2011. We met on-line through the Bicycle Queensland Facebook page. We got to meet in person at the Brisbane Airport when we travelled on the connecting bus to Goondiwindi for the 570km Goondiwindi to Brisbane bike ride. We instantly clicked. Ross is a beautiful man. His passion (besides from his wife and family) is cycling. Ross rides every day. I follow his rides on STRAVA daily. We stay connected through this forum. He lives in Perth, Western Australia. His daily Facebook posts boast photo’s of blue ocean and white sandy beaches…not forgetting to include images of coffee and cake! Ross is my Papa Smurf. On one of our rides together he was wearing a blue kit and with a white beard he was the splitting image of Papa Smurf! The name stuck. He called me Princess Chaos Castle. He reckoned that my tent was in a constant disorganised state. I was a Princess because I was given a crown to wear on my bike helmet by my fellow Princess: Princess Many Bikes. I shall tell you about her another day. Ross recently had a second knee replacement and is in recovery. He is getting very twitchy… It won’t be long before he gets back on his bike to clock up hours on the saddle exploring undiscovered lands in North Queensland this September.

Here is his story…

About 6 years ago I had been retired for 4 years, and took on a part time job with a stock market firm in the city. I had ridden many years ago and decided now was a perfect time to re start, and ride to work. A hybrid bike was purchased along with  the necessary lycra. I found this low impact exercise was perfect for my knees which had been giving trouble for some time.

All was well with the world, cycling to and from work, but I noticed these types on “road bikes” were always passing me!!! Right…back to the shop and get into a road bike. Now they were still passing me, but not as much.

Around this time I saw a notice for a 9 day bike ride in the WA South West. Why not? I was hooked!!! There’s another ride in WA. Were  do I sign up? And another in Queensland, Victoria, New Zealand, France, Tasmania. So was born a cycling groupie. The fantastic people I have met on these rides (with only a few grumpy ones) and the experiences has opened up a whole new world. I have become much fitter.  My wife, Jo and both my sons, have also got into cycling. Our differing riding levels means we don’t ride together, but we are all having a go.

I have never thought of having a goal with cycling, apart from being able to ride as long as I can. Riding at the head of the pack or fly up a hill passing all means nothing,  just being able to do it for my own personal satisfaction is all that matter.

My present cycling dream is getting a new bike. I have been lusting after a Specialized S Works SL4 for some time and all going well may satisfy that urge later this year.

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