Kin Kin man beats 80-year record in forgotten sport
CYCLING: While most Gympie people were sleeping Saturday night away, a local farmer with a passion for long-distance cycling was breaking a state record two days short of its 80th anniversary.
Kin Kin resident Lachlan Davis set off on the 187km Gympie to Brisbane trek just after 1am on Sunday, braving back pain and harrowing hills like the "Eudlo wall” to eventually reach the capital in 7 hours, 22 minutes and 27 seconds.
Davis' time was more than 1 hour and 43 minutes quicker than Gympie rider Mervyn Lister's achievement on October 30, 1938, even after a navigation error caused the 31-year-old to veer off course and miss the Landsborough to Brisbane record. Davis said it was the best ride he had ever completed over 187km.
"It was an incredible experience, I had to push really hard to keep going in some places but to still be riding at speeds over 40km/h after 180km was fantastic,” he said.
"It's quite unique because you get to see a lot of the countryside and parts of the country that are absolutely stunning ... you might not otherwise get those opportunities. I'm over the moon with how I rode, it's easily the best 100 plus mile effort I've ever done.”
Accompanied on the ride only by his father Russell driving beside him as a supporter and observer, Davis said the "brutal stretches of road” presented considerable mental challenges.
"It's tough, I think it's just getting used to being in that situation, your body's not particularly happy about what you're doing to it. You get over 100 miles and it's at least 80 per cent mental, it's about the willpower.
"You have moments when you say to yourself 'I'd rather go home and have a beer now', but then you think about the fact that 180km was considered moderate back when these guys were doing it, and a lot of these roads would have been dirt.
"These are truly amazing achievements from the riders back then.”
Davis' latest road record was his 14th in the "biggest year of his cycling life”, but the impending arrival of he and wife Steph's second child means Davis won't be cycling quite as much beyond the end of the year.
He said the "forgotten” achievements of "superhuman” past icons like Lister, Sir Hubert Opperman and Les Cecil had inspired him to set up the Road Record Association of Australia in an attempt to revive the sport.
"All these records are being completely forgotten and they're huge achievements, it's a terrible shame that it's all been forgotten. I want to inspire people to have a go. I'm not by a long shot the fastest out there, there are riders out there who can definitely do better than me.”
Davis will attempt to break his own Brisbane to Toogoolawah record before the year is out, and hasn't ruled out trying Gympie to Brisbane again.
Follow his journey on www.roadrecordaus.weebly.com.