Thrill still well alive for cyclist
AFTER a lifetime involvement with cycling, Terry McLean still gets a buzz when the race is on.
He's back home after spending last week in Sydney as a National Commissaire for the UCI Track Cycling Masters World Championships at Dunc Gray Velodrome.
“Being called a commissaire is just a fancy French word for 'official' and much more polite than some names the blokes on the bikes were calling each other,” he said. “My job was to act as starter, then make sure no problems arise in the early stages of the race ... sort of like a steward.
“If things get rough or there are problems, I have to call them back in, issue warnings and get the race back on, before somebody else takes over for the finishing stage.” McLean said the passing of the years didn't dim the gamesmanship of many veterans. “Some of them, particularly in the higher groups around 65 to 69 can be quite mad and take it really seriously,” he laughed.
“There was one bloke who was carrying on with crowding and all sorts of rough stuff ... he thought he'd won a gold medal but we had to drag him in and tick him off before handing out a disqualification.
“Thankfully, they're not all like that but they keep us on our toes and we love it.”
McLean said after a full-on week, he was glad to be home for a rest. “We worked 12-14 hour days and did a little bit of socialising after, as you do,” he said.
With 350 athletes competing from 28 countries, the Masters is one of the biggest events of its kind in the world and McLean will apply for another position next year.
“Since I sat for my State card in 1987 and the Nation accreditation in 1994, the urge has been there to get more and more involved,” he added.
“I've done Nationals and World Cup events and the highlight was time-keeping at the Sydney Paralympics in 2000.
“If I was younger I might have started working for the full Olympic ticket but that can become expensive and time consuming.”
Apart from the glamour assignments, McLean admits he gets plenty of fun at local competition.
“We have a wonderful facility at Toormina and the sport of cycling continues to thrive,” he said.