Having a cooling ale at 10am on a Saturday may seem extreme, but when you have been cycling around a race track all morning, it seems fair enough.
On most Saturday mornings, the distinctive Ettamogah Pub in Kellyville Ridge is awash with lycra in the black and orange motifs of the North Western Sydney Cycling Club.
Still buzzing from their early morning race at Eastern Creek or more leisurely sojourn around the area, the men and women of one of the most family friendly cycling clubs in the district love to chill out at the “Etta” — funnily enough, the club’s main sponsor.
For many of the members, it is a full-on breakfast — bacon, eggs and croissants — after the rigours of their morning but for some, a cooling beer is more in order. They take up most of the beer garden, but that’s okay as not many patrons are up for a visit to the pub at that hour.
Most Saturday rides see up to 90 cyclists take part, sometimes with their children, although there are more child friendly rides at other times. North Western Sydney Cycling Club is the largest in the Hills, with about 200 members, and aims to include families.
“We really encourage the kids and have a development program for them,” social secretary Michael Clarke said. “We take all levels of riders, from beginners and novices through to the higher levels, and we support people going through those levels. There are some people who have never ridden and are too afraid to get on a bike, but we encourage them all the way.”
Jason Attard is one member who has benefited from cycling in the club, having lost the last 15kgs of his 40kgs weight loss once he got on a bike.
“I had been 122kgs and had started to lose weight with exercise and eating right, but couldn’t shift that last 15kgs until a friend encouraged me to join the club,” 34-year-old Jason said.
Looking at the lithe bodies of the breakfast munching bunch is enough to get anyone to hop onto a bike. Well, let me think about that… ☐