Hi, I’m Camille, Simon’s twin brother and some say faster on the bike. We started playing soccer from the ripe age of five in the same team and did not miss a season for the next twenty five years. By the age of thirty, work commitments had increased and niggling injuries lingered so Simon decided to give up the sport and it was not long after that I followed. A long standing knee injury and the void Simon left made it difficult for me to continue.
Simon purchased his first road bike a few months later and to no surprise I was soon the proud owner of a bike. Like with most things in our lives we began our cycling journey together and were no more than weekend warriors consisting of short rides around Homebush and Parramatta. Occasionally we ventured out further however after a couple of years we had reached a plateau and although we enjoyed cycling we weren’t progressing and longed for a change.
One year ago Simon was invited by a friend to join in on a bunch ride to La Perouse. Most of the cyclists were from PLCC and of strong riding ability and even though it was tough Simon held on and finished the ride. He was exhausted but overwhelmed by the support and encouragement from everyone on the ride. This inadvertently led to our PLCC chapter and so the next day we signed up with Cycling Australia and became the newest club members.
One week later we registered for our first race at the Sydney Motorsport Park and to the discontent of the officials we signed up in D grade. We may have looked fit but had no idea about racing and this was telling as we spent most of the race seeking advice from team mates. On the final lap Simon and I planned to sprint together a few hundred metres from the finish line however out of sheer excitement and slightly pre-empted I surged early. The gap was too large to bridge and I crossed the line first and Simon second.
It was bittersweet for Simon but both enthralled by the help of team mates on the track and cheering from the sideline. We’ve always been very competitive against each other but this was a proud PLCC victory with team mates from higher grades also making the podium. We met at a café afterwards as prize money was pooled together for breakfast and from this day we quickly realized how evident the camaraderie was within the club.
PLCC is more than just racing; it’s a social club priding itself on inclusion. We have developed great friendships in a short time and are continually inspired by the stories each person shares. Simon and I aren’t very vocal but you’ll frequently see us on organised rides throughout the week. We’ll take any opportunity to ride with friends and continue to push and challenge ourselves. Cycling has become such an important part of our lives and we are very grateful for the endless hours the club committee and members put in to make this community possible. Thank you.
So apparently I’m the slower twin but I guess I compensate with my competitive nature and always up for a new challenge. In my childhood I would turn the smallest thing into a battle like racing Camille around the block on a mountain bike. The rivalry was healthy and a key feature in helping us achieve what we have today. Camille and I studied together at Macquarie University and graduated with a Masters of Chiropractic. We practise in Gladesville and are also fortunate enough to teach part time in the program.
I most definitely agree that joining PLCC through the events that unfolded was the best thing that happened. The weekly rides are a great way to meet new people whilst pushing our boundaries in speed and fitness. There is a wealth of knowledge amongst the group and the more you get involved the more you realize there is a lot to learn. There’s nothing better than spending a morning in the saddle with like-minded individuals who are laid back and out riding together to exercise and have fun.
In conclusion, nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride which always puts a smile on my face. It is the combination of freedom, discipline and pain that has me craving for more and more. Just as important it provides me with quality ‘me’ time and much-needed fresh air and mental clarity from our everyday stresses. I am very grateful for the cycling community that we’re a part of and for the many friends we have made, thank you for reading our story.