In 1985 I purchased a mountain bike that I set up for touring. I rode it about 3500 kilometres around New Zealand and that is how my (first) cycling life began. I returned to Australia, purchased a new better quality mountain bike, then a road bike, then a track bike and began racing. I raced in all three disciplines for about 10 years. I also worked as a photojournalist, covering mountain bike World Cups, World Championships and track events leading up to the Olympics.
Now after 20 years off the bike, I have begun riding again. In between times, my life was dedicated to my career and then building a successful training and tourism business, to my marriage and our life together. Unfortunately it all began to come apart at the seams about 3-4 years ago when the secret I had been hiding all of my life caused a mental health crisis. I came out as transgender. By the time I acknowledged this, my life and that of my wife was in tatters. I moved to Sydney, with $400, a suitcase and a guitar and began my life again.
As things improved I wanted to stay fit and enjoy some of the things I had previously enjoyed, I saved what little money I could and purchased myself some bikes. It is not easy beginning life again at 54 years of age, some weeks the bills meant I barely had enough funds for food, but I have a fantastic job and wonderful friends. Staying active and pursuing sporting goals helps to keep depression and anxiety at bay.
I work in the field of LGBTI Inclusion, helping organisations to be more inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. I wanted to use my cycling as a way to draw attention to the need for inclusion in sport. I also wanted a goal that I could use to motivate me to continue cycling. I chose to set a target of completing one of the most gruelling mountain bike races in the world- The Crocodile Trophy. Not only is the Crocodile Trophy a gruelling race, it is expensive to compete in. It will cost me at least $4000 just to enter. It will cost me another $5000 to get my cycling up to standard through other competitions. Like many trans people, I don’t have those funds. Since I needed to raise funds myself, I decided to use the event to raise funds for LGBTI Inclusion is Sport- more about that later. Please follow my journey towards the 2018 Crocodile Trophy.