Buderim cyclist heading to first world titles at age 70
MICK Patton got more than he bargained for when he competed in the Australian cycling titles in Murwillumbah last year - first place in his age group, plus an automatic entry into this year’s world championships.
The 70-year-old North Buderim man has never competed in a world title, but when he and wife Kerrie discovered this year’s event was held relatively close by in Perth, they decided to give it a go.
Mick won the 70+ age group at the national competition in Murwillumbah, and will be competing in the same division at worlds.
While he said he knew where he stood on the Australian field, the international competition was an unknown quantity.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
“I might get on the podium, I might get in the top ten, I don’t know who’s coming over from other countries.
“A lot of ex-champions have kept racing. You don’t know how many people who raced in the sixties have kept riding. I think I’ll go well but you don’t know until it all happens on the day.”
He said the 117km distance, while longer than most events, would suit him as he rode between 80 and 160km a day.
“There’s a race in New South Wales, from Grafton to Inverell, that’s 230km and nearly 3500m of climbing and I’ve finished it ten times,” he said.
“The distance will be beneficial to me.”
Mick has been cycling on and off since he first got on a bike in 1958.
“It’s what I really enjoy doing,” he said.
“All of the endorphins fire up and make you want to get back out there and do it all again.
“It’s camraderie, you meet such a great bunch of people, we stop and have a coffee after the ride, it’s fantastic.”
He trains five or six days a week, notching up to 500km on the bike in a week, and says the Sunshine Coast is his ideal place to explore.
“One of my favourite routes is Montville and across the top of Maleny, down to Landsborough, that would have to be one of the best rides,” he said.
“We also get to Peachester and Bald Knob and do a loop from Buderim up to Noosa, Eumundi, and down to Nambour again.”
His wife Kerrie said Mick’s cycling mates were placing bets on him.
“They’re putting money on him, saying ‘you’ll get on the podium, you’ll get a win,” she said..
“But you never know, people from his era are still riding and they could all come out of the woodwork.”
She said she couldn’t foresee a time when Mick would give up his cycling.
“He’ll just fall off his bike one day and that’ll be it, lights out,” she said.
“That’s the way he’d hope to go, anyway.”