Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bill Dove turns 80

Bill in 1976 when he was doing a demonstration of an ergobike for National newspaper "The Age" - representing the veterans cyclists, and on the right celebrating his 80th birthday with his wife Joan, good friend Kevin, and sister Helen.

On the weekend, Shane and I had our Sat morning training ride, along with coffee and then went to Melbourne for Shane's fathers 80th. Now Shane's father is not your ordinary 80 year old, he has been cycling for most of his life and has some big victories behind him. He won the Austral wheel race (a handicap track event and a very prestigious event) in 1966, and in 1965 he won the Road Race the Melbourne to Warrnambool which is approx 299km long. Remember 1965 was before all of the big nutrition findings of today, Bill has talked about how he had steak for breakfast on the day of the race. Bill has also travelled to Austria twice and has won two world championships which is just fantastic. In Europe he raced in many races and has an impressive array of trophies on the shelves at home.

The "Bills Racing Team" shirts and a "father and son pic" from 2007
Bill has a shed full of memorabilia and trophies and old bikes and as he loves to give us tips and hints, on racing although sometimes they are not always delivered with empathy and understanding for example - "You're not riding this crit with a bidon are you?" - To which I promptly snapped back "are you asking me or telling me?!!" I had the shirts made up for about ten of us, identifying us as Bills Racing Team, I even had Bills Racing Team written on the back window of my car.
Bill is a lot of fun and we cannot believe he is 80 as he has more stamina than most people I know of just about any age.
Bill is off to the Tour De France next week, with a media contingent and he will no doubtedly outlast most of them each night and then be full of energy the next day, like he was in 2004 when he went to the Tour. Hope he has a great time and I wish I was going!
When we race or take part in any sport or activity, motivation keeps us in form and having a "father-in-law" like Bill is one of the many things in life that keeps me motivated to ride my best. Bill doesn't race anymore as he has medical stuff that prevents him from racing, but as we arrived on Saturday, he was in the shed on the spin bike, just putting in a training session (and remember this is an 80 year old that doesn't race anymore).
Sometimes it is too cold, too hot, too windy, too late, too early, but I believe that if we look within, we find a love of cycling, those moments when it is just way too much fun, we see something beautiful on the ride that remains in our mind or we just prove to ourselves over and over that we CAN do this and it is a fantastic thing. We can show off the bling, show off our fitness and most importantly show ourselves that anything is possible.



331 Miles said...

I hope I can be as vibrant as Bill when I'm 80. Congrats to Bill!

Mike J said...

Way to go Bill. I hope I'm still cycling when I'm 80.

Bluenoser said...

Thanks for that Butsy. Congrats Bill on number 80!! What an inspiration you are to us all.


Buttsy said...

Thanks for the comments guys...Bill was quite chuffed to think that people on the other side of the word were wishing him a happy he is in Monaco getting ready to watch the Tour......some people have the life!


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