The Monkees Will Keep on Trying!

2010 Australian Cycling Achievement Awards

This year saw the largest number of nominations received across all categories in these awards, and apparently it took the judges some work to decide on winners. So in the Honorary Section, the one that Smudge was nominated in, congratulations must go to Damian McCrohan from RailTrails Australia.

Damian has been involved with Rail Trails for over 15 years, and is currently the President of RailTrails. This group encourages the development and maintenance of disused rail corridors, transforming them in to walking, cycling, and horse riding trails. I for one have enjoyed riding some of these on a number of occasions.

Aside from Angus Kingston of http://www.adelaidecyclists.com’s nomination, supported by all 1,500 members of the site, other nominees from South Australia were Jeremy Miller, Bonnie Dowling, Barry Skinner, Rachel Hodson?, and myself, so SA was well represented this year.

Angus’ contribution is well known by the members of the site, as he has provided a venue for us to network with similar minded people, forming friendships, riding groups, and maybe even the occasional relationship! (No, Angus does not play Cupid, but the social contact of cycling occasionally has other positive health benefits shall we say!) It also allows us to share our cycling experiences, stories, as well as photos, videos, and create group rides designed to encourage all sorts of cyclists and cycling.

Jeremy Miller is the Chair of the Bicycling Institute, (formerly BISA), and is an advocate for cycling for transport, owning some 27 bicycles himself, ranging from the “normal”, to Xtracycles and cargo bikes.

Bonnie “BoneShaker” Dowling is an extraordinary person, a cycling enthusiast with her own awesome style, and part of the Ready, Set Ride crew. Bonnie organises some amazing events in cycling, and her loved of human powered wheeled transport sees her also active in the RollerDerby community, being a member of the Mile Die Club.

Barry Skinner is the Vice President of the Norwood Cycling Club, and has been cycling for some 60 years. He won the SA Cycling Championships 14 times before he retired in 1977.

Rachel Hodson I do not know, but has apparently created a buckle system that prevents young riders from pinching skin in their helmet buckles when clipping them up. (Hmm, should I suggest she also researches male appendages getting caught in zippers, a much more painful event I seem to recall!)

Special mention must go to our interstate rival and mate, Dave Sharpe from Safe Cycling Australia, http://www.safecyclingaustralia.org, an organisation he started after 2 petitions he lodged to Queensland Transport were rejected. Dave is now working with another good friend, BikePure, and designed a new hi vis jersey promoting the message of allowing at least a meter when passing a cyclist. These are available for pre-order now, and when sufficient ordders are placed, they will be made. Get on board cyclists, be seen! Yes, I have ordered mine already, and will go back and order another for the Monkees Prize Cupboard, which is slowly dwindling!

For myself, my Manager and a number of staff from across my organisation submitted a nomination for me, which I had no idea of until after submitting the nomination, they realised that the judging panel may need to get in contact with me. The ruse they used to get information from me was a clever one, my Manager used her daughter, who sent me an email saying she was doing a school project on what different people do in their local communities, and how they use physical activity as part of their endeavours to benefit others.

This was very clever, we have worked together for many years now, and she knows that I do a mix of things in the community, not all cycling related of course, but all in an endeavour to support or promote those areas I have the most affinity with. She knew that if they spoke to me directly, I would refuse the opportunity to be nominated, as I do these things outside of my working persona because they make me happy, and not for any recognition. That being said though, there are occasions where it is vital to get your face or story in to the media to support & promote the causes, and I have been known to do this on many occasions.

So onward and upward for 2010/2011 for Adelaide Cyclists, Bicycling Institute, Ready Set Ride Crew, and the SmudgeMonkees. I think between all of us along with our full time employment have a number of projects in mind for the coming year, that everyone will enjoy. For myself, I have taken some time out for a while for health reasons, but am just about ready to hit the deck with both wheels spinning!

For the Monkees, I see them heading in a few different directions this year, but primary focus will remain on cycling, and will also pursue my other new found love of photographing cycling events! For advocacy and charity work, I have several irons in the fire already, including the Cycling Santas, grant applications to be submitted to DTEI for another two projects, and investigating the opportunity to stage an Adelaide version of the 100 Miles of Nowhere event.

Amongst these things, we will still try to find some time to earn a living!

Keep the rubber side down,

Smudge!

I support charities and organisations that generally keep the money raised within South Australia, and are related to Cancer, Depression/Mental Health/Suicide, and Homelessness. For me, these have all affected my life on many occasions, and have all helped to shape me in to who I am today. I have used, and am continuing to use, my life experiences to draw positive energy from, and help to drive me forward towards a goal. (Interestingly though, my goal posts continually change!) Feel free to ask if you would like to know how these have all impacted on me, never shy in sharing a story!

I will also add that I like to review the charities I support, and like to ensure as much as I can, that the monies donated and raised by myself and my friends and supporters, all ends up going where it should, and not to be wasted in administration expenses etc.