MARK Jarvis has been riding bikes for a long time.
He actually started out as a triathlete who progressed to bikes only when his knees became too sore.
The State Water employee is a regular attendee of the Tamworth Cycling Club criteriums at Goddard’s Lane every Sunday morning and he’ll be there again tomorrow taking part in the B Grade race.
He’s been riding for more than 30 years and continues to enjoy the racing and fitness it brings.
“I started in ’85 or ’86,” Jarvis saidafter last Sunday’s criterium.
“I started in triathlons and then progressed.
“I used to race a lot in the triathlons.”
He started racing at Moree where he rode with the likes of Chris Sutton.
“The last 12 years I’ve been here in Tamworth.
“It’s only a small club but they have some very good riders.
“The A grade is strong and the pace real high.
“They’ve got some good young kids coming through too.
“Young Lewis Chapman over there,” he motioned towards the teenager, “goes well.
“He was down at a criterium in Sydney against elite senior riders the other day and finished in the peloton.
“That’s a big effort.
“Riding with the pros was an exciting experience for him.”
“Then there’s young Sam Jenner from Armidale as well.
“He’s been going well too.
“It’s a big effort to come down from Armidale to race here.
“It’s a good atmosphere down here and good for these young kids to hang around the old blokes.”
Jarvis, 51, used to race in “triathlons at a reasonably high level” and still swims a lot.
“I’m looking at a couple of marathon swims in the New Year too,” he said.
Jenner is 15 and a Year 9 student at Duval High in Armidale.
He’s preparing for January 8-9-10 State Track Championships in Sydney (Dunc Grey Velodrome).
“He’s been riding competitively for some three years,” his father, David Jenner, said.
“Coming down here to race is nice and close for us,” he said.
“There’s good racing .”
They come down every Tuesday and Thursday night as well as Sundays so Sam can train and ride on the Tamworth Velodrome.
“Al (Spokes) looks after him pretty well.”
Tamworth Cycling Club president Ray Griffin said the development of young riders such as Chapman and Jenner was a major part of his club’s charter.
He said the likes of Sam Spokes have benefited from help, guidance and racing on a regular basis.
“Sam told me yesterday he’s got a ride in the Vic Institute of Sport team for the Sun Tour,” he said.
“That’s great for him before he heads back to Europe.”
The club completes its year with a final criterium racing morning from 8am tomorrow.