Challenged by an 11 year old

In my writing  I’ve tended to focus on the training and racing. As the core of my journey on the bike, it has naturally been my focus. But recently,  I have been branching out, hunting for more ‘human’ stories about cycling. I’ve just uncovered an amazing story in Singapore that really warmed my heart, both as a cyclist and as a father.

One of my mate’s, Julian Doyle of The Cranks, his 11-year-old son, Connor,  has posed a challenge you don’t often hear from a youngster. He’s a typical hyper active 11-year-old boy. He plays sports, goes to school, throwing himself into rugby, cricket, cycling and triathlon. Connor hasn’t been cycling long, but he’s jumped on his road bike, inspired by his dad, and over a period of time built up a solid level of fitness. Riding Zwift, on the trainer at home, he has built up some miles (all credited to his Dad’s account). His ambition and fitness has grown to the where a few weeks ago he completed a 77 kilometer ride around the east side of Singapore including Tampines, Crescent Road, and ECP.

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Connor’s advancement at the age of 11 has been so staggering. He’s been crunching the numbers, playing with the tech, something very close to my heart. Wha amazed me the most is he’s given himself an ambitious goal of completing an RTI(Round the Island) by the end of the year. Now let’s just take that into context – an 11-year-old kid doing a 130-km ride around the roads of Singapore.

For most people, including adults, just the thought of 130 kilometers is quite daunting. I’ve just did one on a recent weekend with a visiting friend from the US and it’s no small feat. It requires planning, proper nutrition, and mental endurance. It’s a long, long ride. And little Connor, who has a big challenge ahead of him, accepted it. You have to admire him.

My kids are only five, three and one, so they’re quite far from Connor’s level, but I hope that in time, we will be able to see them like when Connor jumps on his bike, and hang out with the Cranks.  I really look forward to my boys and my time on the bike together, like Connor and his dad.

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Connor is coming along quite nicely. It’s one of the things I love to see because children’s sport in Singapore is nowhere near as prevalent as it is in Australia. Seeing Connor’s progress over time, really, really warmed my heart. I can imagine Julian is a proud dad, as he sees his 11- year-old son taking on the ambitious goal like an RTI. It makes a father very much proud seeing your own children have some interests and passions same to your own.

So over the coming months, I will be touching base with little Connor. Connor will ride the Cranks on December 17th to attempt that TRI. I encourage you all to shout out your support for Connor. And if you see little Connor on the road, he will most likely be out with his dad, Cheer him on, support him. Best of luck to little Connor.

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