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Time Out with Shane Lehmann

What do you get when the worlds of cycling, charity and some of Perth’s top businessmen and women collide? You get the Hawaiian Ride for Youth – an award-winning cycling crusade through regional WA which since its inception in 2003 has raised over $21 million dollars to help Youth Focus provide free mental health services to thousands of young people each year.

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Friend of Detail, Hawaiian Ride for Youth Cyclist and Perth Stockbroker Shane Lehmann answers the Time Out Q&A for the Australian Financial Review.

First memory of riding a bike?
It was at a fair in my home town of Miling, Western Australia. There was a best-dressed bike competition and all the parents dressed up their kids’ bikes in fancy dress. My parents made a frame that turned my little bike into a fighter plane (my brother’s was a battleship). It looked fantastic and we took out first prize. Thanks, Mum and Dad!

How many bikes, and how do you know when you have too many?
I only have two bikes, but I can see how the addiction grows. Lehmann is not the only Colnago fan: here, Enzo Ferrari presents a carbon-fibre Colnago Ferrari racing bike to Pope John Paul II in 1979. Lifting the bike, the Pope compared its weight to a feather. 

How much did they cost?
One of the bikes was free, as I picked it up from the verge during a big rubbish day. I leave that one at Rottnest for riding around the island. The other one, not quite so free.

Dream bike and equipment?
I’m lucky in that I’m riding my dream bike. It’s a carbon fibre, all-black Colnago C64. They are still handmade in Milan, Italy. I spent a long time researching bikes. For me, it was more than just the performance and weight of the bike – it was buying a piece of living art.

Why did you take up long-distance riding?
I took it up in earnest to participate in the Hawaiian Ride for Youth around southern WA in March. On average, we trained three times a week.

Tips for becoming a better rider?
I think the main thing people should remember is that through the good and the bad times, try to have fun and enjoy yourself. It isn’t always going to be easy, but one should persist through the challenges and enjoy the good times.

Kilometres per week?
In the final stages of preparation for our charity ride, the kilometres were gradually increasing, and hit around 350 kilometres a week.

Hills or the flat?
I love both. The physical challenge and mental strength to keep pushing up a hill is very rewarding when you finally get there. But the hum of the peloton on the flat when everyone is working together, and you are getting sucked along in a giant vacuum, is incredible.

Love most about cycling?
There are so many things: riding with friends, the health benefits, the scenery, the endorphins after a hard ride and, of course, the coffee (but don’t mention coffee too early; that is taboo).

Dislike about cycling?
Rainy days are always a challenge and my least favourite ride. I like to tell people that my carbon fibre bike melts in water, so I best not ride.

Most like to go on a long ride with?
Definitely my daughter Saskia. I can’t wait until she is old enough and we can go for long-distance rides together. But until then, I would have a peloton of actors James Corden and Hugh Jackman, and Prince Harry. We would do our version of Carpool Karaoke on the bikes.

Will you ever be too old to ride?
I don’t think so. It’s a very low-impact sport and one that you can vary the intensity to suit your ability. I hope to be riding for many years to come.

Favourite refuel station?
I do love my coffee and breakfast. I have several favourites depending where I finish: Steves in Nedlands, Little Sup Cafe in Cottesloe and Stand’In Room in Claremont.

Favourite piece of cycling gear?
SRAM eTap electronic gear shifters. They are awesome for quickly shifting to the correct gear … until you forget to recharge them.

Favourite ride?
Either Cottesloe Beach or Swan River in the early morning when there isn’t a breath of wind and the water is like a millpond. Cottesloe Beach is a favourite ride destination, especially in the early morning.  

Dream bike holiday?
I can’t wait until I go to France and/or Italy on a bike trip. The thought of being able to ride through the beautiful countryside in the morning and then eat and drink whatever I like without being conscious of the calories sounds idyllic to me.

If you take long rides at the weekend, how does your partner feel about it?
I’m lucky that my wife Caroline is very supportive and hasn’t complained at all, unless I’m too noisy when I leave and wake her up (actually, not even then). Secretly, I think she likes to have the mornings to herself to sleep in.

Ever felt scared on a bike?
It is always scary when vehicles pass too close. Just remember – it might be a mate, a brother or a mother. Please be aware of cyclists.

You can read the article in this weekends Financial Review or online HERE and  donate to the Hawaiian Ride for Youth HERE 

Word: Australian Financial Review

Imagery: Youth Focus