Never too late to Ride

Bruce Hosking at his home this week in Broken Hill.

Former Cycling Champion Bruce Hosking says that discovering his big lung capacity and ability to sustain pain has been a great gift of the second half of his life so far.  

“I fell in love with the pain, lactic acid pain, which gives you an enormous sense of wellbeing when finished.”

“I just love getting out the on the bike, I am sure I would have loved to have found it in my teens, but I am lucky I found it in my thirties.”

For Mr Hosking, the world of Cycling, and his success racing the clock in time trials, was a vastly different world to how he spent early years.

“I had always been a fat kid, I had no hand eye coordination, I couldn’t play cricket, and my stint at football ended when I kicked the ball the wrong way.”


“There is so much you can achieve when you are younger, all those years I spent sitting around drinking and eating, they could have been put to seriously good use.”

Mr Hosking said that it wasn’t until he left Broken Hill and Moved to Perth in 1980 that he became motivated to lose weight and get fit. After being told he was too heavy for a Bus driving job, Mr Hosking realised that he could no longer let his body dictate his future.

“I was a big boy 125 Kilos; I needed a change of pace, I went on a health kick, lost 40 odd kilos, and took up running, I had never done anything athletic in my life ever.

“I ran a couple of marathons then, my Achilles tendon played up, someone said to ride a bike, so I found a pushbike and took it up, I joined a local club and got into it.”

Mr Hosking said that during the first year of his health kick he discovered a book by nutritionist and endurance researcher Nathan Pritikin that he carried around like a personal bible to help lose the weight.

I lived on Pritikin for a year I really brainwashed myself into it to a degree, sometimes that is what is needed to get into something that much.

“The diet was disgusting; you could just cut up vegetables and boil them in water and that was your tea.”

“Whatever veggies you wanted to put in there that was it.”

“When I took up cycling, I could eat normally after that but I was riding when I was at my peak 1000km a week so you couldn’t eat enough anyway.”

Mr Hosking’s success in cycling included winning 10 WA state titles, 3 Australian Masters, holding the Australian 1-hour record for 3 years, and winning the World championship time trial at age 50.

“After winning the World championship, I went back in 2001 to defend the title and got second place in the time trial and second place in the road race.”

“I smashed my shoulder early in life and that stopped me for a couple of years, but I did get back on the bike.”

Mr Hosking said that he feels a lot of his success came from feeling that others were investing in him by assisting him financially getting to races and continue his dream.

“When I was out there riding, that made me feel that I wasn’t just doing it for myself; I felt I needed to please and reward the people who helped me, that’s the way I looked at it.”

Bruce Hosking said that at 70, a knee replacement and a torn ligament have slowed him down from his usual 50km daily ride.

“I’m just getting back into it, I’ve got a little track that I’m riding, just 25km every second day at the moment.”

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