Friday, September 24, 2010

FUNKY FRIDAY


From the National Library of Australia
 The above poster shows OPPY on his Malvern Star at a guest appearance in our local suburb Mentone. Oppy was called the Mile a Minute cyclist after chasing behind a large pacing motor bike on the old Motordrome (no longer exists) and did in fact achieve this record.

Between WWI and WWII Hubert Opperman was the flavour of cycling in Australia.  Oppy was an endurance cyclist and held many long distance records including from one end of Australia to the other. This was in the days when many of the roads were unsealed, especially across the Nullabor.
Oppy took off to France to ride some of the early classics and the Tour de France. His name is still mentioned by those who can remember in Europe.

I remember seeing him riding in his latter years, purely for pleasure, along Beach Road where I live. He and his wife lived by the beach in St Kilda before moving to a retirement home.
Being a devoted cyclist, his last pedal strokes were taken on his exercise bike at home at a ripe old age.

Oppy after winning the 1931 Paris-Brest-Paris

Some links to Oppy's life and his obituary which showed up in the NY Times
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubert_Opperman
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/04/21/sports/hubert-opperman-a-champion-cyclist-and-politician-91.html

5 comments:

  1. Great shot of Oppy winning Paris Brest Paris. I like the guy on the right holding him up. It looks like JFK whilst the person shaking his hand looks suspiciously like........Leon!

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  2. Interesting post. I have a friend who was a professional cyclist, he is now well into his 70’s. He still goes out daily and cycles a minimum of 50 kms just for the love of it. Sure I will not be that energetic LOL. Diane

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  3. Crankster - I'm not that old and I think I'm seriously going off you!!!!
    As for you Diane - you seem to be a very nice person compared to Crankster whom I ride with most mornings.
    I'm sure you will ride for many more years to come. I hope somewhere in the future we can take a ride in your lovely area of France together.

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  4. He died on his exercise bike!
    He must have been an amazing athlete and politician.

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