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Last Man Standing

August 27, 2015

Thanks to Darebin International Sports Centre (DISC), Thornbury for letting us film in such a great venue

Two-time Olympian and Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist John Bylsma believes he’s not smart, but nor is he stupid.

When he was racing at the pointy end of his cycling career, he would listen to everyone’s advice, but then ultimately extract what seemed logically right for him.

It’s in part this selective acceptance of feedback that helped him become a smart rider, versus an exhausted one. Unlike other cyclists of his generation, John would not spend each day pushing hundreds of kilometres. On the contrary he would commute 20km to work every morning, often in first gear and always at hell to leather pace. Then on the way home he’d double the distance, but maintain full gas. It was all about quality over quantity for John, an approach that was pretty much before his time.

But then there’s also a dose of good old fashioned pain endurance. In John’s words, “the best man is the one who can hurt himself for five minutes longer than anyone else.”

Shane Kelly catches up with John in this latest episode of Off the Bike.

We think you should definitely check out the extended interview below...

Check out other stories from the Shane Kelly Off the Bike series:

  • Emma Carney - not one to let a cardiac arrest stop her from completing a swim session.

  • Tim Spiteri - a human 'meteor' on an epic ocean adventure.

  • Bridie O'Donnell - a tenacious force in women's cycling.

  • Billy-Joe Shearsby - the self-confessed 'flash in the pain' world champion cyclist who caught the attention and admiration of a young Bradley Wiggins.

  • Tammy Foster - how two siblings' cancer journey is now helping others.

  • Dave Sanders - behind every exceptional coach lies an exceptional athlete.

  • Josiah Ng - the power of five, the mysterious world of Keirin track cycling in Japan, and life post bike for this Malaysian champion.

  • Lance Picioane - former AFL player helping young people struggling with mental illness reach their full potential.

  • Frank Zanatta - The man who has raced 34 Melbourne to Warrnambools.

Keep up with the Shane Kelly series and plenty more - like us on Facie or subscribe to our email