The Man Behind the Mic (and the Bike)  

March 21, 2014
The Man Behind the Mic (and the Bike)

Matt Tilley has entertained radio listeners for over 23 years on Austereo. A comic, Matt has had much of Melbourne in stitches for over 20 years. You can now hear him along with Joe Hildebrand all around the country on the Triple M network’s ‘The one percenters’. But when he’s not bringing a smile to our dial, he’s often on his bike…


I grew up in…

Mt. Eliza. A hilly area which sometimes now gets called Frankston South if you want street cred or to pay less rates. We were on the actual “mount” part, which was unglamorous, and I would walk my bike up the 16% gradient to our house. This was mostly because I was chubby and usually had a Winfield Blue cupped discreetly in my left hand. The shame of it now!

I am reading…

Stories to my kids mostly. But I have just picked up “The Unknown Tour de France” by Les Woodland. He seems like a genial pom who wanted to somehow incorporate his love of cycling with a tax loss and some “legitimate” work time away from his wife over the years. So I’m reading it as if he’s a Life Coach! I know most of the anecdotes from so many other reads over the years but I still love it.

People tell me I am…

  • A little bit like Ricky Ponting in the looks department
  • Too talkative on the bike or at sporting events
  • Shorter than they thought I would be
  • Surprisingly knowledgeable about olives and gardening
  • The rest they save for behind my back!

My life is linked to the cycling world because…

I fell in love with it about 24 years ago. I had just shrunk from over 100kg to around 80kg by eating fruit and riding on an exercise bike to the Gypsy Kings in a small student flat. I tried Triathlons but the allure of the Tour dragged me in when SBS started showing nightly highlights. Miguel Indurain captured my heart…and also the middle name on my daughter’s birth certificate. Slowly all my mates have found the bike so now it’s physical, social and escapist.

My favourite cycling story to tell around the dinner table is…

The time a bombastic old bloke and his missus abused me at the lights from within their Mercedes convertible on a balmy summer evening. Despite the warmth, she was wearing fur and him a reefer jacket – no doubt off to “the Club” for dinner. He kept veering to knock me off the road so finally I’d had enough, rode up next to him and tipped my entire water bottle in his lap, leaving him in an incontinental dilemma which I hope was resolved by them cancelling said dinner plans.

When I get spare time, I…

Waste it complaining that I never get enough spare time – like most parents. I also like to start and then half finish things. I sometimes create spare time by pretending to pay bills on the computer when I’m actually reading cyclingnews

Over time, my list of injuries now includes…

A broken finger caught in spokes, broken rib and two fractured vertebrae after a car drove into me, and a broken ego whenever I get dropped by the Hell ride after it gets hilly.

If I could ride anywhere tomorrow, I'd go…

Alp D’Huez and Mont Ventoux because I’ve been blessed to ride the Tourmalet, Mortirolo and many others in Italy and France but these remain the most iconic in my mind. Dutch corner on race day would be spectacular on the Alpe and Ventoux just because of that freaky landscape and spooky history. For years I said that once I rode those two I’d get a small snow capped mountain tattoo somewhere but now that just seems a little tragic, but in the lame sense not the Tom Simpson sense.

If I could go out for a ride with anyone, it would be

Mario Cipollini, because he once completely fresh aired me in front of some mates at the Giro D’Italia when I tried to strike up a chat. Think teenage girl meets One Direction. At the very least I owe him an apology.