Things you may not know about Matty Jays
How and why did you get into cycling?
I've always had access to a bike for as long as I can remember. While I was in primary school I used to ride a beaten up BMX bike down to the local Video Ezy to play Street Fighter on their arcade machine. My siblings and I also lived in front of a large section of bush which has since been turned into a major motorway in Sydney, and the four of us plus a bunch of local kids used to ride our junk bikes through the bush and surrounding roads after school. I didn't really get into cycling until years later though, when an ankle injury suffered during a casual game of basketball (my first love) forced me onto a bike for rehab. I fell in love with cycling and haven't really gotten back off a bike since.
What are your favourite aspects of cycling?
Everything. The freedom, the people I meet, the local places I've seen, the countries and areas I've visited and explored on a bike that I don't think I would have ever gone to otherwise, the cafe and bakery rides where I get to indulge in all things pastry, and of course riding with friends and the whole social/community side of cycling.
Another thing I'm really enjoying is the ability to incorporate art into cycling. Taking photos on or off the bikes, filming little clips of each other, or even just the music we listen to or talk about is a really welcome side effect of cycling for me personally. Since moving down to Melbourne I've been riding with a small group of really talented and creative guys, and I really like being able to think about and verbalise ideas while we're out riding.
Where is your favourite place to ride?
This is tough. I miss the local gorges back in Sydney now that they're not so local. I also love riding at the velodrome both in Sydney and down in Melbourne. But if I had to pinpoint an area, I'd have to say the French Alps. Mainly because of the bakeries.
How many bikes do you own?
Four-ish. A road bike that I'm on most of the time, a track bike that only gets ridden at the velodrome, and then a CX bike which I won last year racing track in Sydney. I also have a really old Clamont road bike, which is way too big for me, and comes complete with rust, down tube shifters, and old man smell... It's up in Sydney with my Dad, and I don't think he realises yet that I have claimed the bike as mine. I used to have a mountain bike but I decided to sell it after I almost destroyed it and myself by accidentally doing a Superman seat grab- without the grab part, over some pretty gross rocks on a quarry trail ride.
What is your favourite type of riding?
I just like going fast on a bike. So I love sprint trains on the road, I love bombing downhills (under the speed limit, of course), and I love the shorter races at the track.
If there was one place you could travel to ride your bike where would it be and why?
Far too many places to just pick one. For velodromes, I'd like to ride around the London track, the Aguascalientes track in Mexico, and any of the many Keirin tracks in Japan. For the road bike, I'd want to go to Japan because the scenery and the people are amazing, but I'd also want to explore more of Europe, ride certain cities in America, ride down the South American coast, see more of Australia... This question is too tough to answer.
What is your favourite band? Have you seen them live?
A lot of modern bands came to mind when I read this question, but I suppose I wouldn't be into the music I'm into now, and might not have picked up a guitar as a kid if it wasn't for Nirvana. The first time I heard them when I was quite young. My brother used to record songs from the radio onto tape, and I remember him giving me a tape with Smells Like Teen Spirit on it. I just listened to it over and over again. I'll probably have a copy of Nevermind forever.
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