The article about the history of the pushbike in Australia ( Freedom of the road, AG 130) reminded me of a story my father told me. The champion bike rider of his time, Hubert Opperman, affectionately known as ‘Oppy’, was backed by the equally famous entrepreneur Bruce Small, creator of the popular Malvern Star, a bike I eventually owned. Dad was standing by a gravel and dirt road waiting and watching for Oppy, who was on his way to Sydney from Melbourne. When he came into view, he was riding doggedly with gritted teeth shining through a determined, dirt-covered face on his one-geared bike. He was on his way to create a record that took decades to break (and only then by multi-geared, lightweight bikes on sealed roads), an amazing and remarkable achievement by Oppy at that time. One would think that a man of Oppy’s status would have deserved a film about his life, considering he became a politician, Minister for Sport and was even knighted – truly an icon of Australia. M.O. MASON, MEADOW SPRINGS, WA
Hubert Opperman, one of Australia’s sporting legends.