Pearson’s cycling success is on track
CYCLING: Whitsunday cycling legend Mark Pearson brought home bronze and silver accolades from two track events at the Cairns Masters Cycling competition on Friday.
And if it wasn’t for a tyre puncture in the road event, he would have fit the criteria to take home Gold.
Pearson competed in the 45-50 year age group for only the second time on Friday.
“Previously I rode with juniors in their late teens so it’s good to see how you are really going in your own age group,” he said.
Track cycling has been Pearson’s passion since the age of 12, where he started out in New Zealand.
He also competed in track events in Melbourne as a junior at the age of 17-18.
Despite facing a number of challenges throughout his career, he has always found a way to overcome them.
At the youthful age of 19, Pearson sustained a serious injury which kept him off the bike for three years.
From the age of 22-25, Pearson competed overseas in Europe, tracking around France, Spain and England before yet another injury kept him out of cycling for 20 years.
Pearson is currently in his second year of a three-year build-up phase, and so far he has achieved phenomenal success.
“I only just got back on the bike, I had lots of injuries last year and major back problems, but the body is starting to come right,” he said.
“(Next year) I want to ride a lot more, ride the State Track Championships and the National Track (Championships).”
Pearson’s inspiration to re-ignite his passion for cycling came from some pretty high places.
“The biggest inspiration for me was one and two years ago two of my best mates became world champions in Masters and I thought maybe it’s time to have another go and the rest has been history,” he said.
“This is the second year (of my return) and it is next year where I want things to really start happening, but this year is on track too.”
With monthly track events on the horizon set to be held in Mackay, Townsville, Bundaberg and Rockhampton, Pearson maintains his tracking form by riding 350-400km six days a week.
Pearson said it was important to make a distinction between road cycling and track cycling.
“Track is totally different; it’s fixed wheel and one gear and you can’t stop pedalling, it’s a real discipline,” he said.
“On road you have 21 gears to choose from.”
This week marks Pearson’s first break for two years where he has gone back home to see his family in New Zealand.
SPEEDY: Mark Pearson competed in the Cairns Masters Track Cycling competition.