Cy­cling Celebrity

Kelly Hrudey, the for­mer nhl goalie, rides for en­joy­ment, fit­ness and some­times beer

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - By David Mcpher­son

Like most kids, Kelly Hrudey grew up rid­ing a bike. His love for cy­cling con­tin­ues to­day. “It’s a huge pas­sion of mine,” says the for­mer Na­tional Hockey League goalie. Be­fore re­tir­ing in 1998, Hrudey played 15 sea­sons in the nhl with the New York Is­landers, Los An­ge­les Kings and San Jose Sharks. To­day, he stays close to the game as an an­a­lyst on Hockey Night in Canada and a colour com­men­ta­tor for the Cal­gary Flames. While he doesn’t strap on the pads any­more, the pas­sion for the game still burns. “Even on nights when I don’t work, I’ll go watch hockey,” Hrudey laughs. “I’m so ad­dicted to it.” Grow­ing up in Ed­mon­ton, Hrudey and his brother, Ken, be­came ad­dicted to cy­cling early. The pair would of­ten ride away the days to­gether. Later, moun­tain bik­ing caught Hrudey’s in­ter­est. With match­ing Marin bikes, the sib­lings set out to ex­plore some of Canada’s most scenic parks. “Just as the moun­tain bike scene was com­ing on, I had a chance to go to Jasper,” he re­calls of a mem­o­rable trip back in 1989. “My brother and I rented moun­tain bikes for the first time and tried out the trails. We had no gear. We rode in jeans, run­ning shoes and sweat­shirts. I im­me­di­ately fell in love with it.” Moun­tain bik­ing in Canada’s na­tional parks soon be­came a part of Hrudey’s off-sea­son train­ing lead­ing up to the start of each new nhl cam­paign. “It re­ally added to my fit­ness level,” he says. “The trails in the na­tional parks are rugged and re­mote. You need a de­pend­able bike and need to be self-suf­fi­cient.”

Does the for­mer nhl net­min­der see any par­al­lels be­tween cy­cling and hockey? “In a sense, yes,” he says, af­ter pon­der­ing the ques­tion for a while. “The one thing you can’t do in a hockey game is give up and the same holds true for bik­ing. Once you are com­mit­ted, you are com­mit­ted. You are all in. That’s what I en­joy about it. It’s a dif­fer­ent kind of sport. You have to con­cen­trate like you do in a hockey game.”

When Hrudey is home in Cal­gary, he tries to ride five times per week. Hrudey bought Spe­cial­ized bikes for him­self and his wife, Donna, a cou­ple of years ago. He loves to take trips and ride with his part­ner. Two years ago, they trav­elled to Mon­tana and Idaho to ride some of the aban­doned rail­way trails.

Even when he is on the road cov­er­ing “the best game that you can name,” de­pend­ing on the weather and what city he’s in, the sports broad­caster of­ten rents a bike. Out­side of his home­town – and the na­tional parks – Van­cou­ver is Hrudey’s favourite place to ride.

“There are so many dif­fer­ent op­tions,” he says. “I like to start by go­ing around the sea­wall, and then Van­cou­ver has some amaz­ing cy­cling path­ways. I’ll go down through False Creek to Kit­si­lano, and de­pend­ing on how much time I have, I’ll con­tinue in no par­tic­u­lar di­rec­tion and keep rid­ing un­til I need to turn around and grab a nice cold beer.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.