Not So Local Riders Q&A - Lachlan Morton
Most people know Lachlan as the young Garmin Sharp neo-pro who in 2013 broke out - Winning a stage at the Tour of Utah and leading the US Pro Cycling challenge for three days as a mere 21 year old kid. But ask Lachy and you’ll find out he isn't too concerned with that.
Lachlan isn't your standard, 22 year old kid, or your orthodox pro. Riding his bike for the places it can uncover and the people you can meet along the way, success in the World Tour is only really a by product of that. In December last year, he opted out of the preseason training camp, the hotel, massage - The ideal training environment. Instead he and his brother headed for country pubs, a tent and the unforgiving desert tracks of outback Australia, doing 2000km of base training across some of most harsh environments in the world, cooking and sleeping with what they had. The reason? Bike riding is about exploring the world, about challenging yourself, about uncovering new roads, engaging with people you normally wouldn’t and about leaving your comfort zone. Not just racing in the World Tour.
Thereabouts is Lach and Gus Morton, and their idea is about changing the way people look at sport. You can catch the boys philosophy and adventures online at their website www.thereabouts.com.au, or on their instagram (@hereorthereabouts). They have also produced a 25min documentary film, a 52 page publication and a photography exhibition series from their first ride to Uluru which will be exhibited a their launch on April 24th at the Rapha Cycle Club Sydney, Australia. It will be available on the website thereafter.
We produced a handful of custom hip-flasks for Gus and Lachlan to give to the important people who have helped them on their trip. In part, Lachlan also completed the Mamnick Q&A below.
As a racing cyclist, which results are you most proud of and why?
Results aren't always a good measure of the ride but on and off paper the stage win in Utah last year.
Mudguards, mudguards and mudflaps or racing bike with clip on guards through winter?
Skip the winter, get some sun on the back. But never guards.
Do you enjoy a cafe stop or do you prefer to ride straight round?
Really depends on the ride. I like to train solo, ride with company and explore with a good companion or solo. No coffee stop when I'm training ( comboyne NSW Australia the exception), cafe on the ride, thermos or pub for the exploration.
Assos, Rapha or neither?
Rapha, I can't dig the ripped dudes in the three quarter knicks in the ads. I think I'd feel like a dentist in Assos.
What is your favorite piece of cycling kit (either something you currently own or have in the past)?
I bought a neck warmer when I endured my first winter In the USA, 10 bucks at a sports store. It has tiny dinosaurs on it. It's amazing how much warmer I was with it.
What do you think about Strava?
It's cool for guys who get into it. Anything that gets them out for the ride. I wish it was more ride based and less segment based. I don't use it now but each to their own.
Do you have any cycling pet hates?
The judgmental, wankey side. We're all out on bikes, fuck the trend , do what feels good for you. Bike riding is a personal thing that you need to explore and understand for yourself. Aspects of pro racing.
Cotton cap or helmet?
The benefits of spinning a low gear compared to mashing a high gear is often discussed. Putting aside the serious, physiological and mechanical aspects, what cadence you think looks right?
I grew up a Jan fan. Something special about taking the big-blade to places it shouldn't.
White, black or coloured socks?
If I was stuck with the choice for life I'd go white, but I don't discriminate.
Frame pump or mini pump?
Depends on the whip.
What do you liketo talk about when you are on a ride with friends/team/club mates? Do you prefer to keep the subjects lightweight or get your teeth into something contentious or controversial?
I get deep on the bike. It's where I think the clearest.
Who would be/is your perfect tandem partner? Would you ride captain or stoker?
Captain for DZ.
Which are your favourite stretches of road to ride on locally and what is it that you like about them?
Comboyne NSW, out the back of where I grew up. Originally it was the challenge. It's a hard 120km run with the only climb longer that 5km we had. Now it's the nostagia and the scenery. Is green, rolling farmland, volcanic soil, 600m elevation , just cows for company. Perfect.
The same question for roads anywhere in the world?
It's too hard. Majorca for coastal roads. Utah for the desert. Colorado for the high Mountains. Fuck, I could go on. I get excited looking at maps scouting what I think the good roads are, I loose hours on google maps.
What is your most memorable moment on the bike or involved with cycling?
Again impossible. Finishing a 310km epic at Uluru with my brother. Riding to 14000 ft on mt Evans. Racingthe sunrise through Sydney with my girlfriend coming home from a beach rave. Being lost with no food and water on a mtb trip after a 4hr day turned 9hr in rural NSW and curing in all with a chicken parmi and a few beers. Knocking out 390km solo in 10:15hrs for a bet with only 8 bucks left to my name ha. Dunno there is a lot of moments, I couldn't pick one over another.
Has racing affected your relationship with the bike? If so, how?
Defiantly. I grew up wanting to be a pro my whole life. To come the realization your there is tough, it's my job now, there is pressure that goes with that. I hate numbers and pro cycling is now a numbers game. Racing can be grim, fucking painful and scary. It can also but bright rewarding and eye opening. I like the idea of the 50's pro. But I wouldn't trade it. It allows me to go out on my bike and ride everyday and call it work.
Do you agree with Mickey Goldmill's advice to Rocky that 'women weaken legs'?
No, to the contrary.
Do you approach riding, or ride your bike, differently now to when you first got into cycling?
Yeah. I don't take it so seriously now. I realize I can't live without a bike, but I could live without bike racing. I try to enjoy the ride I do every day and take it for what it is. When I race , I race as hard as I can and prepare as best I can, but I have my eyes open, I try to take it in.
Who has been your favourite pro riders over the years and why?
I grew up an Ullrich and Zabel fan, cause my older brother was.
What was you favourite era of professional bike racing?
40-50's, real human characters. Feats of endurance. Sabotage. Rivalry's. I love that shit.
Which three words best describe you?
Temperamental, observant and reserved.
Do you used to listen to music before a race? If so, did you have a
favourite tune or playlist?
When I was younge it was all Korn and RATM (Rage Against the Machine) and angry stuff. Now almost exclusively rap.
When were/are you most happy?
Camping, BBQ, beer, family, girlfriend after a big day of riding. Done.
Who would be your guests at your perfect dinner party (dead or alive)?
Traveling wilberys (all of them), Jacques anquitoile, shaun white, Bowie, a hells angle and a one of the monks that does that the running.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Maybe back to 1300 to hang out with the Arabs at Alhambra. This week anyway.
When was the last time you cried?
When pardon died. I skipped his funeral to race Thurigen Rundfart in Germany. That was a mistake.
When did you laugh the hardest?
Pffff, again, impossible. I laugh a lot.
Are you the type of person who likes to have a plan? Or do you prefer
to wing it?
Start with a plan, if the plan gets in the way, wing it.
If you could edit your past, what would you change?
Not much, maybe learn to skate earlier or learn two languages growing up. Maybe race Moto GP.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
An airstream land yatch or if traffic was none existent. No, teleport. Done.
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