A cycling adventurer: Exclusive Jonathan Lovelock Interview

A quick Google search of Jono Lovelock and you may be mistaken for thinking the young Victorian rider with Huon Genesys is a little accident prone.

Nothing could be further from the truth, which is a little ironic as he is currently at home, housebound with a broken collarbone and a break to the neck of his femur.

Nasty?

Sure.

Demoralizing?

No.

This latest crash was just a simple case of bad luck.

“I went through an entire National Road Series last year without one crash and I don’t think there could many riders who could claim to do that.

I seem to be one of those people that don’t crash that often but when they crash, they do a damn good job of it”, he said.

Whilst Lovelock says he doesn’t have a motto, he does endorse the idea that ‘Shit happens’.

“Freak accident is the easiest way to describe it. Literally, I had a problem with my gears, basically. I couldn’t tell you exactly what happened. I went over the front and did a big hip and shoulder on the road.

There’s no real mental anguish with this because it is what it is. You don’t have to really fret about it. There’s nothing else you can do to make it any better at this point other than put your feet up and recover. It’s a good thing. There’s no real unknown”, he said.

Prior to this latest crash, Lovelock’s 2013 was looking like a pretty perfect year of cycling.

The thing with Jono Lovelock though, is that disappointments do not carry the weight of the world for him.

“You can’t really talk up how good a form you were in without applying that to a race, but I know myself, that I was in, you know, on par with the best form I’d ever had.

I’d been called up to go to Battle of the Border and I had Tour of Japan with Huon Genesys and then I had a training camp for the AIS National Team for going to Qinghai Lake, then there was going to Qinghai Lake with the National team, then there was going to the Tour of Borneo with Huon Genesys again, then after that I had Tour of China One and Tour of China Two with Huon Genesys.

So, I had a full season of tours in Asia which is my ideal situation and I was going into it the lightest I’ve ever been with as much power as I’ve ever had, so I was very happy with the lead in. Then the crash happened and that’s pretty much it.

“Although I’d say it’s my biggest disappointment, I wouldn’t say I’m sad about it, if that makes sense, because it’s pretty much that ‘shit happens’ attitude. That’s kind of why I always want to do as much as I can to keep myself going when I’m not cycling”, he said.

Time away from the bike can also be a time to seize opportunities. He may not be turning the pedals on the streets of Melbourne, but his writing skills and cycling knowledge are not being wasted either.

His journalistic skills are not withering away and neither is his belief in the importance of rewards coming from patience.

“Not many things go to plan and most really big things in life probably happen slower than you’d like them to but quicker than you’d expect they will anyway. So just be patient and things will come your way”, he said.

Lovelock is as refreshingly honest in person as he is in his writing. An injury like this may send a lesser man crazy, fretting over the ‘what if’ and ‘what could have been’.

Jono Lovelock, on the other hand, is embracing the opportunities that can come from misfortune and is taking his latest injury in his stride.

The budding journalist writes with an honesty that is wholly admirable and highly enjoyable to read. A career in communications is where Lovelock wants to head after his cycling career.

“I would love to be involved in some kind of sports media career or sports marketing after cycling.

I don’t know where that will lead exactly, it’s all fairly open but anything that allows me to maintain a more flexible lifestyle, that I’ve become accustomed to and possibly with more travel.

Something like that would be absolutely brilliant. Whether it’s in print media or working in TV or being a PR officer for a cycling team.

I look at what Dan Jones does with the Backstage Pass and I think “shit, that would be fun to do all year”, he said.

That sense of adventure and freedom is what Jono says he loves most about cycling.

“(A bike’s) the most liberating piece of equipment you can have”, he said.

It’s this adventurous spirit that attracts him to cycling in Asia and this mixes well with his passions away from the bike.

“Food, beer, coffee which ties in well with cycling and travel as well. Especially food and racing in Asia. Just very, very, very can’t describe how much I miss it and all sorts of bizarre street food. Just anything like that. So, usually, I’m hoping we have at least a day and half after a tour finishes so you can just go and explore and eat some really random stuff and not worry about getting an upset stomach”, he said.

If he wasn’t a cyclist Jono would be doing something combining all of his loves.

“I would possibly drop everything and go live in South East Asia. I don’t know what I’d do, probably, maybe do some teaching, or you know, try to be a correspondent through journalism or maybe just a chef. Cos I have a big interest in food but I don’t honestly think I have the work ethic to be a chef because anyone who works as hard as proper chefs do, I could maybe, maybe…” he said.

Jono Lovelock takes life by the horns. He doesn’t do this in an impetuous and adolescent manner, but as someone who embodies an adventurous spirit and the freedom of youth.

Although he is injured and housebound, there is no doubt that it will only be a matter of time before he is back on the bike and fulfilling his cycling goals.

 

Published on The Roar 29th May 2013

 

 

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