Russell Davies and his son Byron conquered tough courses and their opponents to win their grades in the recent Wild West Summer Series.
Russell Davies and his son Byron conquered tough courses and their opponents to win their grades in the recent Wild West Summer Series. Claudia Baxter

Mountain biking helps dad

WHEN former motocross rider Russell Davies seriously damaged the cruciate ligament in his knee, he was unsure whether he'd enjoy sporting success again.

In 2004, the last problem he wanted was to experience more pain.

But after turning to cycling to build up his knee muscle and trying competitive racing, he climbed the proverbial mountain to become a winner.

Davies, 37, won the recent A-grade title in the six-race Wild West Summer Series on mountain bike courses at Adare, Walloon and Withcott.

It was the Rosewood-based rider's first series victory after seven years in the sport.

However, what added to the proud dad's achievement was having his son Byron also racing consistently to win the C-grade title.

With 12-year-old Byron also gaining state hockey honours at school and club level, he's proving to be a natural all-rounder.

Showing how sporty the Davies family is, Byron's older brother Josh is a regular A-grade hockey player with Hancocks and Russell's wife Allison is a social mountain bike rider. Allison is also playing hockey for Hancocks.

Byron hopes to keep playing hockey for Hancocks this season while pursuing his cycling career.

"He does a lot of mountain biking in the hockey off-season to keep fit but he's starting to really come on now," Russell said.

"He's talking about racing in the hockey season but we'll see how that goes."

The winter mountain biking series in south-east Queensland starts on April 29.

In the summer series just finished, Russell secured two wins and two fourth places on his way to winning overall.

"That's been the most success I've had," Russell said.

Russell said his secret weapon was a Christmas present - a Giant anthem x 29er bike with larger wheels he bought with support from Ipswich Cycles.

"Since I got that, my cycling has just improved out of sight because it's just a good bike," he said.

"It is the first bike I have owned which feels just right for me. The bike excels in descending and rolling over obstacles such as tree roots, rocks and logs."

While not the best climber, Russell has been consistent on a variety of courses ranging from big hills to lots of rocks and faster circuits.

Byron won the C-grade title after four seconds, which gave him enough points to win outright by one point.

"Byron is a very good technical rider," Russell said, recalling how Byron had the training wheels off his bike when he was three.

And as for that knee injury setback in the past, Russell keeps moving forward. He rides from Rosewood to Ipswich, where he works as a production manager with Cedar Sales.

"I just love it (mountain bike racing) and it keeps the whole family fit," Russell said.



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