IT'S true what they say — once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget.
Ian Jackson, president of Waratah Masters Cycle Club got his first bike when he was eight, gave it up when he was 14 and then took it up again 11 years ago at the age of 49.
"Most people learn to ride as kids and it's true, you never forget, so even if you've not ridden for 50 years there's no reason to think you're too old," Mr Jackson said.
"Our riders come from all backgrounds and walks of life and everyone's equal going up a hill.
"Some have been cycling all their lives, often at elite or even Olympic level.
"Others have come to it later in life as their knees or other parts start to cause problems.
"What do you call a retired runner? A cyclist."
The Waratahs were established in 1994 as the only cycling club in Sydney catering exclusively for cyclists over 30 years of age, or masters cyclists.
The Waratahs hold races every Sunday morning throughout the year for both men and women.
"We race at one of four closed circuit venues with six separate grades, where riders are graded by ability not age," Mr Jackson said.
" We cater for all riding abilities from beginners to elite cyclists.
"There are about 250 Waratah members from all over Sydney, and more than 900 riders from different clubs come and join our races during the year.
"Our objective is to provide safe and enjoyable competition for all levels of masters cyclists."
Mr Jackson said the club has an average age of around 54, and one third of the membership is 60-plus.
"Our oldest member is 79 and he races most weeks in E grade," he said.
"With more time to train many riders regain levels of fitness they've not had for more than 30 years."
The club has many new riders joining in the fun who are in the prime of their life, and after having the basics of racing explained they are usually placed in one of the lower grades to develop their skill and fitness over time.
"The benefits of cycling are many, once you get over the embarrassment of wearing lycra," Mr Jackson said.
"There's an obvious health benefit too.
"As a non-weight bearing activity it is kind to the joints yet provides great cardiovascular fitness.
"And there's a wonderful social side to cycling.
"Often the best part of the ride is the conversation in the coffee shop afterwards, which often can take as long as the ride.
"For those who want it, cycle racing also allows seniors to keep the competitive juices flowing.
"Masters racing is growing rapidly in Australia and around the world."
There are state, national and international events where masters riders compete against their peers. In these races riders are graded in five year age groups starting at 30 to 35 all the way up to 75 to 80.
Details: Visit: waratahmasters.com.au or find them on Facebook or Youtube.