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Source: The Wheeler
Could’ve been lattés a loyal band of brothers
A couple of mates start riding together. Some others join in, then mates of mates. People start meeting on the road, some even daring to be seen in the shiny new spandex knicks, and before long the duck-walking mob queuing for post-ride cappuccinos starts to resemble a club of sorts.
Colnago and coffee… Harry Lew
This is what happened back in 1985. ‘The Silver Bodgie’, Bob Hawke, ruled in Canberra and cappuccino was de rigueur for the smart set; in fact pretty much the only non-instant coffee to be had. So when the notion of formalising this swelling bunch’s riding identity was raised, ‘Cappuccino Club’ was the go.
But that particular moment in time when something begins, is everything. One of the Cappuccino founders, Richard (Macca) McDonnell shudders at what would have happened today: “We’d be the bloody light soy lattés!”
So it seems cappuccino is for blokes, and blokes stick together. Twenty-five years later they’re all still meeting every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, hitting Beach Road or venturing into the hills. There’s Macca, Chiseldick, Zuki, The Usurper, Scruffy, Fatboy, Triboy, Angry … and a host more. All up, about 80 members. Among their ranks are some of the who’s who among Melbourne’s dentists, property developers, lawyers and medicos.
There are newcomers as young as 26 and old hands hitting 70. They are bound by their love of cycling, a penchant (not quite a requirement) for Colnagos, and the proud wearing of the black-and-white Cappuccino kit.
The Cappuccino boyz… drinking coffee
Gary is sipping milk into his latté cap
Quite a few of the Cappuccino boys started cycling as other sporting pursuits, some at the elite level, began to wane. Ion (Yonny) Popa, for example, competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics as a rower. Quite a few have been serious triathletes and open-water swimmers, and Gary (Triboy) Newstadt completed the Hawaii Ironman.
Whenever the bunch assembles after a ride, snippets of club history sprinkle conversations … like the early days, meeting outside Café Racer, sitting freezing on milk crates in winter.
But the biggest laugh is always reserved for Chris Fasoulis, a chap who apparently had particularly hairy legs. One Sunday morning Chris decided he needed to make more of an effort to fit in and decided to shave his legs. Unfortunately, it took longer than he expected and he only finished one leg before having to jump on the bike to make the start. And so that’s how he turned up, one raw pink shaved leg and one still carpeted in thick black curls. When they stopped at the Stokehouse that day, cycling took a very big step backwards in the fashion stakes.
The Cappuccino boys: Leo de San Sinforiano and David Klein
Today, though, the Cappuccino boys are very Euro-chic, as the gods of Lycra expect. ✲
Pictures: Gary ‘triboy’ Newstandt