Biking Barlow on the climb
LUKE Barlow discovered mountain biking seven years ago, when he was a grade five student.
By then he was already riding BMX, but his dad encouraged him to try this new sport, which he instantly loved.
“I said to dad, I want to do this every single day, so I started training,” he said.
“Pretty soon after, I did my first race, and I knew I wanted to be a professional mountain bike racer.”
Barlow is a member of Club MUD, alongside his father, and said it’s an “incredible” feeling to share his passion with a member of his immediate family.
“Dad owns his own automotive business, so he’s set up all of my bikes, and is the team mechanic.
“It’s awesome to have him on the team, but now that I’m 18 he says I owe him about one million shuttles,” Barlow laughed.
Recently, the young WestVic Academy of Sport athlete has also reached another milestone, being recruited by Team Cyclescape.
“I wanted to be expanding the support I’d been getting, because I’d fallen behind after my third surgery.
“I was able to race at Mount Baw Baw at the Victorian Downhill Series earlier this year, and finished 12th, 10 weeks post-surgery, and that was a big blessing,” he said.
“At that race, Team Cyclescape said they were more than happy for me to come on the team because they were looking to expand the team more, gaining more riders and support.”
The team is a reasonably new one, known Victoria-wide, but its athletes hope it will soon become recognised nationally, and globally.
“My goal is to race in Europe for the elite category of the 2023 World Cup Season,” Barlow said.
“Next year, I’m aiming to travel around Australia to rack up enough points to get overseas and be amongst the fastest riders in the world.”
Throughout lockdown, Barlow has enjoyed getting out to train close to home at the Nerrina and Black Hill trails, but when he can, takes road-trips to Bright to practice on different terrain.
Barlow’s team sponsors are Cyclescape Ballarat, Trek Bikes Australia, Dharco Clothing, Maxxis Tyres, and KWT Imports, who support him with clothing and equipment supplies.