Open uri20180708 10 1w0ojq0?1531029530

Craig Fry

Freelance Writer

Location icon Australia

I am a freelance writer based in Melbourne, Australia. I write about cycling history and culture; and drugs, health and ethics in society and sport. I have an honours degree in psychology, a doctorate in public health ethics, and from 1996 to 2018 conducted funded research on drug use harms, and related policy and ethical issues.

Portfolio

LATEST

Cycling
03/22/2019
The Nankervis-Lema manifesto: a blueprint for the future of Australian road cycling?

My recent story about amateur team Stitch & Dart's Melbourne to Warrnambool performance against Australia's best NRS riders struck a nerve. To facilitate further discussion, I sat down with a couple of local cycling stalwarts including Stitch & Dart's Tommy Nankervis to find out what they believe needs changing in Australian cycling now and put their ideas to Cycling Australia.

SBS Cycling Central
02/25/2019
How an amateur wildcard team mixed it with the NRS teams in the 2019 M2W

Lots of little stories unfold in each edition of Australia's oldest one-day classic, the Melbourne to Warrnambool (M2W). Tales of personal triumphs after months of hard training, rides in memory of family, plus stories of heartache and disappointment from crashes, punctures and mechanicals, unplanned DNFs, or rides that simply didn't go to plan.

SBS Cycling Central
11/28/2018
Tim Decker on the new look to the historic 'Warrny'

Tim Decker is well known to Australian cycling fans as the current Men's National Track Endurance Coach at Cycling Australia - a role in which he has enjoyed considerable success - notable recently with his Australian team pursuit squad breaking the world record with 3.49.804 at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (the first sub 3.50 ride in history).

BOOKS & CHAPTERS

Amazon Kindle (Hampress)
06/21/2016
Ride: A Memoir To My Father

Lindsay Fry died at home alone from a pulmonary embolism, just a few weeks after a diagnosis of cancer in his lung and spine. He was two weeks short of his 70th birthday. Lindsay loved the sport of cycling, but he wasn’t a famous ex-professional rider, or even a promising amateur cyclist in his youth. The author’s father barely rode bikes at all and, sadly, they cycled together only once. 'Ride: A Memoir to my Father' tells how cycling helped author Craig Fry deal with the shock and pain of...

Sport in Victoria: A History
2015
Cycling

Victoria has always led the way in Australian cycling. A number of Australia's cycling firsts took place in 19th century Victoria, not long after the first velocipedes ('bone shakers') arrived in Melbourne from Europe in 1868.

Sport in Victoria: A History
2015
Herald Sun Tour Cycling Race

The 62nd Herald Sun Tour was held in February 2015. Originated in 1952 by The Sun News-Pictorial and the League of Victorian Wheelmen, it is Australia's oldest road cycling stage race.

BOOK REVIEWS

CyclingTips
08/28/2018
Book review: 'Overlander' by Rupert Guinness

Cycling fans around the world (and particularly in Australia) will be familiar with Rupert Guinness, a veteran sports journalist who's as famous for his Hawaiian shirts as he is for covering 30(!) Tours de France.

Bulletin of Sport and Culture
2015
Major Taylor in Australia (by Jim Fitzpatrick)

The Major Taylor story is such a fascinating chapter in the history of competitive cycling, and this account of Taylor’s time in this country is an important part of Australian cycling history.

CyclingTips
2013
Wheeling Matilda: The story of Australian cycling (by Jim Fitzpatrick)

Jim Fitzpatrick is widely regarded as one of Australia's foremost cycling historians and now the US-born writer has revealed his latest book, Wheeling Matilda: The Story of Australian Cycling. In this post Craig Fry reviews Wheeling Matilda and shares some of his favourite moments.

WORD SLIDES & PODCASTS

Instagram
05/03/2017
Australia's first Giro rider, Garry Clively.

As the @100th_giroditalia approaches lets remember Australia’s first Giro rider, Garry Clively. He went to Italy as an 18-year-old amateur with 17-year-old David Allan – another local wunderkind. Clively quickly made his mark in Italy with the amateur team Siapa: winning 11 races, becoming Italy’s No. 1 amateur, and riding to 4th in the 1975 world amateur road race championship in Belgium – all by the age of 20. The contract offers came, and Clively turned professional with the Italian...

Instagram
04/06/2017
The first Australian Paris-Roubaix riders in 1914

Paris-Roubaix 1914: Somewhere in there are the first Australian riders in that race - Queen of the classics. It was a group including Ivor “Snowy” Munro, Don Kirkham, Charlie Snell, George Bell and Charlie Piercey.

Instagram
04/01/2017
Sir Hubert Opperman would have rated the Indipac highly

Australia's greatest ultra-endurance cyclist, Sir Hubert Opperman, would have rated the Indipac highly. His 1977 autobiography tells how he was inspired as a boy by Francis Birtles' Fremantle to Sydney ride in 1909. This pic shows 'Oppy' in the crowd at Melbourne during his own Fremantle-Sydney record ride in 1937.

The Bike Show (Podcast)
03/24/2017
The Indian Pacific Wheel Race: Overlanders of the 21st Century

The Indian Pacific Wheel Race is a gruelling 5,500 km coast-to-coast bicycle race across Australia. The race features the two leading long distance bike racers in the world as well as dozens of other cyclists determined to push themselves to the very limits of physical and mental endurance.

Instagram
03/18/2017
Barry Waddell's 1966 Adelaide to Melbourne record

Even the pro riders sometimes had a crack at long distance riding in Australia. They were all about the distance and time records. In 1966, Barry Waddell set a solo record from Adelaide to Melbourne doing 465 miles (748.34km) in 22 hours 55 minutes.

Instagram
03/17/2017
Australian long distance started in Melbourne nearly 150 years ago.

Shortly after the first velocipedes arrived in Melbourne from Europe in 1868, the first long distance velocipede ride was on Monday 4 October, 1869, when the 24 year old civil engineer William Kernot rode from East Melbourne to Geelong in nine to ten hours.

Instagram
03/11/2017
"Le Ride" Documentary at the Sun Theatre Yarraville

Le Ride is a documentary about two riders who retraced the 1928 Tour de France in which Sir Hubert Opperman, two other Australians and one Kiwi cyclist teamed up to compete. More riders failed to finish the 1928 Tour than any other Tour in history: 168 riders began the 3,500-mile race; only 41 finished.

Instagram
1981 Melbourne to Warrnambool finish

1981 Melbourne to Warrnambool finish - L to R: Peter Cox NZL 1st, Colin Hately CPD 3rd, Terry Schintler BGO 2nd. Colin Hately, finished the race 10 times during the 1980’s, with a 7th in 1985, and 6th in 1986 to add to this 3rd before retiring in 1988.

3CR Community Radio (Podcast)
08/08/2016
Riding through grief

Val and Faith are joined in the studio today by Associate Professor, Craig Fry, of Victoria University. We share our bike moments before running through some news including; Yarra Council's decision on the Rushall Reserve shared path, the women's Olympic road race cycling crashes, the CX Grand Prix at Essendon Fields on the weekend and the upcoming census.

MAGAZINES

Cyclist Aus/NZ Magazine
05/01/2018
Australia's Toughest: Grafton to Inverell

The Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic is one of Australia's oldest and, some would say, toughest races. Cyclist tracked down its oldest-ever finisher, 71-year-old Mick Patton, to find out what makes the Grafton so special... Mick Patton has just arrived home from one of his last training rides before the 57th (2017) Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic (2018 marks the 58th edition).

Cyclist Aus/Nz Magazine
09/01/2017
Australia's toughest

The Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic is one of Australia's oldest and. some would say, toughest races. Cyclist tracked down it's oldest-ever finisher, 71-year-old Mick Patton, to find out what makes the Grafton so special...

Cycling Weekly
01/05/2017
Riding through rough times

Expert Comment - When my father passed away suddenly in October 2015, the resulting grief floored me. Alongside the love and support from family and friends, I found my bike helped me most...

Cyclist Australia/NZ
03/01/2017
Keeping up tradition

For cyclist Craig Fry, the Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic runs in his blood. It would take that - along with the accompanying sweat and tears - to reach the finish line.

The Ride Journal
12/15/2015
The Chase

Imagine you’ve entered a 24-hour, five rider time trial on the open roads. You’re trying to beat the Australian record (770km), and the World record (778km) for this event set in the mid 1990s.

Checkpoint (The magazine for long distance cyclists)
2014
Attempting the Oppy Record

On Saturday 15 March, Craig Fry was part of a team that attempted to beat the Flèche Opperman 24 hour record of 770 km. His team's ride of 730 km won them the 2014 Oppy Shield and makes them the first group to pass 700 km in the l;sat 21 years of the event.

NEWSPAPERS

The Age
02/12/2013
High on moral panic

Last week we did indeed witness the blackest day in Australian sport. But the low point was the public reaction to this latest drugs-in-sport story, not the apparent truth of the matter.

The Age
08/02/2013
Bring on new values in sport, whatever it takes

The Essendon Football Club revoved the 'Whatever it Takes' banner at Windy Hill, following accusations of using banned substances. Photo: Penny Stephens The unceremonious pressure-cleaning of the ''Whatever it takes'' poster at the Essendon Football Club early this year is symbolic of the culture change that may be taking place to resolve the drugs and supplements debacle in sport.

The Age
01/22/2013
Naming and shaming won’t wipe out cycling’s dirty secret

Amid the mountains of words written in Australia about Lance Armstrong's recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, there has been surprisingly little serious discussion about what it means for how we should respond to drugs and doping in cycling.

The Age
02/15/2011
Angry drivers make a cyclist's life hell

Cyclists run the gauntlet of abuse everyday in our car obssessed culture. Photo: Pat Scala Melbourne can be a dangerous place to ride a bicycle. My son face-planted onto concrete at the weekend while riding his bike in our backyard. Skin off, split lip, bruised nose and many tears. Blood everywhere.

The Age
08/12/2011
Cadel triumph should help shift focus to bicycle safety

Cadel Evans's homecoming parade in Melbourne today is a fitting acknowledgment of his remarkable achievement a few weeks ago as the first Australian to win the Tour de France. Given that much recent attention on cycling in this city has taken a riders versus drivers focus, today's celebration sends a sorely needed positive message about cycling.

SBS CYCLING CENTRAL

SBS Cycling Central
07/05/2018
On Chris Froome: It's not about the drugs

What I'm more concerned about in this whole Froome saga is the weak culture of cycling on display. The Froome story isn't really about drugs and doping behaviour. Instead, it's about broader factors in and around the sport of cycling which influence the way we think about doping and how to respond.

SBS Cycling Central
07/02/2018
21 Tour de France Aussie history facts for 21 stages

Australia's history at the Tour de France began over 100 years ago. Craig Fry's pulled together 21 key facts on Australian Tour de France history to help you get in the mood for the 105th edition of the greatest bike race of all.

SBS Cycling Central
09/23/2017
Australians at the UCI Road World Championships: by the numbers

The 84th UCI Road World Championships (the 'road worlds') kicked off last Sunday 17 September in the picturesque Norwegian town of Bergen. Once again, Australia has sent a strong team with a number of genuine podium prospects - 24 riders spread across the elite, under 23, and under 19 categories.

SBS Cycling Central
08/18/2017
Australians at the Vuelta a España: by the numbers

The 72nd edition of the 21 stage Vuelta a España starts this Sunday morning AEST. It is the youngest of the three Grand Tours, having started in 1935 and only running on consecutive years since 1955. Much of the focus of Australian cycling fans in the Vuelta lead up has been on the popular Queenslander Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal).

SBS Cycling Central
05/04/2017
Australians at the Giro d'Italia: by the numbers

The 100th edition of the 21 stage Giro d'Italia starts this Friday 5th of May. As SBS no longer has broadcast rights to the 'Corsa Rosa', Australian cycling fans will have to watch through pay-TV, or available free online sources of which there are a few.

SBS Cycling Central
04/22/2017
Aussies at Liège-Bastogne-Liège: by the numbers

First raced in 1892, La Doyenne (or "the Old Lady of the Classics") as the race is affectionately known is the oldest one-day classic, starting just three years before the first run of Australia's own famous Melbourne to Warrnabool classic in 1895. The Australian connection to Liège-Bastogne-Liège (LBL) goes back a long way.

SBS Cycling Central
04/07/2017
Hell of the North: Australian connections

I first saw the iconic images of the Paris-Roubaix one-day classic long before I turned a road bike pedal in anger. It was the early 1990s, and a friend had shown me some cycling magazine pictures of dust and mud covered riders after their battle on the cobbles in one of the races of that era.

SBS Cycling Central
03/17/2017
The Indian Pacific Wheel Race: Shaking it up on social media

Come 6:00am AWST this Saturday in the Western Australian port city of Fremantle, 70 or so cyclists will begin a race across Australia that has been described as "a life shaper" by Phil Liggett, and "the toughest cycle race ever staged in Australia" by SBS cycling expert Mike Tomalaris.

Cycling
02/07/2016
Cyclists: What will you do about doping now?

The use of banned drugs and substances and other prohibited practices - doping - has been a problem at the elite levels of cycling for a very long time. There is evidence now that doping happens in amateur levels of cycling too.

Cycling
06/23/2015
How to argue about doping in sport

There has been a huge amount of academic, policy, and public debate over the years about doping in sport (i.e. the use of banned performance enhancing substances or drugs and other prohibited practices), and significant resources devoted to addressing it.

News
07/16/2014
Comment: Cyclists can do more to be safer on the road

ABC's Media Watch program on Monday asked the important question: Is bicycle bashing in the media putting cyclists at risk? As far as I know, so far there has been no published research that has looked at this question. But I suspect if you asked, most regular riders would tell you negative media about cyclists can indeed influence driver behaviour.

News
05/09/2014
Comment: Victorians rule Australian cycling, at the Giro d'Italia and beyond

The annual Giro d'Italia bike race starting tomorrow signifies a peak time on the world professional cycling calendar, with the European Spring Classic races just finished, and the rest of the Grand Tours (including the Tour de France and Vuelta a España) all scheduled over the next few months.

CYCLING TIPS

CyclingTips
07/03/2018
Who is Australia's greatest ever Tour de France rider?

Sick of the Chris Froome saga? Tired of the negativity surrounding pro cycling and the Tour de France? In the following article Craig Fry takes us on a positive trip down memory lane, answering the question: who is Australia's greatest ever Tour de France rider?

CyclingTips
10/12/2017
Opinion: Why the Melbourne to Warrnambool should be a handicap race again

This Saturday nearly 200 cyclists will gather in Werribee for the start of the 102nd edition of the Melbourne to Warrnambool. 'The Warrny', as it’s affectionately known, is Australia’s oldest road race, and the second oldest road race in the world, behind Liege-Bastogne-Liege. For much of its history, the Warrny was a handicap race but nowadays it’s a mass-start scratch race. Indeed, all riders in all grades start together, from men’s National Road Series riders all the way down to D-grade...

CyclingTips
08/01/2017
There's no simple answer when it comes to ultra-endurance race deaths

The fifth edition of the Transcontinental ultra-endurance bike race across Europe was rocked over the weekend by the tragic death of Dutch rider Frank Simons. Simons' death is the third such incident in an ultra-endurance race in 2017, following the passing of Mike Hall in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race in March, and Eric Fishbein at the Trans Am in June.

Cycling Tips
07/27/2017
A cycling media that is soft on doping serves to normalise it

In light of my recent article on Lance Armstrong's 'Stages' podcast and the discussion that ensued, there were many interesting and valid points raised. As always, Armstrong continues to polarise people in ways like nobody else. Craig Fry is a longtime contributor who I respect and value his opinion.

CyclingTips
03/15/2017
The Indian Pacific Wheel Race: Once-in-a-lifetime adventure or folly for the foolhardy?

When the clock strikes 6:00am in Fremantle, Western Australia this Saturday morning, around 70 cyclists will start a race across Australia that will take the best of them nearly two weeks to finish. The Indian Pacific Wheel Race (or 'Indy Pac' for short) has no prize money, no trophies, and no massive crowds - just the road, and the unpredictable Australian elements.

CyclingTips
10/21/2016
My 101st Melbourne to Warrnambool cycling classic

The famous Melbourne to Warrnambool cycling classic is the second oldest one-day cycling race in the world and the longest in the Southern hemisphere. It is a monument of Australian cycling and has a rich history.

Cycling Tips
03/18/2016
How to break a 24-hour team time trial record: Can Drew Ginn and Team Brevet do it?

At 8:00am this Saturday riders across Australia will start the Audax “Oppy” 24-hour team time trial, aiming to get to designated finish towns by 8:00am Sunday. Team Brevet is again attempting the current Australian record with a goal of 776km. Craig Fry, a member of the team that won the event in 2014, previews the ‘Oppy24’ and Team Brevet’s chances.

Cycling Tips
09/13/2013
The end of the Goulburn to Sydney cycling classic?

The Goulburn to Sydney Cycling Classic, one of Australia’s oldest road races, was supposed to be running this weekend but has been cancelled due to safety concerns. Today Craig Fry takes a look at the history of this great race and ponders the question: have we seen the last of the Goulburn to Sydney?

Cycling Tips
06/26/2013
John Beasley – Australia’s oldest living Tour de France rider

As you prepare to cheer on the Australian cyclists in the 100th edition of the Tour de France, spare a thought for the pioneers who went before them, including John Beasley. John is Australia's oldest living Tour de France rider and this is his story.

Cycling Tips
10/25/2013
Grafton to Inverell: The hardest one-day race in Australia?

The 53rd Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic will run this Saturday October 26 as the final race in the men's National Road Series. This 228km ‘Mountain Classic’ held in northern New South Wales is considered one of the toughest races on the Australian road race calendar.

Cycling Tips
12/13/2013
Riding through history: The 1956 Olympic road race

In the early hours of Saturday December 7 2013, 12 riders set out from the Melbourne Cricket Ground to re-trace the original Broadmeadows course of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics road race. Organised by Brad Priest and Paul Munro of the Road Race Project, the ride marked the 57th anniversary of the Olympic race. Craig Fry and CyclingTips editor Matt de Neef joined the ride and prepared this piece on the history of the 1956 race and the Road Race Project.

Cycling Tips
02/06/2014
The Sun Tour: Australia’s oldest stage race

With the 2014 edition of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour now underway, CyclingTips' resident historian Craig Fry takes a look back at Australia’s oldest stage race, speaking with two Sun Tour legends – Barry Waddell (five-time winner) and John Trevorrow (three-time winner and current race director) – to get their expert views and memories about this great race.

Cycling Tips
10/09/2013
The long history of the Melbourne to Warrnambool classic

The 98th edition of the famous Melbourne to Warrnambool one-day classic will be held this Saturday, October 12. It is Australia’s oldest road race still in existence, and the second oldest in the world behind Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Cycling Tips
02/28/2014
The Austral Wheel Race: The world’s oldest track race

This Saturday, March 1, the Darebin International Sports Centre in Melbourne will play host to the 116th edition of the Austral Wheel Race. It is regarded by many as Australia’s greatest track cycling event, and is the world’s oldest track race. To get you ready for the 2014 Austral, Craig Fry delves into the archives to uncover some of the fascinating (and sometimes sordid) history of this important bike race.

Cycling Tips
12/10/2015
Failure while daring greatly: Miles Smith’s year record attempt is over…for now

Earlier this year we took a look at Miles Smith’s attempt at the year cycling distance record. Unfortunately Miles experienced some major health issues and faced other hurdles during his record bid, all of which eventually ended his campaign. In this follow-up piece Craig Fry catches up with Miles to hear what happened.

THE CONVERSATION

The Conversation
04/09/2017
Australia does Paris-Roubaix: By the numbers

It's a big day in Australia for cycling fans. The 115th edition of the Paris-Roubaix one-day classic starts from Compiègne just after 11.00am local French time today (around 7:15pm AEST). Paris-Roubaix is one of the most popular races on the world professional cycling calendar for Australian fans.

The Conversation
03/24/2017
Does everything and nothing change when a cyclist dies?

Two weeks ago today, Arzu Baglar died while cycling in Melbourne's inner west. She was hit by a truck turning the corner of Somerville road and Whitehall street in Yarraville. Arzu was just 36, and a married mother of two young children.

The Conversation
06/23/2016
Can cycling help with grief and depression?

My father Lindsay Fry passed away suddenly eight months ago. He had end stage cancer, which was found well advanced on his lung and spine. Sadly, my father died just seven weeks after his diagnosis. He was two weeks short of his 70th birthday.

The Conversation
07/10/2015
Is the Tour de France more dangerous these days?

It has already been an eventful Tour de France this year. To stage seven there have been 12 rider abandons due mostly to crashes, and many other riders are nursing significant injuries.

The Conversation
06/16/2015
How to dope in cycling and get away with it

As an academic researcher, I have studied drugs in society for the last 20 years. In my current job, I also study cycling history and culture, and the place of drugs and doping in this sport.

The Conversation
05/28/2015
Australia’s cycling media and governing bodies are complicit in the doping problem.

Last week in this Column I asked the question: Should past cycling dopers continue to benefit from the sport they cheated? It was prompted by hearing that Stuart O’Grady, one of Australia’s best-loved and most successful cyclists and a confessed doper, was to be a co-host in the new SBS Bike Lane program which started last Sunday.

The Conversation
05/30/2014
If cheating is ‘normal’ in cycling, how can we build integrity?

“Integrity” is currently the buzzword around Australian sport policy-making. An integrity in sport forum, co-convened by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame (SOHAF) and Victoria University in Melbourne this week, gathered Australia’s sporting leaders from all levels and codes to (in the words of SAHOF chairman John Bertrand) “face the issues, understand the threats and provide guidance and a roadmap".

The Conversation
07/25/2015
Tour de France race etiquette seems silly in the context of doping

I have always found it funny how some of the Tour de France riders get so annoyed when someone transgresses on race etiquette around seemingly minor issues. The latest example of this grumbling was from Chris Froome on stage 19 yesterday - Vincenzo Nibali apparently attacked when he shouldn’t have.

The Conversation
07/04/2014
Tour de France – race of beauty or environmental hazard?

It’s that time of year again. The 101st Tour de France begins this Saturday July 5 in the Yorkshire city of Leeds, and three days later it returns to French home soil for Stage 4 (Le Touquet-Paris-Plage to Lille).

The Conversation
07/10/2014
Unofficial rules of the Tour de France matter most

Riders in the Tour de France are engaging in a battle of wits as they follow two sets of rules – the official rules and the other set of “unofficial” rules that come with any competitive sporting challenge.

ACADEMIC WRITING

Twitter icon Youtube icon Instagram icon Email icon