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What started with a message on social media has turned into something of a coming together of the cycling community as support pours in for a group of cyclists from Ghana.

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One moment he’s doing bike fits and repairs, as per a usual working day. The next he’s the proxy administrator/manager/mechanic for a national team. Peter Spencer has helped the riders from Ghana’s cycling contingent for next month’s Commonwealth Games upgrade their bikes and the support from the Australian cycling community is growing day by day.

The news has gone viral and media outlets around Australia are now reporting on cycling (at last) as this feel-good story gains traction.

RIDE caught up with Peter Spencer earlier today to find out the backstory of how it came to be that equipment from all over Australia is being sent to his shop so that he can assist the Ghana cycling team as it prepares for the Comm Games in Queensland.


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Training with the national team from Ghana… and feeling the love from the Australian cycling community.

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RIDE: I’m talking with Peter Spencer who is the owner of a company called GC Bike Fit up on the Gold Coast. You’ve hit the news of late with thanks to the Ghana cycling team. Can you give us a little bit of background on what’s come up?

Peter Spencer: “At the moment, I have been interviewed by every news service that I’ve ever heard of and probably hit the pinnacle here with RIDE Media calling. Ha! I’m pretty proud of that at the moment.

“The started when they started enquiring about finding some race-available tandems in time for the Commonwealth Games. This was only three weeks before the Games are due to start – and they’re asking for custom-made race bikes.

“Anyone who has ever ordered a custom-made bike realises that three weeks isn’t exactly a whole lot of time to get that organised…

“The story started with not enough detail for me to order a bike on, and promises of money coming from ways that you’d probably find a little less than comforting straight away.

“I didn’t take it seriously enough in the first place; it didn’t sound like an official body looking for bikes in the first place. It just sounded surreal.

“So, after a few weeks had passed, and they actually arrived in the country and I got to meet them first-hand by chance, then we started actually talking about the fact that that was a real offer in the first place.”


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Out of the blue you’ve basically become the patron of the Ghana cycling team…

“Not actually. They’ve got their own bikes here. As far as I know they were supported by Cervélo and they’ve just bought a couple of Scott bikes over but the original bikes that they came to Australia with left a fair bit to be desired.

“The chains are beyond stretched.

“Their gear selection was shaky, at best.

“One of the guys rear derailleur hangers actually isn’t bolted in, the quick-release held it in.

“The bar tape was white and fluffing… it used to be bar tape but now it’s literally just the under-layer of fluff. It was that well used.

“They definitely got their value out of the equipment they had.”


And tell me about them as bike riders. We’ve heard a bit about their equipment but do they go alright on the bike?

“They have the opportunity to race, at best, 10 times per year.

“These guys themselves live about 300km apart, so they’re not exactly part of The Local Training Bunch and they are the best competition each of them have against each other.

“The local racing in Ghana, as far as they’re concerned, is the Sunday bunch ride. And because they’re the best in their respective locations, they ride away from everyone and they don’t see anyone again…

“As far as bike riders go, they’re excellent for where they come from but from a Gold Coast perspective – where the standard is really high at the moment – they are pretty typical A-grade cyclists.”


What can we expect from them come the road race at the Commonwealth Games? I think we’re going to see a pretty big contingent of Ghana supporters out on the roadside…

“Absolutely! I wouldn’t be surprised to see them as the most supported country based on the media attention they’ve received at the moment.

“As for the athletes, you could imagine that they’ll be turning their eyelids inside-out because the amount of effort that they’re going to put in because they are the kind of guys who keep finding one more layer every time that they have to go up and over that hill.

“I would like to say that they’re going to be contenders but knowing the world stage, they’re probably not going to be medal contenders. But god, it’s going to be good to watch them race.”


Just tell us about the coming together of equipment that did come through the local community. What did they end up getting and how did that come about?

“It’s only Wednesday and most of everything that people have pledged was only managed to be posted yesterday so I imagine there’ll be a huge influx today.

“If half of what’s been promised shows up, I expect that we’ll have about 80 chains, more than 100 cassettes. I already have 30 sets of tyres and, so far today, the post hasn’t been delivered.

“A good customer of mine bought 10 brand-new chains to have them sent directly to me straight away, and added to what everybody else is sending up in bags and boxes it’s going to be quite a haul.

“We’ve had commercial sponsors come on board, FE Sports in particular has donated a lot of goods including Scratch Labs nutrition.

“We’ve had other commercial sponsors come on board with parts to overhaul the bikes.”


It’s a fantastic story and I think we’ll all be tuning in to watch with interest to see how it develops. Thanks for taking the time to explain a little bit of background.

“I’d love it to be known that it’s not that the officials haven’t done their job. They have done it to the best of their ability; it’s just that what we have in this country is so far above what they consider ‘normal’ that I want to give them a taste of what cycling in Australia is like.”



– Interview by Rob Arnold