Hampson at home on the road
TWO years ago, John Hampson tried to bulk up at the gym and realised it wasn't for him.
Now the 25-year-old from Stratheden, near Casino, is on the verge of starting a cycling career in Europe.
"I was living in Wagga Wagga and going to the gym with a mate," Hampson said.
"It wasn't really beneficial for us, so we got out of there and got on to some old bikes.
"There was a big cycling fraternity down there and we hooked straight away."
Since then Hampson has joined a club at Murwillumbah and has gone to France to compete.
He competes in one of the top road racing divisions in Australia and only a problem with a bike licence has held him back from more rides in France.
"I went over for three months last year and only got to compete in the one race because of the licence issue," he said.
"Because I already had an Australian licence it makes it hard to get an international one but the plan is to go back next year.
"It's amazing how big it is in Europe. They grow up on bikes over there.
"They probably love it us much as we love our cricket."
Hampson visited Casino Christian School recently with his French mate Sebastien Seillens, who competes on the national circuit in France.
It was a timely visit, with the Tour de France having just finished and with the Olympic Games starting.
"The kids were interested in the bikes and it's definitely something I recommend young people get involved in," Hampson said.
"I'm still relatively new to the sport and it takes time to build up your endurance. I hooked up with a coach last year and it's all starting to go to plan.
"The cost of it all isn't too bad but it's a lot of hours training, with races most weekends."