Triple whammy won’t trip Tim Wodetzki

Ready for challenge: Tim Wodetzki trains for the gruelling ride. Picture: Michael CoppGETTING on the bicycle isn’t just a recreational pursuit for Craigieburn’s Tim Wodetzki – it’s a conscious choice to extend his life.

Suffering from the triple whammy of sleep apnoea, atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) and weight gain, Mr Wodetzki hit the road seriously a few years ago, not only for a mental escape but as a way of improving his physical health and getting back to work.

In November, he and his partner Sarah will tackle the 591-kilometre Great Victorian Bike Ride, with 4000 other riders, on a nine-day journey described as a “week in another world”.

“I’ve always been interested in bike touring,” Mr Wodetzki says, “and this seemed like the perfect way to get started.”

Mr Wodetzki, 48, began training two years ago. Although the former photography assistant is not yet back at work, he’s shed almost 40 kilograms – down from 150 kilograms a few years ago – through sheer pedal power.

“I’m managing the sleep apnoea now, although the atrial fibrillation remains still a bit of a mystery,” he says.

His regime consists of short rides during the week and longer stretches of 50 kilometres-plus on weekends.

He competed in the 100-kilometre Around the Bay in a Day (Sorrento to Melbourne) last year, but the Great Vic remains an unknown quantity for him.

“It’s still a bit of a mystery, the ride,” Mr Wodetzki says.

“But I’m pretty confident I’ll do well.”

The Great Victorian Bike Ride is from Saturday, November 24, to Sunday, December 2.