Join us as we ride for Boltsy

By Wade Wallace | Photo by Jeff Curtes

Most of you reading won’t have had the pleasure of knowing Peter Bolton (Boltsy as we call him), and that’s a real shame. But tens of thousands of you read his story a few months ago and connected with the message he wanted to leave us with.

Peter passed away peacefully yesterday morning, October 5, 2016, at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne with his family by his side. Fortunately he did not suffer for long and his quality of life since he was diagnosed with cancer was better than most healthy people.

In Boltsy’s death we lost a loved member of the Melbourne cycling community; a husband, a father, a friend, and one of the greatest and earliest supporters of CyclingTips. I’m sure there are thousands of similar stories from different people on how he loved to support and help his mates.

We all ride for different reasons, but I’d invite those of you in Melbourne to join us this Saturday, at 8:30am at the Black Rock Clock Towner to ride together for one common reason: to celebrate the man and the life of Peter Bolton. We’ll be riding at a smooth pace, turning at Mordialloc and finishing at Soul Kitchen on the Beach (a.k.a. Cafe Racer) for a coffee — and his son Richard will be there leading the way.

If you don’t know Peter but connected with his story through a common experience, or if you simply had empathy for his situation, please join us in thought and cause wherever you are in riding on Saturday morning. To celebrate Peter’s life, and in the name of anyone else going through this horrible disease.

In our ‘Why I Ride’ competition nearly a year ago, Peter Bolton left the words you see below. These words beautifully embody the man he was. He won’t be remembered for the races he won. He’ll be remembered for the impression he left on all of us, his positivity, his kindness, and the time he gave everyone he encountered. He made all of us feel like you were one of his best mates.

On those dark, wet morning rides that barely anybody showed up to, Peter was always there with a smile on his face showing us that getting to ride is a privilege and one that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

“Why do I ride? I have ridden a bike for about 30 years so the answer to that question has changed. At first it was because my mates all rode bikes to get around as a teenager. Then it was to train for a triathlon. Riding a bike was fun. So then it was to train and race road races. This was it, racing a bike was great fun.

You could inflict pain onto your friends when you were fit or suffer like a dog if you weren’t. Even have a win here and there if you were lucky. You had to get up early to train in the dark before work, but we all did it so that was ok. Racing gave you that nervous excited feeling that was good and bad.

Balancing family, work and cycling sometimes meant that cycling took a back seat but [was] never forgotten. Recently I was stuck in this hospital bed diagnosed with cancer. Cancer took away my cycling for about six months. But it wasn’t going to win that battle. From that bed I remember looking out the window one Saturday morning — it was sunny but still early. I could see guys riding down St Kilda road heading off on their rides. I was gutted.

Now, a bit of cold, bit of rain, bit of wind, no drama — it’s better than being in that bed. So now I ride again. I suppose the real reason why I ride a bike is because, I LOVE IT and I CAN!” – Peter”

Peter’s left us with many great memories and examples of the type of man most of us aspire to be. He also wanted to leave a message: Get your male health check at 40. Please take note of Peter’s message.

We hope to see you there on Saturday morning as we ride for Peter. If you can’t be there, I hope you can be there in spirit.

  • Wookie

    I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Mr. Bolton, but I remember reading his ‘why I ride’ entry, and one of many thoughts I had was “gee this bloke’s a very good writer…”; I felt genuinely moved and inspired. RIP Peter, may you always be riding, somewhere out there. I know I will be, after reading yr words.
    Sincerest sympathies to Peter’s family.

    • Cheers @gnp15:disqus. We lost a great man and even if you didn’t know him, he was always here quietly along side reading nearly every article we published.

  • Damien Cook

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself,
    Every man is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
    Or of thine own were:
    Any man’s death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;

    It tolls for thee.

    John Donne

  • Great post Wade. That was a great weekend away. Infectious positivity is how I could sum Boltsy up. What a man.

  • lowercasev

    I’ll always remember the Tuesday morning TdB rides where Pete would turn up rain, hail or shine, then proceed to rip our legs off on the Doncaster Road climb. Never a grimace and always a smile. Never a negative word to say and always feeling “great”, no matter what. We’ll miss you Pete. You are such a great role model and influence on Richard… Soon it will be his turn to rip our legs off on Doncaster Road, I’m sure. :-) VS

  • Tony Mclean

    Rode many K’s with Peter mainly NRR and these rides were pre 5:45 and before Hollywood joined in. 4 or 5 days a week always up there rolling through. And on the easy just being there. Some days i would sit at the gate just loving the ride.I only remember him going crook at me once.I was in The Alfred and he came in to see me…He said “I rode passed you on Saturday and said How you doing. .you said ok don’t wait you go on…WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME YOU WERE HAVING A HEART ATTACK. ..i said sorry didn’t want to spoil your ride..Anyway triple bypass all good cheers mate.It was always good to see him and enjoyed a coffee and chat usually at Racers.Will ride tomorrow and remember a bloody great bloke. RIP .

    • Peter Hempenstall

      I met Peter when I joined Footscray club many years ago and used to meet him out on the road training.He is one of the most decent funny blokes ive ever met also a very good bikerider and I am very sad to hear of his passing.When i ever think of the great times i had out racing at Footscray club and the great friendships i made out there i think of blokes like Peter Bolton.Peter Hempenstall.

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