Geoff Hardaker first came along to Coffs Harbour Cycling Club Track racing at Brelsford Park in 2003 with his sons, Nathan (seven) and Troy (five). He probably didn’t envision that he would still be involved with the club today and have done as much as he has over his time with the Cycle Club and the extended community.
At first, Geoff was happy to come along (and give his two bobs worth!) and let his kids race and train. Although it wasn’t too long before, instead of sitting on the sidelines, he jumped in and became involved with the background runnings of the club. He began with commisairing roles and helping to organise events, through to the building of the Coffs Harbour Cycle Complex at Toormina. He has held positions, such as Club Commissaire, Track VP and Race Director for Track and Crits, with his achievements being recognised with a Club Person of the year.
Geoff is a man to have on your side. When he has his “Coms” hat on, he follows the rules and regulations to a T, and will tell you right from wrong, which of course he isn’t often wrong when it comes to Cycling rules and regulations. It is impressive to think how many home and away events Geoff has officiated for, including, the Coffs Coast Challenge, Battle of the Border, G2I, Sydney Christmas Carnivals, Armidale Crits, Junior State Road Championships, Coffs Harbour Tours, Country Championships, Ride around the River, Port Macquarie Junior Tour, 100km Ladies Ride and local Charity Rides. Geoff also joined the “Officiating Moto Crew”, zipping past cyclists, keeping an eye on riders and being the protector of his bunch.
It was a family affair for the Hardakers, Geoff and Tracee a duo when it came to commissairing throughout junior events and the boys racing throughout the state. Nathan won his first State title in the Under 9’s at Dubbo, leading to more involvement from Geoff. Geoff and Tracee always travelling and supporting their children in their cycling adventures. However, it wasn’t just their children that were encouraged from the Hardaker sidelines, Geoff and Tracee have always helped and encouraged all junior riders, their commitment not going unnoticed.
Geoff’s passion has erred more on the side of Track Cycling. When the idea came about of the new Velodrome, Geoff, alongside Steve Woods, was the driving force to get the track built to the correct specifications (Did he forget the roof?). His commitment meant that Cycle Clubs around the world have asked for his opinion in building their venues.
Over the last decade, Geoff’s driving force has been dedicated to getting riders within the Coffs Harbour Cycle Club to state recognition. The Split Development Cycling Team was established to encourage junior riders in our area to train and compete in their age divisions. Geoff was there, helping with the technical side of things such as correct gearing, bike mechanics and holding riders at their mark for a push on the track. Geoff was also responsible for setting up members to travel to Dunc Gray Velodrome and have private sessions on the track on more than one occasion.
Most recently, Geoff’s biggest achievement (alongside Craig and CHCC) has been the addition of Ladies Track participation, with Come and Try Track Programs. Geoff has been a major part of this program, from setting up bikes, holding at starts, motor pacing, drink man and of course, one of the best support men on the sidelines. Even organising training sessions so the ladies could go and have a ride at the Dunc Gray Velodrome, where riders could have a roll on the timber boards. The smile on Geoff’s face the first time two ladies pursuit teams went to Sydney for the NSW State Masters Championships was huge.
The Coffs Harbour Cycle Club has been fortunate and thankful to Geoff for his involvement, commitment and company throughout the 17 years he has been with us. He may have been the ‘serious commissaire’, the ‘Dad on the sideline’, the ‘pain in the backside’, he may have been the ‘Moto Derny rider’, but he has always been there for so many riders within our club who are forever grateful for his support. Thank you, Geoff, for all you have done, you will always hold a special place within the Coffs Harbour Cycle Club.