Category ArchiveNoble Park & Dandenong ACC

One man, one wheel, one mission

Ryan’s supporters at Maurice Kirby Velodrome, Parkfield Reserve, Dunblane Road, Noble Park

  • Sign the Change.org petition: Save Noble Park Velodrome before it’s too late!
  • Chuffed.org crowdfunding: Help Us Rebuild Noble Park Dandenong Cycling Club

  • How’s this for sheer determination to battle through adversity?! On Friday 1st March 2019, under the relentless and intense Noble Park sun, this young man, Ryan Koroknai, set out with one goal in mind, to ride 100km on one wheel at the Maurice Kirby Velodrome (MKV) to raise funds to help restart the Noble Park Dandenong Cycling Club Inc. and save the historic velodrome from demolition.

    What was a single man’s personal test, became a story of unimagined proportions. We had scores of local cyclists come out, lap records fall, tales of Ryan’s grandpa racing around this hallowed grounds and even three unannounced Japanese cyclists training on the track.

    By the time when the 100km mark had been breached on his unicycle, Ryan had one thing to say: “Water has never tasted so good.” We raise our glasses of water to you Ryan and your fighting spirit! You deserved every drop of it!

    Here’s that link again for anyone that wants to help kickstart the old Noble Park-Dandenong Cycling Club and be part of something big. NPDCC will only grow from strength to strength here on in.

    On a side note, the three Japanese cyclists remarked the MKV as a beautiful track to ride on. The velodromes where they are from all must be paid and booked before using and are not as relaxed as MKV compared to Keirin tracks. How did they stumble across the MKV? They googled for ‘velodrome’ on Google Maps and we happened to be the closest!!

    One man, one wheel, one mission

    Ryan Koroknai

    I had the honour yesterday of completing a task on the Maurice Kirby velodrome in Noble Park, which many believed was just about impossible. The 100km unicycle challenge. Nevertheless, I pulled my socks up (literally) and got to work.

    My first hurdle came 20km in where I had a nasty high speed accident, leaving me with a ripped skin suit and a lot of pain. All the training in the world wouldn’t have prevented the accident. It simply comes with riding a unicycle… but when you fall you get back up and keep going. As dad always told me, “finish what you start”. Those who know our family well, know that we don’t give up without a fight.

    The mission wasn’t just about completing the 100km unicycle challenge, it was a whole lot more than that. My mission was also to raise as much money for the Noble Park Dandenong Cycling Club and to show City of Greater Dandenong how important this velodrome is to the community.

    We had international riders from Japan came to the track by pure chance as they were looking for a velodrome to train at and Noble Park was the closest one.

    I feel very proud to be saving this iconic velodrome named after Maurice Kirby. I’m still in great disbelief with the current situation on the velodrome being fast tracked. But as they say … it’s not over till it’s over!

    I’d like to thank everyone for coming yesterday to support me especially family, friends and those who have supported my mission.

    To my Omi for being there through the 38C° heat in your wheelchair as you cheered me on is something I will never forget. To have completed the challenge on the track my Opi (Olympian grandpa) used to race on is something rather special.

    To my brother for staying the whole day counting 250 laps over 5hrs and for being my feed station.

    To Miranda and Will for your encouragement. Special thanks to Will for patching up my wounds and driving me everywhere.

    To my mum and dad for their endless support. Your words of encouragement and sheer presence was enough to keep me going. My unicycle was also homemade by dad the handyman.

    And last but not least, to the team at NPDCC, you know who you are… thank you for all your hard work to promote my ride whether that be a facebook post, radio broadcast, or an ad, it didn’t go unnoticed! So once again, thank you!