Cycology Origin Story - A Life Spent Painting Behind Bars

Cycology Origin Story - A Life Spent Painting Behind Bars

Meet Sarina Tomchin

My name is Sarina. I grew up on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia.

Where Sarina is from :-)

Red arrow marks the spot :-)

I am the eldest of 4 children, hard-working school-teacher parents and not much money. My mother was an Arts & Craft Teacher and School Librarian. Dad was a Primary school teacher and worked 2 jobs after school. We picked old up bikes on council rubbish days and some of my earliest memories are of riding those old single speed bikes to school and back, riding around the local trails in a bikie ‘gang” of kids, loving the freedom a bike gave us.

To keep us out of trouble, mum kept us busy with a lot of art projects and we all played at least 3 instruments.

I LOVED running and ran a lot: trails & sand dunes, along the beaches. Exercise felt good, I escaped into a world of dreams & make believe filled with the sensory delights of salt water breezes, sunshine, the scent & vivid colours of Aussie bush, beaches, lakes & stunning wildlife. My dad tried to accompany me as a teenager as he didn’t want me running through the bush on my own, but soon gave up and we joined a big running group, the Hash House Harriers.

Stress Fractures in my legs from too much running as a teenager meant I bought my 1st brand new $200 ‘racing’ bike and so began a life-long love affair with 2 wheels.

I swam, surfed, paddled wave skis and generally loved any physical activity & sports. My father suffered and still suffers from depression and needed daily exercise to cope with his demons. Sunshine, exercise and good fresh food every day was drummed into us from an early age. My parents would put a skull & cross bone on the sugar container, taught us to eat a high fibre diet of fresh veg, nuts, seeds, wholemeal everything…drinking fresh rain water and good coffee.

As an impressionable teenager my high school Phys Ed Teacher who coached me for all sports taught me that the fastest horses in the world ate only alfalfa and the fastest runner in the world, Carl Lewis was vegetarian. I went home and declared I was vegetarian. I was 13. I was School X-Country & Athletics Champion for years. Many years later, our family eats plant based.

Sarina having a crack :-)

Sarina having a crack on her single speed 29er.

The years that followed saw me on the tried & true endurance sport route many of us follow; running Marathons, Trail Ultra-marathons -winning the 6 Foot Track Ultra Marathon, over 100 Triathlons, Ocean Swimming, morphing into Adventure Races, Endurance XC Mountain Biking -on a Single Speed Hard Tail and always Road Cycling with many Gran Fondo & endurance rides ticked off.

Riding & running with friends, sharing laughter, discussing everything/anything, conquering endurance challenges, having wild adventures makes you feel SO alive and happy. All night runs & rides through bush or cities, sharing pain & tiredness with friends then watching glorious sunsets and sunrises, make memories & friendships you’ll never ever forget.

Sarina In Aciton

Sarina letting out the creativity :-)

The Start of Cycology

After 20 years as a commercial artist, I began painting & drawing about these adventures. Michael (my husband) and I started CYCOLOGY to share the thoughts, emotions & feelings that cyclists, runners & triathletes experience. We hoped the artwork would resonate with our followers and they’d recognise the kindred spirit, the magic of our sports and how it helps us all in every aspect of our lives. I try to portray the happiness, fulfilment, humour, pain and joy I feel, the things we say, the mantras we live by. It is a lifestyle and culture we hope to share.

We started with 10 tee shirts….and grew our business from home, here in Sydney and we’re still having fun. We outgrew our home and now Michael runs the business worldwide using 3PL warehouses in various countries.

We have amazing customers from ALL over the world who share their stories with us. It gives us great joy to read these. I thought I’d share this email with you.

Caroline, thanks for sharing your email and story with us. Sending you lots of love and healing energy your way!

Dear Sarina,

I just want to write to you and let you know your work really has an impact on my life.

I was already a big fan of your clothing for some years but this summer my world was put upside down.

Carolin and friends :-)

Left to right: Christine, Caroline (the author of this email) & Ilse.

Mid July I was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer that needed immediate chemotherapy. Time between diagnosis and my first treatment was not even two weeks.

I have a long but feasible trajectory in front of me. I am treated in a big and well-known university centre in Belgium and in the good hands of a multidisciplinary team. However, more than anything else I started to fully understand the meaning of your brand Cycology. The bike really is my best therapist around together with two of my best friends who renamed themselves into my "Guardian Bike Angels". Biking keeps me mentally and physically balanced in these challenging times.

It's really impactful Cycology!

It's rather rainy here in Belgium at the moment but sending you very warm greetings. Thanks Sarina!

Keep up the good work & keep on inspiring so many of us.

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