Months before he made international headlines for a kind gesture during the Tokyo Paralympics, Stuart Jones was training with the Goulburn Cycle Club.
The 52-year-old para-cyclist came to town from his home in Parramatta in order train ahead of the National Championships held last February in Ballarat.
In January, Greater Sydney was designated a red zone by the Victorian government, meaning residents such as Jones would have to complete two weeks of quarantine before entering the state.
This would have negatively impacted his preparations for the championships, so Jones was asked by his coach to relocate on short notice to an orange zone in NSW, such as Goulburn, where he could continue training and then enter Victoria on the back of a negative COVID-19 test.
"Goulburn's only two hours away from Sydney, two hours away from home," Jones said.
"The way COVID changes day-to-day, who knows what's going to happen? I really didn't want to go all the way to Albury and then get told that I can't get over the border."
Jones was already familiar with Goulburn, and specifically the Greengrocer Bike Shop, having stopped there in 2014 during a lymphoma charity ride.
So when he looked to stay in Goulburn ahead of the National Championships, Jones reached out to Greengrocer Cycling on Facebook, where Goulburn Cycle Club secretary, Chris Berry, informed him of the club's weekly races.
"He raced a couple of times with us on the open road and did some training rides with us," Berry said.
"He spent I think two weeks based at one of the caravan parks, and he'd come down to the Greengrocer and go for a ride with us, and then come out racing on Wednesday night."
Jones spoke glowingly of his time in Goulburn, and said he was enamoured not just of the warm welcome he was offered by the GCC, but the friendly atmosphere of the town.
"I ride a trike, so I'm just under two bike-widths," he said.
"I take up a little bit more of the road, and one thing we cyclists find is a lot of drivers will skim you, especially in Sydney. But in Goulburn, everyone gave me a lot of space.
"That's the country people being considerate. That's the way I see it, anyway. 99 per cent of the time, country people are really good people.
"It was great, I felt safe on the roads. So to the Goulburn people, it's a big thank you."
It was actually a small act of kindness from Berry during Jones' time in Goulburn that helped to inspire what would come to be the para-cyclist's defining moment of the Tokyo Olympics.
Due to his physical impairment and the nature of his trike, Jones is not as fast a starter as most able-bodied cyclists.
"I was out there on the Saturday or Sunday morning ride, and the group took off," Jones said.
"My bike's double the weight and I'm a big guy. The group took off and I dropped behind. But Chris stayed with me all the way back to the Greengrocer, he didn't leave me."
During the Paralympic T1-2 road race on Thursday, September 2, Jones was battling up the final hill in pouring rain, when he noticed South Africa's Toni Mould, who has cerebral palsy, lagging behind the field in her own race and struggling with the incline.
Instead of leaving Mould behind and pursuing a better place, Jones accepted the fact that he was not going to podium, and chose to ride alongside the South African. This decision, he said, was a driven by the sense of camaraderie instilled in him during his military career.
"Back in the army, you were taught not to leave your mates behind," Jones said.
"And I guess that flowed over, while Toni was in a totally different race to me - the female T1-2 race - she was still a cyclist, she was still a Paralympian.
"There was that sense of 'you don't leave someone behind' ... so what Chris did for me, I simply did for Toni."
Unbeknownst to Jones until well after the race concluded, this moment was caught by the cameras and quickly made waves on social media.
Though many online commentators praised the Australian's selflessness, Jones said he did what he hoped anybody would do in the same situation.
"That's what the Paralympics are about, isn't it?" he said.
"It's nice to get a gold medal, but it's about people who face adversity in their life overcoming it and trying to excel at the highest level."
Following his time in Goulburn, Jones was cheered on by the locals he had befriended, who were thrilled to see him make headlines for his act of decency.
"It was absolutely fantastic," Berry said.
"He's someone who came and visited us, and then went off to do something great. We just thought it was a good thing to get behind him and support him, and a lot of the guys sent him best wishes on the Paralympics."
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