Tony Abbott leaves on his bike after launching the 2013 Pollie Pedal outside of Parliament House. Photo: Stefan Postles
It was the last hours of Julia Gillard's tumultuous three years as Prime Minister and key Kevin Rudd lieutenants were counting the numbers while plotting his return to the top job.
The rapidly unfolding events had Parliament House and much of the nation entranced, but Tony Abbott was reportedly nowhere to be found.
It's better to have a cycling prime minister than one who doesn't cycle at all.
Just weeks later he would become Australia's 28th Prime Minister - but Mr Abbott was out on his bike. A fitness fanatic and ironman, within hours of being declared the winner of Saturday's election the Prime Minister-elect was back on his bike riding with friends.
Tony Abbott rides Red Hill with the lights of Canberra in the background. Photo: Glen McCurtayne
After years of tackling Mount Ainslie's unforgiving climbs, Mr Abbott is yet to take a post-election ride in Canberra.
Perhaps too busy forming government on Monday, his office did not respond to questions about his choice of model or if a bicycle was kept in his Canberra office. However, the city's cycling community said they were eager to welcome Tony Abbott to their ranks.
Pedal Power spokesman Matt Larkin said he had been a regular fixture on Canberra's roads during his 19-year parliamentary career.
"It's better to have a cycling prime minister than one who doesn't cycle at all," he said.
"But what I think we would be more interested in is someone who is including cycling when they are spending billions and billions on infrastructure."
Mr Larkin said the nation's next leader did a good job promoting the health and lifestyle benefits of cycling to Australians and suggested he enjoy a ride on the popular Cotter Uriarra Loop, easily accessible from The Lodge.
''One ride that he might be interested in is Amy's Big Canberra Bike Ride every year in March,'' Mr Larkin said.
''It starts and finishes on Federation Mall between Old Parliament House and new Parliament House and is a great event.''
In 2008, Mr Abbott wrote that bikes were ''a freedom machine for people who'd rather not pay for petrol and like being fitter than their contemporaries''.
"The disdain motorists express for cyclists is secret envy," he said in a newspaper opinion piece calling for marked bike lanes to be a planning requirement for all new main roads.
Since 1998, his annual Pollie Pedal fundraising event has collected $2.5 million for Australian charities and he has previously praised British Prime Minister David Cameron for riding to work.
Preferring a ride to John Howard's legendary morning power walks, Mr Larkin said cycling was a great form of exercise for people in stressful jobs.
''If you are in the habit of getting up early and getting on the road, it is a great way to start the day,'' he said.
''You will find many of the guys most Canberrans have seen out on the roads in lycra are high achievers. There is a whole mix of people, builders and tradies and top flight lawyers.''
He said Mr Abbott should take a bipartisan approach to cycling in Canberra and join Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury for a morning ride and a coffee.
''Much as he may not get along with the Greens on every issue, Shane Rattenbury has been saying a lot of helpful things about vulnerable road users in Canberra.''
''There are good car drivers and bad car drivers, just like cyclists, but what we need to do is get along the best way we can and behave as well as we can.''
Mr Larkin said cyclists would be watching the new PM's form.
"I noticed in one of the photos that the bike he was riding on Sunday morning was a Hillbrick which is an Australian bike manufacturer,'' he said.
''He's certainly done some pretty serious cycling so I imagine he's got a pretty good bike.''