Rachel Harvey

Rachel Harvey
In Australia, 3 children die of cancer every week. Please sponsor me and support my challenge to fight kids' cancer and save little lives!
I've Ridden 317.6 km to fight kids' cancer
My Rankings
  • National: 163rd
  • State: 70th in NSW
  • My Team: 2nd
I've raised $2,956.58 My goal is $3,000 Donate Now

My Story

This October, I am taking part in the Great Cycle Challenge to fight kids' cancer!

Because right now, cancer is the largest single killer of children from disease in Australia – over 600 children are diagnosed with cancer every year and sadly, 3 die every week.

Kids should be living life, not fighting for it.

And so I am riding and raising funds to support the Children's Medical Research Institute to continue their work into the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and finding a cure for childhood cancer.

Please support my challenge by making a donation through my fundraising page to give these kids the brighter futures they deserve.

Together, we can save little lives.

Thanks for your support.

Rachel

My Challenge

  • The birds.
    23 Oct 2019

    It's taken me a few starts to write today's post, and I've decided to try and keep it light-hearted. There are some great stories about some kids and their families on the GCC Facebook page, and I was going to talk about these, but today doesn't feel like the day.

    After my big ride to Silverton on Sunday, I had a couple of days off the bike riding. This message, however, wasn't passed on to my body, and some colleagues witnessed me eating my weight in Twisties at my staff meeting on Monday (they were meant to be shared between the group).

    I think I may have alluded to it in previous posts, but I've noticed there are lots of birds circling the skies lately, especially crows, magpies and hawks. I've seen them on the corpses of dead kangaroos and goats, and the crows in particular seem to start circling me as I'm riding. It's a little unnerving, and my wandering mind has invented scenarios of my somehow falling off my bike and the crows descending and engulfing my injured body. The hawks and magpies haven't bothered with me on the bike.

    Yesterday, Jason was walking to the pub for trivia, and he was kitted out in a hat, sunnies and some earphones. As he left our driveway, he was chased and swooped by a magpie for about 400m. A little internet research suggests that they usually only swoop within 50m of their nests, so it must've really wanted to send him a message.

    Today as I left our driveway on the bike, I was at the end of the block before I remembered Jason's magpie and realised I was swoop free. Little wins - my body felt pretty old today. Sore knees, cramping muscles in one leg and a bit less flexibility than I'd like. I took it a little slower than my past few rides, but was able to take in the afternoon light, colours and shadows.

    The weather's starting to feel a bit summery and today there were a couple of flies that seemed to like buzzing near my ears. There were a couple of times where I tried to add a bit of speed and outrun (outcycle?) them, but I'm not sure if they somehow hitched a ride until I slowed again, or there's some sort of fly telepathic communication where the let their mates know there's fresh sweat coming their way. As the sun set, they seemed to retreat, so the last km was particularly nice.

    At the end of my ride, I rode up to some signs where the road is blocked off ready to be sealed and had a bit of a sticky beak at the progress. This would have been right in Jason's magpie nest territory, and I again rode unscathed.

    Today's photo features a superhero GCC jersey, and this year it's a Spiderman design. This jersey is sent out to participants who manage to raise $2500 or over, so thank you to you all. Sam is particularly impressed that it says "butt" on the back.

    A team update: We had a goal of raising $7000 and have currently raised $8118.75 and we've ridden 1909.1km so far.

    A personal update: In sponsorship, I'm currently 113th in the country and 47th in NSW. I've ridden 317.6km so far.

    The birds.
    Posted 26 days ago
  • 13.3 km ride - Living Desert entrance and home - Wednesday, 23 October 2019

    From Broken Hill to Broken Hill

    Logged this ride 26 days ago
  • Day 20 - Mundi Mundi and Silverton
    20 Oct 2019

    I've completed a few rides over the past few days, but have been a bit time poor. One ride included an exercise bike as I'd run out of daylight before starting a ride, and another saw me using my lights to finish the ride as I rode back into town. I also received a jersey for raising at least $500. I even wore the jersey on the exercise bike, much to Jason's amusement.

    Today, I set my sights on Silverton, and like any good athlete, I did a bit of carb loading earlier in the day... in the form of the best part of a box of Cadbury Favourites. The worst part of today's ride was the first kilometre, which was on an unsealed road with deep corrugations and a dead goat. Even when riding off the road on the side, I was still bouncing around and paranoid that I was going to hit a rock and have an unplanned dismount.

    On the tar, I felt like I was powering along, even up the hills. I think I must've had a bit of assistance from the wind, because hills usually cause me to whinge. It was a fairly quiet day on the road as well - I only had 5 cars overtake me on the road between Broken Hill and Silverton, including a p-plater, who I'm choosing to believe beeped me in support after seeing my jersey.

    On the outskirts of Silverton, I stopped for a quick selfie and drink and then cruised into Silverton like I was riding along Avenue des Champs-Elysées. I decided to ride the extra 5 k's out to the Mundi Mundi lookout.

    A glance at the wind farm reminded me that this area is a bit hillier than the township, but I think I was travelling more downhill than uphill. The last bit was the hardest, with 2 climbs to get to the lookout.

    At the lookout, I cruised in and was greeted by 2 tourists, Brendan and Amy, from the Sunshine Coast, who looked like they were setting up for the night. They obligingly took my photo and I decided to head back to the pub.

    At this point, I definitley knew my ride to Silverton and Mundi Mundi was wind assisted, because I experienced a head wind on the return journey, with the extra stench of roadkill. Jason and the kids drove past me, then turned around and met me at the pub.

    The road into Silverton flattened out a fair bit as I re-entered the town limits and my support crew were waiting with some cold drinks and encouragement.

    304km down and I'm less than $200 off $3000 in sponsorship, which would kick me into the top 100 fundraisers in the country. Thanks for the words of encouragement so far. I've got a few more aims to try and tick off in the last 11 days of this month.

    Day 20 - Mundi Mundi and Silverton
    Posted 29 days ago
  • 33.7 km ride - Mundi Mundi & Silverton - Sunday, 20 October 2019

    From Broken Hill to Silverton

    Logged this ride 29 days ago
  • 23.2 km ride - Roads in The Living Desert and home - Saturday, 19 October 2019
    Logged this ride 30 days ago
  • 8.0 km ride - Indoor cycle - Friday, 18 October 2019
    Logged this ride 31 days ago
  • 18.0 km ride - Living Desert pay station and back - Thursday, 17 October 2019

    From Broken Hill to Broken Hill

    Logged this ride 31 days ago
  • Number 1 Whinger
    16 Oct 2019

    I've taken the crown of Number 1 Whinger in my family when it comes to getting old and sore from exercise.

    It took me a little while to work myself up to a ride this evening. Sore body = mental battle.

    I eventually pulled myself together and started my ride. A little way along, I said hi to my neighbours, who were out on a walk and received some words of encouragement. I seemed to get an injection of energy from this encouragement and felt like I was speeding away. At one stage, I was starting to think I was riding stupidly fast for my level of tiredness today and would be more likely to get the wobbles up and have an accident. I managed to hold it together and was hovering around 25km/h, which is particularly fast for me.

    I took a photo at the entrance to the Living Desert and turned around, where I discovered that it may not have been the words of encouragement that were responsible for my speed, but the wind at my back, which had become a pretty fierce headwind.

    I changed gears and tried my best Eddie the Eagle impression, but my progress slowed and varied between 9 & 11km/h. It was a hard slog back into town, and I received a few physical reminders to keep my mouth closed in windy conditions. But the sunset was nice, and I've tacked on a few more kilometres.

    In other news, one of my ex-students has joined our team. Her name is Hilda, and she is legally blind, so she's riding on a tandem bike, and has only just learnt to ride a bike. Her son has also experienced cancer, so this is a cause very close to her heart. If you have an extra fiver to spare, send it her way.

    Number 1 Whinger
    Posted 33 days ago
  • 13.2 km ride - Nine Mile road to Living Desert turn off - Wednesday, 16 October 2019

    From Broken Hill to Broken Hill

    Logged this ride 33 days ago
  • Day 13 - "Rain"
    13 Oct 2019

    There were dark clouds and a sprinkle of rain when I set off for my ride today. Given we're in a drought, I would have been ecstatic to be soaked. It wasn't to be.

    I have been enjoying the quietness of my rides and I was reflecting on starting this challenge in 2017 where I really struggled to get to the sculptures turn off. Today with sore knees, I cruised along pretty easily.

    Today I decided to ride onto the dirt of the Nine Mile Road rather than turning off into the Living Desert. I had a bit of a laugh at the sign that said that it was a dry weather road only.

    The first part of the dirt was full of corrugations and rattled my knees. It seemed to be a pretty easy ride, besides dodging a few rocks on the road and some sandy parts in the dry creek beds the road crosses.

    The creek beds should have been an indication, but it wasn't until I turned around for home that I realised I'd been travelling slightly downhill. As I was riding, a car passed me in the opposite direction, and later came back and pulled over to ask for directions. It was a couple from Israel who were looking for the Starview Primitive Campsite. Luckily for them, I'd ridden past there yesterday and was able to give pretty accurate directions.

    I didn't really push it on the way home, and definitely didn't return home drenched. Also, this ride helped me crack 200m ridden for this month. I'm not sure what to set a new goal for - back at work tomorrow could mean a very different amount of free time to ride.

    Day 13 - "Rain"
    Posted 36 days ago
  • 22.1 km ride - Nine Mile dirt past sculptures turn off - Sunday, 13 October 2019

    From Broken Hill to Broken Hill

    Logged this ride 36 days ago
  • Day 12
    12 Oct 2019

    I had a day off riding yesterday. We'd loaded up the car and the bikes and by the time we'd stopped driving for the day, I was tired and didn't really fancy messing with the occy strap work of art on the bike rack.

    We had another early start driving today, but we were home by 5pm and I waited for a little bit before heading out. Today I'm feeling pretty sore all over and sitting in a car over the past 2 days probably hasn't helped.

    During the start of my ride today, I was watching a bird scooting along on the wind currents beside me. This was around the same time I felt the wind in my hair and then had the thought, "something feels wrong." It then dawned on me why the ride felt wrong - I'd forgotten to grab my helmet and had travelled about 400m on the road without it. I turned around, and started riding home, but now knowing I didn't have a helmet, and being a rule follower, I ended up jumping off and jogging home with the bike.

    Helmet collected, and laughed at, I tried again.

    I rode out to the Living Desert car park and decided to then take a detour to the road past the campsite to the sculptures. By the time I reached the bottom of the steep hill up, I'd psyched myself up to attempt riding to the top. When I reached the bottom, I spotted a sign that said "No pedestrian access beyond this point." While I'm not technically a pedestrian, I reckon I could run up the hill faster than riding a bike up there in some parts. Afternoons tend to be busy, so even with lights on the bike, I don't think it would have been the safest thing to do. I think if I attempt the hill, I'll find a different time of day.

    On the way home, there was a sunset to my right and a fullish moon to my left. While the moon was a little smaller, my shadow projected towards it reminded me of the movie ET.

    Back in the town limits, I turned and rode to White Rocks and then headed for home. After being away, the contrast in colours of the landscape is extreme, and the clumps of birds of prey circling can be a little unnerving.

    Thanks to all of my sponsors so far - you're all helping to make a difference.

    Day 12
    Posted 37 days ago
  • 24.6 km ride - Living Desert and back - Saturday, 12 October 2019

    From Broken Hill to Broken Hill

    Logged this ride 37 days ago
  • $2,500 raised to fight kids' cancer!

    I just hit $2,500 to fight kids' cancer! Thank you so much for your support.

    Posted 38 days ago
  • Day 10 - Warner's Bay
    10 Oct 2019

    Today's ride required a drive to Warner's Bay with a loaded up bike rack and 3 families. We had a variety of bikes, scooters and walkers and set out for a ride around Lake Macquarie. I rode at the back of the bikes and scooters, and we set out at a leisurely pace.

    There were a few walkers and other cyclists out, but the kids were pretty good at waiting at the car park roads and checking before crossing. About 1km in, 2 of the kids on scooters turned around and headed back to the walkers, so I was left with Ben on a scooter and the rest of the cyclists.

    A couple of times, Ben was lagging behind and I called out to the kids on the bikes to wait. We ended up getting Ben to lead and the rest of us followed behind. This worked well until 3km in when he went careening down a hill, gaining speed with each swipe of his foot, and then hit a bump and flew over the handlebars and landed with arms outstretched.

    He cried straight away, which I took as a good sign, and when we caught up to him, he had a grazed elbow, a scratched wrist and a grazed knee. I had nothing on me, except saliva (to do the mum thing and clean him up a bit) and hugs. We decided to turn around and head back to the rest of the group.

    Ben was unwilling to hop on my bike with me, or back on his scooter and insisted on walking back. His grazes were still bleeding and he cried the whole time we were walking. I sent the other kids on the bikes ahead back to the other adults and eventually handed Ben over as well.

    Thanks to the unknown cyclist who pulled over with Jason and offered a covering and bandage from his first aid kit - this stopped Ben crying.

    With all of the kids handed over, I turned back around and headed off for a bit of a ride. The first person I passed after handing the kids off was a guy on a dirt bike. I'm pretty sure a bike path is not the best place for a speeding dirt bike.

    I ended up riding under a bridge and a little way along Cockle Creek, before turning around and heading back into a head wind blowing across the lake. The ride was nice, but Ben's fall was on my mind, so I probably didn't enjoy it as much as I otherwise would have.

    An eventful and interrupted 12.51km today.

    Day 10 - Warner's Bay
    Posted 39 days ago
  • Day 9 Newcastle area
    10 Oct 2019

    Yesterday we had a fairly lazy day catching up with friends in Newcastle. As I've ridden every day of October so far, I decided to keep the momentum and went for a short ride around the area our friends live.

    My friends live halfway up a hill and as I rode out of their driveway and turned to ride up the hill, I struggled to move the pedals because I'd left the bike in a high gear. I ended up having to hop off and jog to the top of the hill with the bike. I was already puffing and sore, and hadn't even started the ride yet.

    Every direction was downhill, but that worried me because I knew I'd have to come up the hill at the end. I ended up coasting downhill, past some construction and a small shopping centre. I rode on footpath near the traffic lights and hopped off and walked across the roads to the bike path.

    It was then uphill all the way. A very short ride, so short in fact that when I arrived back, my friends thought something had happened, but I was just puffed and tired.

    Posted 39 days ago
  • 12.5 km ride - Warner's Bay bike track - Thursday, 10 October 2019

    From Warner's Bay to Warner's Bay

    Logged this ride 39 days ago
  • 2.4 km ride - Fletcher loop - Wednesday, 9 October 2019

    From Fletcher to Fletcher

    Logged this ride 39 days ago
  • $1,000 raised to fight kids' cancer!

    I just hit $1,000 to fight kids' cancer! Thank you so much for your support.

    Posted 39 days ago
  • $500 raised to fight kids' cancer!

    I just hit $500 to fight kids' cancer! Thank you so much for your support.

    Posted 39 days ago
  • Day 8 - North Beach to Bulli
    8 Oct 2019

    I snoozed the alarm a few times before getting up and driving to North Beach. The freeway was pretty busy for pre-6am, and it's possible some of the long weekend traffic had decided to wait until the morning to go home.

    Today's ride was a little earlier than my previous rides so there were a lot more people, including me with lights on their bikes. My legs and back are pretty sore, and it took a while for my muscles to warm up today.

    When I reached Woonoona, I skirted 3 sides of the block to avoid the magpie and ended up back on the right path today. This is where I realised my previous unmapped ride where I got lost on the wrong path would have been nowhere Thirroul the other day.

    Today I ended up riding to Bulli and I would have liked to have made it to Thirroul for real, but I was running out of time - I had to be home to pack the car up and drive to Sydney for the day.

    I've left the Illawarra for these holidays, so Thirroul will have to wait for another time. Magpie swoop free today.

    I'm up to 147km so far. Don't forget Thursday 10/10 is a great day to sponsor me, with donations matched.

    Day 8 - North Beach to Bulli
    Posted 40 days ago
  • 22.5 km ride - North Beach to Bulli and return - Tuesday, 8 October 2019

    From North Beach to North Beach

    Logged this ride 41 days ago
  • Day 7 - Swooped
    7 Oct 2019

    Like every other Raiders fan this morning, I woke up sore. I also found the time change with Daylight Savings a struggle and stayed the extra hour in bed.

    I was tossing up which bike path to take, and with the music festival still on, I decided Lake Illawarra was a better bet. That turned out to be a good move, as there was apparently a fair bit of broken glass on the bike path between Stuart Park and the caravan parks along the beach.

    I drove and parked at Berkeley and enjoyed a lovely, misty sunrise at the start of my ride.

    One of the great things about riding the bike, especially in unknown areas, is the potential to explore. Today I crossed the road from the bike path and ended up riding to Port Kembla beach (I didn't even know there was a beach there). Straying away from the lake meant there were a few gentle hills, but it was downhill on the way back.

    Today's ride had a little bit of drama - I was swooped by a magpie just before I crossed the road. I'd ridden along that part of the path a couple of days ago and it was uneventful, so I was a little surprised. After my beach visit, I had my camera ready to snap a shot if he decided to swoop again on my return journey. Luckily, he seemed to be giving warning swoops rather than full on aggression - there was no hitting of the helmet and he didn't follow me very far in either direction of my ride.

    At the skate park, near the car, there were already a few young adults doing tricks - maybe they were trying to get in before the school kids all arrived.

    My legs are still sore now, but that could also be due to wading in choppy seas, helping the kids get back out into the surf today. Today's ride = 19.89km, bringing my total so far to 124km.

    Don't forget, this Thursday (10/10) is a great day to sponsor me, with donations matched.

    Day 7 - Swooped
    Posted 42 days ago
  • 19.9 km ride - Berkeley to Port Kembla Beach & return - Monday, 7 October 2019

    From Berkeley to Berkeley

    Logged this ride 42 days ago
  • Day 6 - Kicking goals
    6 Oct 2019

    I arrived home pretty pleased with myself today. I've met my first goal of 100km (104km as of today) and have set a new goal of 200km.

    Yesterday and today in North Wollongong is the Yours & Owls music festival. This gave a different vibe the morning with a scattering of campervans and caravans parked within walking distance, and caravan parks at capacity with tents and extra parking. There were lots of people visibly nursing hangovers and wandering around in zombie-like states. My favourite view of the morning was 2 guys and a beer bong - the guy doing the drinking looked like he was going to puke at any moment.

    Today's riding crowd were predominantly blokes and they either looked like they were about to ride in the Tour de France, or had stolen the bike to ride home from the Bottle-o. There was also what looked like some teenagers and their dads having a game of rugby league on North Beach.

    For today's ride I parked at Corrimal and headed south. I lost the bike path for a few metres near Wollongong beach (there's a pedestrians only area), but I found it on my return journey. I rode down to the Port Kembla Steelworks, and then back to Woonoona. When I was in magpie territory in Wonoona, I followed another cyclist to the road, avoiding the magpie zone, and I thought I'd found the bike path again. I crossed the railway lines, but then was on footpath, so I rode around some back streets close to the railway line. I spotted the main road to Thirroul, but it didn't have a bike path, so I looped back around and rode back to Corrimal, still swoop free, and the wind at my back.

    When I arrived back at my car, I realised I hadn't pressed start on my Runkeeper app, so I couldn't look back on it to see where I'd ridden. Today I rode 31.62km, which is my longest ever ride.

    Day 6 - Kicking goals
    Posted 43 days ago
  • 31.6 km ride - Port Kembla & almost Thirroul loop - Sunday, 6 October 2019

    From Corrimal to Corrimal

    Logged this ride 43 days ago
  • Day 5 - Lake Illawarra with Lachy
    5 Oct 2019

    My alarm was set early again this morning, but there was some wet stuff falling from the sky. I wussed out and decided to try again this afternoon, but it meant taking the bike and the bike rack off the car in the rain to go out and do stuff with the kids.

    This afternoon the weather had cleared and I packed up 2 bikes, 3 kids and 2 grandparents and we headed to the playground at Berkeley. Lachy was keen to have a ride on the bike path and the skate park, but the school holidays and time of day made it a very busy place. He settled for a ride with me.

    Just before starting, Lachy had a mishap with the chain on his bike - Pa to the rescue, and we were off. We rode the first part of the ride I did yesterday, but I had time to take in the surroundings, and the company was pretty great.

    When we arrived back near the car park, we had a second ride past the skate park, but it was still busy, so we rode back to the park and I loaded the bikes back onto the car. It was an advantageous time for the kids to be at the park when Mr Whippy showed up.

    Day 5 - Lake Illawarra with Lachy
    Posted 44 days ago
  • 4.4 km ride - Lake Illawarra with Lachy - Saturday, 5 October 2019

    From Berkeley to Berkeley

    Logged this ride 44 days ago
  • Day 4 - Lake Illawarra
    4 Oct 2019

    Today I set my alarm for 5am. Who am I? It was windy outside and it took about 15 minutes of laying in bed psyching myself up to make a move. Luckily, I was prepared and already had the bike and bike rack loaded up on the car, so it would have been a lot of trouble to go to and then not ride.

    I drove and parked at Holborn Park at Berkeley and took in a gorgeous sunrise over the water, near the jetty. The bike tracks around Lake Illawarra mostly hug the water's edge, and weren't too busy at stupid o'clock.

    The path took me through a small forest area of cultural significance (no motorbikes or horses allowed) and there was a bit of a boardwalk and some little bridges to cross. It also took me past the backs of some houses and my previous true crime podcast listening has had a not so nice influence on my imagination there! I looped back around and headed east towards Shellharbour Road.

    There were several exchanges of "morning" as I passed some of the pedestrians and a couple of other riders in both directions, and I would generally say the folk of the "Lakes District" are friendly. This goes for the magpies too. I reckon I would have seen at least 50 in total, and they were all happy enough to ignore me. Actually, the bird life was pretty amazing, and the diversity reminded me of the Menindee Lakes system (when there was water). I even spotted a few Willie Wagtails, which I haven't seen in years.

    I turned around at the spot in the bike path where I would have needed to cross the road and divert away from the lake (At first I tried to be a bit of a rebel and kept following the footpath towards the lake, but ran out of rideable path pretty quickly). I rode into a little bit of a head wind on my return journey for part of the lake, but it curved around pretty quickly and was also nice and flat, so didn't worry me too much.

    I was famished yesterday when I headed to surfing with the kids without breakfast, so today I made sure I had breakfast. And then second and third breakfast after surfing. This bike riding business is hungry work!

    Day 4 - Lake Illawarra
    Posted 45 days ago
  • 18.3 km ride - Lake Illawarra - Friday, 4 October 2019

    From Berkeley to Berkeley

    Logged this ride 45 days ago
  • Day 3 - 22km
    3 Oct 2019

    I don't know if I've ever ridden further in one go than I did today, especially without whinging.

    Today I snuck out of my mum's house (teenage me would either be proud, or horrified), except it was early in the morning, it was to exercise, and I was sneaking so I didn't wake up any kids. I drove down to North Beach just as the sun had risen, and the bike tracks and roads were laden with MAMIL packs.

    There were people around, but most seemed like serious morning exercisers, so there wasn't a lot of passing... or smiling.

    One guy was exercising his labradoodle off the side of his racing bike. I went around, but a couple of minutes later, old mate decided to get some speed on with his dog and overtook me. I then watched as they approached 2 other dogs walking with their owners and one barked and lunged (while its owner had it on the lead) at the labradoodle, who almost went under its owners bike bike, but then dragged its owner a little cross country. I decided it was safer to coast behind them until they turned off.

    When I reached Woonoona, I toyed with going past the magpie sign at around the same moment a cyclist coming in the opposite direction was swooped. I promptly dismounted, turned around and rode back the other way.

    Back past the uni, I was part of a peloton for about 0.0125 seconds, so with this added boost, at North Beach, I decided to ride a little further and rode past the tidal pools up to the lighthouse at Flagstaff Hill. This was a lot slower in both directions as there were lots of walkers out.

    Back at the carpark, it was full to the brim - I even had a car waiting for me to load my bike up to get my park. Crazy for 7am! Arriving home, I snuck back inside and helped get the kids ready for a morning of surfing.

    Day 3 - 22km
    Posted 46 days ago
  • 22.0 km ride - Woonoona & Flagstaff Hill Loop - Thursday, 3 October 2019

    From North Beach to North Beach

    Logged this ride 46 days ago
  • Day 2 - Illawarra bike tracks
    2 Oct 2019

    This morning I drove one way along yesterday's ride. I think my knees let me know what they thought of this ride while we were driving up the hills - definitely a psychological connection there, and I feel less like riding Young to Kingsvale now that I've driven it. I probably won't get another chance to try it again this year anyway.

    After a drive from Young to Wollongong, arriving in the afternoon, I was keen to try and get a few more kilometres done on the bike. With grandparents, an aunty and cousins in tow, I dropped the kids and their supervision for a swim and a play at North Beach and headed along the bike tracks.

    What a treat! Beautifully smooth, mostly flat and out of the traffic. Most of the bike track hugs the coastline and it would be easy to stop several times for photos, which is what I saw a few young Megan Gales on skateboards and bikes doing on the way.

    Near Corrimal, I almost had a head on with a girl who was taking in the view with her friends, rather than staying left - a little bit of cross country riding for me as a result, and a "sorry" called over her shoulder.

    Most of the ride was great, with lots of runners, cyclists and a few kids out for rides with their parents. I've also taken my friend Andrew's advice and adjusted my seat a little higher, which seems to have been better on my knees (that, and the lack of hills).

    Early in today's ride, I overtook another cyclist and had a bit of a confidence boost - I was quickly brought down a peg as a guy on a racing bike flew past me around a minute later. The Runkeeper App has informed me that today was my 4th fastest 13-25km ride, so that's not too bad for the start of the month.

    Day 2 - Illawarra bike tracks
    Posted 47 days ago
  • 19.2 km ride - North Beach to Woonoona & back - Wednesday, 2 October 2019

    From North Beach to North Beach

    Logged this ride 47 days ago
  • Day 1 - A hard 8.67km.
    1 Oct 2019

    Yesterday I drove just over 1000km to my sister's house in Young. I'd planned to have 4 bikes on the bike rack, but Sam's hasn't arrived yet and Ben's wouldn't fit, so we ended up putting mine and Lachy's on. It's the first time I've driven with bikes on the bike rack and was glancing nervously every so often for the whole trip for any sorts of movement. The million occy straps Jason added helped. The massively loud clap behind my head about an hour in from one of my kids in the back seat did not help!

    With the kids and their cousins up at stupid o'clock this morning and no mute button, I made them them breakfast and decided I may as well kick off an early ride. I'd pre-purchased some skins to wear under my legging and these produced a lovely muffin top for the passing motorists' pleasure.

    I'd planned to ride along the Back Creek Road to Kingsvale and back, which would have been around 20km return. Just like the Giants on Saturday, sometimes you can aim high and fall short.

    Young has a history of gold mining and is in the South West Slopes of NSW. Another name that is bandied around is The Hilltops Region. It's fair to say that my couple of "training rides" in September haven't really cut it. My legs and lungs aren't really a fan of uphill and there was a fair bit of standing. Apparently my bike chain isn't a fan of shoe laces as I had 2 near misses with almost getting them caught, which would've ended in (my) tears.

    I made it to Boundary Road, which is on the edge of what used to be the Harden and Young Shire areas and headed for home. It seemed more downhill than uphill on the way home, and I managed not to stack it when moving off the road and going slightly cross country to move out of the way of approaching traffic.

    A quick coffee at home (thanks Yvette) and then we took the kids to the skate park. I probably should have tracked Lachy as I reckon he would have ridden a few k's around the skate park. The rest of the ferals were on scooters. We're back home for lunch and it's super loud - I'm tempted to escape for the serenity of a second bike ride this afternoon, if my legs can handle it!

    Day 1 - A hard 8.67km.
    Posted 48 days ago
  • 8.7 km ride - Back Creek Rd to Boundary Rd & back - Tuesday, 1 October 2019

    From Young to Young

    Logged this ride 48 days ago
  • 6 Days To Go
    24 Sep 2019

    I've kept up a couple of rides again this week, with my last one last Saturday morning. The road was a little damp, although there wasn't enough of a shower to even register on the rainfall data. I've noticed on the morning rides, there tends to be a bit more wildlife around. The pockets of potholes and little divots in the road attracted a few kangaroos in for a drink as well.

    This week I've also had a go on the exercise bike, especially on the particularly windy days. I can't say I'm a fan of the exercise bike - I've found the outdoor rides have been more enjoyable and have tended to allow a bit of thinking time (rather than hating exercise time).

    In the past couple of years I've come up with a few aims and I've started thinking about that again for this year. A couple have been little challenges for myself along the way like distances, and some have been skills that I'm not sure are yet achievable but I've given them a crack.

    At the moment, my aims are:

    * Ride to Silverton Pub (with the possibility of a return journey if I'm fit enough by the end of the month - 21km each way);

    * Ride to Mount Gipps Pub (there seems to be a bit of a theme here -16km, but mostly 110km/h speed limit and road trains to contend with);

    * Ride to the top of the hill at the Living Desert Sculptures (11km, but a very steep hill at the end);

    * Increase my ability to pedal without holding the handlebars (I was back to 3 rotations on Saturday before I started to veer);

    * Ride to school with the kids.

    I've also been thinking about the why of riding, and this cause in particular. Funds raised go towards finding a cure to childhood cancer. I know a child receiving ongoing and increasingly brutal cancer treatment. A chat with her dad on the weekend reminded me of the effect on the rest of the family. Her older brother donated bone marrow and was wheelchair bound for a few days while recovering. The financial and emotional stress, and the grasping of hope that it might work. Maybe, hopefully, this time it might work. Crossing fingers that improvements in levels mean that it's working.

    Anyway, I originally had a fundraising goal of $500, but I'm hoping to raise a lot more money than that, and I'll be putting my money where my mouth is and sponsoring myself some more as well.

    Welcome to our newest team mates Cameron, Heather and the Allison family. It's not too late to get on the bandwagon and join us - maybe I can add in a group ride as an aim for the month.

    6 Days To Go
    Posted 55 days ago
  • Pre Challenge
    15 Sep 2019

    In Broken Hill, we are experiencing what is known as "show weather." This basically consists of high winds and lots of dust. I didn't make my km goal last year as I had some issues with my knees. This year I've had some physio intervention in between and I'm confident that I should be able to make the 100km target I've set, and hopefully be able to adjust that total to a higher amount.

    I've done a couple of training rides in preparation for next month, and I even convinced Jason to come with me on my first one... Let's just say it'll be a while before we're going on romantic bike rides through wineries.

    I'm also hoping to go for a couple of rides with the kids this year, especially over the school holidays. This has meant trying to teach Ben how to ride without training wheels. At his insistence, I brought bandaids outside while he tried, and so far I'm the only one with grazed legs from his attempts!

    Today I rode a bit further than my usual start to the challenge- out to the sculptures turn off and home again (just over 13km). The head wind wasn't great, there was a little more traffic than usual with lots of tourists in town for the Broken Heel festival, and the Sunday dirt bike riders didn't help the dust situation. Overall, it was a nice, fairly easy ride, especially with the wind at my back on the way home.

    I've achieved a milestone today as well - I can now do 10 revolutions of the pedals without falling off the bike (by "now," I mean I've done it once - the rest of the tries were about 3 revolutions and veering off to the side of the road).

    Pre Challenge
    Posted 64 days ago
  • $250 raised to fight kids' cancer!

    I just hit $250 to fight kids' cancer! Thank you so much for your support.

    Posted 109 days ago
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