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 161.3 km to fight kids' cancer
My Rankings
  • National: 170th
  • State: 62nd in NSW
I've raised $2,500 to fight kids' cancer Donate Now

My Story

  • $2,500 raised to fight kids' cancer!

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

    Posted 21 days ago
  • Ride 16 - Final Day
    31 Oct 2017

    I literally rode to the end of the block and back to get in my 100 miles. It was 750m, but I can only log a minimum of 1km. I guess I'm 250m in deficit for next year.

    I'm still sore from my Silverton ride on Sunday. The stairs at work haven't been pleasant, nor has doing up kids' shoelaces. I've also had to change the attire I've worn to work the last couple of days to accommodate wearing joggers.

    I feel fitter than at the start of the month and there were a few rides where I could actually feel an injection of endorphins (not every ride, but a lot of the rides towards the end of the month).

    Thanks for your sponsorship and encouragement. I look forward to spamming you all on Facebook again next year.

    Today's photo is me kicking back on the lounge.

    Ride 16 - Final Day
    Posted 45 days ago
  • 1.0 km ride - End of block and back - Tuesday, 31 October 2017
    Logged this ride 45 days ago
  • Ride 15
    30 Oct 2017

    After yesterday's tantrum (and with Jason's encouragement), I set out to ride 3km to get to 150km. I was only somewhat confident that I wouldn't need to be rescued and enjoy a car ride home for the second straight day. The howling wind outside didn't help with that confidence.

    It turns out I don't hate cycling today.

    Today was leisurely, but enjoyable, so I rode to the Sculptures turn off and back. Well it seemly leisurely, until I turned around and got smacked in the face by the wind. No wonder it was so easy riding out.

    Even with the headwind on the way home I was surprised with ease in which I finished the ride, given the long, undulating ride from yesterday resulting in much whinging last night. I ended up completing a bit over 13km to give me a 160.3km total and 100 miles. Only to be told by my math nerd, smart alec husband that 100 miles is actually 160.9km. I'm not sure if i'm going to bother with remaining 600m to prove a point or just be content with what I've already done. We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

    Anyway, I'm claiming that I'm now a tenth of a Proclaimer.

    Ride 15
    Posted 46 days ago
  • 13.2 km ride - Casual Sculptures Road Ride - Monday, 30 October 2017
    Logged this ride 46 days ago
  • Bike ride 14
    29 Oct 2017

    Wind! Seriously!

    I didn't enjoy today's ride at all. Not one part. I could hear the wind outside before I started, but I'd also told a couple of people I wanted to ride to Silverton today, so I felt like I wanted to follow through.

    I've just looked up the wind gusts for the time I was riding and they varied between 30 and 55km/h. I tried to be a bit clever in the first kilometre on the dirt and decided to ride at the edge on the right hand side of the road where the corrugations seemed a little smaller. That was ok until I hit the sand and almost fell off with a combination of wind and fishtailing.

    The tar seemed like a relief for a split second until the wind hit me in the face. It didn't let up for the entire ride. About 5km in, I seriously contemplated turning around and heading to the airport as it seemed like the wind would be at my back the whole way. I kept going.

    Usually I can get a bit of speed up in the downhill sections, but even downhill felt like uphill today. I swore at the wind few times. I couldn't get into a high gear downhill and had to go into the lowest gears uphill. I also managed to toss the chain off twice going uphill trying to change into lower gears.

    About 8km in, I was still cursing the wind, cursing the Cycling Challenge and contemplating never going for a bike ride again. About 10km in, I rode past the spot I turned around yesterday, telling myself the wind would let up and the rest of the way would be mostly downhill. It didn't and it wasn't.

    For the next 5km, I told myself I was already past halfway, so the pub was closer than home. The wind had dried my mouth out and it felt sticky. I started promising myself drinks. First a schooner of water. Then a schooner of water and a schooner of coke. Finally a schooner of water, a schooner of coke and a schooner of beer. I had to stop and stretch at one stage. I'd been clinging onto the handlebars so tightly that I ended up with pins and needles in my hands and my neck and upper back had stiffened up.

    The last 5km flattened out a little and had a few landmarks to look forward to: the Daydream Mine turn off, the camel farm, the Silverton sign, the Penrose Park turn off, 2x creek beds, the 50km/h sign and the pub. The wind was still there.

    The pub was a welcome view, as was the sight of Jason arriving to take me home. I'm now up to 147km. My muscles hurt, I have grit all over my face.

    Today I hate cycling.

    Bike ride 14
    Posted 47 days ago
  • 22.7 km ride - Windy ride to Silverton - Sunday, 29 October 2017
    Logged this ride 47 days ago
  • Bike Ride 13
    28 Oct 2017

    I decided to mix it up a bit today and have a ride on Silverton Road. The first and last kilometre of today's ride were pretty ordinary. Part of my street is unsealed and usually a few weeks after grading the road, the corrugations get pretty bad again. I think some of them are close to 5cm deep. On the way towards Silverton Road I ended up riding on the slope created by the grader, which wasn't great for my balance, but much better for my neck and brain. I also managed to do a full on wave to a couple of kids and their dad riding along the same bumpy section. I copped a weird look from the dad - he was probably wondering if he knew me from such an enthusiastic wave. It would probably have been even weirder if I then tried to explain, "I'm learning to wave to people with one hand off the handlebars."

    Back on the tar I realised my front tyre is a bit low again, but the thought of turning around and going back along the bumps was enough to ignore it.

    I didn't really have a plan for how far I'd ride today. It was more within time constraints as I was going out to dinner at 7. Back in the day, way before kids, I rode to Silverton with a few friends in a fluro yellow shirt. My muscles, especially in my neck and shoulders suffered for days afterwards. On the way out of town, I was riding up the hills and into the head wind, telling myself that the ride back should be easy.

    There wasn't too much traffic for most of the ride and I enjoyed the views for most of it. I basically rode half an hour out of town an turned around to come back. This is probably where I realised the road had tricked me. I had a cross wind to head into on the way home, and what I thought would be downhill was a combination of up and down (I obviously hadn't noticed the down hill parts on the way out of town). My speed varied and the wind brought the aroma of several bits of roadkill, but other than that, it was a fairly pleasant ride.

    On the way back, a ute pulled over after spotting my Great Cycling Challenge jersey. We had a 5-10 minute chat about the challenge and participating in it and I was on my way again. In hindsight, I wished the driver had pulled over at the top of the hill, rather than halfway up it, but it was nice to have a chat about the challenge and the generosity of my friends in their sponsorship.

    Coming back into town, I seriously considered riding a few extra blocks so I didn't have to deal with the corrugations again, but I was pushing it time-wise, so I bit the bullet and shook my brain again for the last km.

    I arrived home with half an hour to spare before dinner, so I jumped into the shower and turned the water to cold to try and cool down a bit. Not quite the ice bath of professional athletes, but hopefully my muscles recover well.

    Today I waved to a lot of people with my hand totally off the handlebars, and did a few one finger waves while holding the handlebars. I also had a try (while not pedalling) of coasting along with no hands on the handlebars. That lasted about half a second and I veered swiftly to the right. I think that skill is one that will need a lot more practice! Today was my second longest ride, and it felt ok.

    Bike Ride 13
    Posted 48 days ago
  • 19.0 km ride - Silverton Road by myself - Saturday, 28 October 2017
    Logged this ride 48 days ago
  • Bike Ride 12. Kicking over the 100km mark.
    26 Oct 2017

    After this morning's ride, there was 8km left. I'm pretty sure that I'll have another chance for a ride before the month is up, but I had an opportunity to have a ride this afternoon, so I thought I'd take it.

    I headed out on my tried and true ride on the Sculptures Road. The ride out of town was enjoyable. On a side note, our family friends Ann and Ron sponsored me pretty early on and left a message that said "enjoy your rides." At the time it was after the first couple where I whinged both inwardly and outwardly, everything hurt, and I was puffed after 2km. I actually thought, "you've got to be joking!" Today I enjoyed my rides both with the kids and by myself. Even the 4 bits of roadkill I passed didn't seem particularly smelly.

    My ride this afternoon had my groin making itself known, which hasn't happened since the first week, but I had only just hopped out of the pool with the kids, so my muscles were probably cold. I had the wind at my back and my spirits were high.

    When I headed for home, I felt the full force of the wind at my back and rode into a pretty stiff breeze for the whole way home. I passed lots of walkers and cyclists today. I gave them a 2 finger wave so I could still hold onto the handlebars. Some smart alec riding the opposite way (and looking the part of an actual cyclist) took his hand off the handle bars and gave me a whole handed wave. Who does he think he is, showing off like that?!

    Today's selfie is from the approximate part of the way home where I ticked over the 100km mark. I was on struggle street and in the lowest gear as the wind was pretty intense. The facial expression could be in celebration, or terror at taking a hand off the handlebars to try and snap it.

    I made it all the way up the driveway this arvo.

    New goals before the end of the month:

    * Ride a bit further.

    * Wave to someone with my hand all the way off the handlebars.

    Bike Ride 12. Kicking over the 100km mark.
    Posted 50 days ago
  • 13.2 km ride - 100km! Sculptures turn off and back home. - Thursday, 26 October 2017
    Logged this ride 50 days ago
  • Bike Ride 11
    25 Oct 2017

    Last night the boys and I decided that we would ride to school. Sam was a little dubious. It seems like a long way.

    This morning we were super-organised and on our way by 7:40 (Maybe I should tell the kids we're riding to school every day!). Lachy was in the trailer with Ben, so I put his backpack on my back. I was seriously impressed with my kids before we left this morning. They had their lunches packed without having to be nagged and even remembered their hats.

    At the start, I had a couple of cranky words for Lachy and Ben who thought it was funny to rock the trailer, almost sending us into a fishtail. I didn't share their humour.

    The majority of the way to school is downhill, and I deliberately chose a route that would take advantage of that. I've discovered that Sam hates going uphill as much as I do. He is also a little apprehensive about going down hills too quickly, so I spent the majority of the time coasting down the hills with the brakes on. Sam did exceedingly well for the whole trip. We ended up walking up a couple of the hills, but he was really sensible on the road and listened to my instructions. Leaving early was a good idea as well because we managed to miss the school traffic.

    I didn't bother locking my bike up as I only had a few things to catch up from yesterday and was then heading home. It took almost as long to lock up Sam's bike as it did to ride to school - we had a conversation about where the chain needed to go so that it was locked onto the bike rack and not just itself! Consequently, I'm unsure where the key is at the moment, so I might have to retrace my steps this afternoon! Sam's bike is coming home in the car this afternoon... hopefully!

    My plan for going home was to try and get to the top of the biggest hill and try to ride at that level for most of the way. There was a lot of standing up on a few of the rises and I had to hop off and push the bike up the hill a few times - I don't think Ben pedals as much as Lachy does. I also need to work my gear changes out with the trailer on. I thought I had it, but the trailer adds a whole new dimension.

    We made it half way up the driveway today, but with the trailer, I'm calling it a win! Today's total ride was 7.81km, and I have 7.9km to go to reach my goal. This is the last week of the Great Cycle Challenge. I'm going to try and get a longer ride in on the weekend, so the 100km goal is looking very doable!

    Bike Ride 11
    Posted 50 days ago
  • 7.8 km ride - Ride to school with 3, home with 1 - Thursday, 26 October 2017
    Logged this ride 50 days ago
  • Ride 10
    22 Oct 2017

    After Pointscore at the pool with the kids this morning, I put my pyjamas back on for most of the day. I therefore had to change out of my pyjamas to go for a ride, which took a little bit of willpower today.

    I rode along the sculptures road again today and, as I'd chatted to my friend Skye earlier in the week about gear changes, I managed to use my bike as the 15 speed mountain bike it was designed to be. Just on a side note, Skye's absolutely smashing out the kilometres in the Great Cycle Challenge. You can check out her progress here: https://greatcyclechallenge.com.au/Riders/SkyeMonckton

    Anyway, the road kill from a few rides ago is still there. I'm thinking that there must've been something wrong with that roo because none of the birds have touched it. It's just rotting away slowly. I caught a whiff of it in the side breeze on the way past, but was making pretty good time and it was gone before I knew it.

    I made it to the sculptures turn off and had already decided to ride down to the Living Desert car park. This road has a few twists and turns and one lane parts over some dry creek beds. There was one turns I took a little too fast and ended up on the other side of the road (because the other option was going into a slide, which I didn't think would have been good for my skin).

    I made it to the car park and was still feeling pretty good. Heading back out of the Living Desert is a slow climb with a few little downhill sections. I was a little slower on the way out and slowed in some loose gravel at one of the one lane sections to let a car through. I managed to stay on (only just) and got a wave from the driver.

    As soon as I got back on the main road, I had the wind in my face whistling in my ears the whole way home. While puffing at around the 12th km, a bug hit the back of my throat. I'm not sure if it went down or managed to escape, but it wasn't a great feeling! Then it was time to go past the road kill. I definitely smelled it before I saw it, but I managed to cope with it better than the last ride it gave me trouble on.

    Just before the town limits, I realised I was going to be a kilometre or two short of 20km, so I turned off toward White Rocks and rode around a few more blocks before I rode home. I tried to snap a photo at White Rocks, but I think being out of mobile range chewed up my phone battery and my phone died (the battery wasn't full before I started the ride). Luckily I had my watch going as well, to record the 21.79km I rode today.

    I actually feel pretty good after today's ride. There was a lot of (live) wildlife about and I even had a few moments to daydream rather than whinge to myself. 16km to go to make it to my 100km goal. I'm finally feeling like it's doable.

    Ride 10
    Posted 54 days ago
  • 21.8 km ride - Sunday, 22 October 2017
    Logged this ride 54 days ago
  • Ride 9 - Kick Cancer's Butt
    18 Oct 2017

    I coached swimming this afternoon. My older swimmers were gossiping all about their prom next month, so any proper swimming I got out of them today was a bonus. I ended up making a deal with them towards the end of the swim that if they could all keep up for 10 minutes, we would do the cool down and they could finish closer to 6:30 than 7pm. I really didn't think it was going to happen, but they all managed it (with 7 seconds to spare), so I was true to my word. This meant I arrived home at about 6:45pm, still dressed in my swimmers & a t-shirt. I swapped the t-shirt for my new cycling jersey so I had pockets, chucked on my joggers and jumped on the bike.

    I was pushing it for time as I'm normally home well before 7pm in my afternoon rides, but today is Kick Cancer's Butt Day, and I was overwhelmed with a massive amount of sponsorship today, so I really wanted to hold up my end of the bargain.

    The light was starting to dwindle and I don't have lights on my bike, so I knew I had to start off pretty fast. I decided to do the same ride as this morning. On the first corner, I passed a cyclist on his way into town. Today I matched him in lycra and enthusiasm, although I think I'm filling mine out a lot more than he was. A quick nod hello and I tried to pedal like a demon. Tried.

    Both of today's rides were hard. I put this morning's struggles down to the fact that I hadn't had breakfast and my body was struggling to send enough energy to my muscles to make them work. My thighs were burning worse this afternoon. The first kilometre almost made me turn around for home, and the dying sunlight was adding encouragement, but I stuck it out.

    I was thinking that my lycra-clad body (it's really not a good look at the moment - I've put on 2kg since starting this challenge - hopefully it's muscle) would escape the public eye (well, besides my fellow cyclist who briefly passed me). No cars in sight, no walkers, but then, A BUSLOAD OF TOURISTS!

    Dumb things I did on this afternoon's ride (besides wearing lycra): 1. Took a selfie with the sunset in the background while the bike was in motion. 2. Took a photo of the (live) kangaroos on the way home while the bike was in motion.

    I actually don't know the law about using mobile phones while riding a bike. I've seen people who can pedal without any hands touching the handlebars, who must have core muscles as strong as tree trunks. This does not apply to me. I struggle to ride with one hand when using hand signals to turn corners. I actually have to stop pedalling when I take a hand off the handlebars because I get the wobbles up. So, taking a selfie and angling the phone to get the sunset in as well, is not up there with bright ideas I've had lately.

    I managed to get both the photos, but after pressing the button to take the photo, I almost stacked it both times. Luckily I still have all my teeth and skin. I managed to make it back just after sunset, but there was still a little bit of light.

    You should all be thankful that the photo on the left isn't a full length lycra shot! Thanks again to all of the wonderful people who have donated, it's appreciated so much by so many.

    Ride 9 - Kick Cancer's Butt
    Posted 58 days ago
  • 5.9 km ride - Old Dairy Turn Off - 2nd ride of the day - Wednesday, 18 October 2017
    Logged this ride 58 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 58 days ago
  • Ride 8 Kick Cancer's Butt Day
    17 Oct 2017

    Today is Kick Cancer's Butt Day. There are 4 corporate sponsors that will match every dollar donated today, so donations today = doubling your donation. I actually don't know who the corporate sponsors are at the moment, so that's something to investigate, because I think those companies deserve recognition.

    Today I became a serious cyclist. I received a Great Cycling Challenge jersey in the mail on Monday, which I wore. It even has the funky pockets in the back. I think super serious cyclists use them for water bottles, but I used mine for my phone. It's surprisingly easy to reach while riding (see the photos of the kangaroos).

    The other way I became a serious cyclist today is I got up a little earlier and went for a morning bike ride. Normal Rachel would think this is ridiculous. Serious Cyclist Rachel enjoyed it. I didn't pass a single car, and saw more mammals and less reptiles than previous rides. The crows following me around were a little off -putting, but the morning light was lovely.

    It took a little bit to get my muscles going this morning (particularly the outer edges of my thighs), but I made it up the driveway. There was a millisecond where I was wondering if I'd taken the corner of my driveway too fast on the dirt, but serious cyclists stay balanced enough to not slide on the dirt when turning corners!

    Ride 8 Kick Cancer's Butt Day
    Posted 58 days ago
  • 5.9 km ride - Morning ride to old dairy turn off - Wednesday, 18 October 2017
    Logged this ride 58 days ago
  • Ride 7
    15 Oct 2017

    I wanted to meet my goal ride today and get to the sculptures turn off. I snuck out without the kids knowing and was off at a cracking pace (for me, anyway).

    There was a persistent breeze, but I told myself it'd be at my back on the way home and tried to establish a good tempo with my pedalling. Roadkill x7 in various degrees of decomposition made me a little wary of my return journey, but today, I was determined.

    I've realised when I'm succeeding, I do a lot of positive self talk. I wasn't letting my brain talk me out of this ride today. Lots of "come on, you can do it," on the hills, and "you're nearly there," with the landmarks along the way. It's quite motivating when you can see your goal in sight. When I could see the turn off up ahead, I may have increased my speed a little. On my Facebook link yesterday, I was in search of flat ground to complete the rest of my rides on. This last section may just be that spot. I felt on top of the world!

    I made it to the turn off. Dismounted for a quick selfie, and decided I'd push on a little further! I know! This is the reluctant rider riding past her goal! I decided to ride to the sculptures pay station about 1km further on.

    Just before the crest of the first hill, I threw the chain off and somehow managed to get a thistle in my finger while doing so. I had the thought of turning back, but there was a pretty nice downhill on the other side, so I decided to coast down it and see if I could right my chain. By then the pay station was in sight, so I rode up to it, did a u-turn and headed for home.

    This is probably the best I've done on the way home as well. I stayed in top gear for almost the whole way, including the last hill that usually has me swearing in my head. Today, instead of swearing, I said, "Come on, last hill. You can do it." I even stayed in the top gear for the hill.

    I've been reading the Broken Hill snake catcher's updates about brown snakes being out and about, as a result in the last kilometre before home, two sleepy lizards about 100m apart almost sent me a cropper. Scales in my peripheral vision tend to signal a motor response to swerve, and at my "lightning" pace today (note the sarcasm), sent me on a bit of a wobble.

    I made it up the driveway at home. I walked in feeling victorious.

    Jason: "How'd you go?"

    Me: "16km! I'm Anna Meares!"

    Jason: "You're not Anna Meares."

    He's so supportive! At least I have the thighs for it!

    Ride 7
    Posted 61 days ago
  • 16.0 km ride - Sculptures paystation by myself - Sunday, 15 October 2017
    Logged this ride 61 days ago
  • Ride 6
    14 Oct 2017

    We spent about 3 hours at the pool this afternoon for a birthday party, but it was such a glorious day that I thought I should go for a ride too (and I'd spoken to my friend Tyler this morning who asked if I was going for a ride - nothing like the pressure of trying to keep your word!).

    I'd planned to try and make it to the sculptures turn off today. It's almost like that goal is taunting me. I really thought today was the day (it wasn't).

    I'd noticed on my last ride that my front tyre was getting a little flat and as I was retrieving the pump, Ben discovered me and asked, "what are you doing mum?" And with my explanation, the follow up question, "can I come too?" Poor, neglected, youngest child. What could I say? "Sure, Ben. You can come."

    In my head I was then trying to think of a different ride, one with no hills! Tyres pumped, thanks to Jason, my new bike mechanic, and we were off on what I thought might be a generally flat. The first part felt pretty good. I even managed to get into top gear going down some hills. Ben's encouragement of the speed from the back was "helpful" (a bit like when you're pushing your kid on the swings at the park and they're yelling out "higher", and you know if they go any higher it'll end in tears. Like that, but with the taunts of "Faster, Mum! Faster!").

    I little way along, a young border collie joined us. I'm generally a dog person, but as I've probably mentioned, bike riding is not my forte. My first bike was a second hand BMX that my uncle Dave rebuilt for my sisters and I to share when I was about 10. It didn't even have a hand brake until about a year later. So, generally I like dogs, but an enthusiastic puppy circling around my front tyre and jumping excitedly next to the trailer was a little nerve-wracking. I decided my best course of action was to try and outrun (outcycle?) it. It worked, and despite Ben's encouragement, it decided to head for home rather than racing us.

    Gathering speed in the downhill, we were approaching the biggest and last slope of the ride before we were to turn back from home. I really only use the high, medium and low gears on one side of my handlebars. I'm not really sure how the other side works, so I've essentially got a 3 speed instead of a 15 speed mountain bike.

    As I started the uphill section, I decided it would be worth my while to change down from the highest to lowest gear. I did pedal in the middle, but I think my mistake was that I was going too fast for the lowest gear when I changed down. This resulted in the bike chain slipping off the axle half way up the hill. I stopped, used my foot as a wheel chock and reattached it as I balance my bike and Ben. There was no was I was going to get enough momentum to get going the rest of the way to the top, so I walked it.

    It's a dead end at the top, so we took in the view and headed for home. I had to hop off and walk across one intersection on one of the rises and I had to stand up to ride a couple of times on other rises (I really hate standing up to ride, especially with the trailer).

    I had enough momentum by the time we reached home to make it up the driveway again today. Not as far as I'd planned to go today, but it was nice to spend some time with Ben.

    Ride 6
    Posted 62 days ago
  • 4.0 km ride - Corner of Brown and Zebina Streets with Ben - Saturday, 14 October 2017
    Logged this ride 62 days ago
  • Bike Ride 5
    12 Oct 2017

    Today's ride came unexpectedly. I'd thought about having a ride this afternoon but I knew it was a pretty full evening and thought it'd be impossible. I managed an early mark from coaching swimming and Jason was also home earlier than expected. With the kids fed, Jason suggested I could go for a bike ride - "I want to support your goals." It was already past 6:30pm, but I've realised you have to seize these opportunities when they present themselves.

    As I said, I wasn't mentally prepared, but I was also conscious of the fading sun, so I'd resolved in the first 20m of my ride that it was only going to be about half as long as my last ride, even though I was headed out on the same road.

    At this time of year, especially close to sunset, there's a higher amount of traffic than usual along this road. For those of you not from Broken Hill, the sunsets at the sculptures are pretty spectactular (you can see pictures here: https://www.brokenhill.nsw.gov.au/explore/tourism-art-and-culture/broken-hill-visitor-information-centre) and it's pretty much a must do on every tourist's list while here. For cautious bike riders like myself, the 100km/h zone is a little daunting, especially because my snail paced cycling may not be what tourists are expecting as they're belting along out of town (I usually miss the traffic on the return journey as I'm home before the sunset).

    I found the start of today's ride harder. I was puffing sooner and didn't really get into a rhythm. There was a little bit of roadkill today - 3 lizards and a magpie - but quite mild compared to my last ride. I found myself cursing the uphills and relishing the downhills. I've discovered my brain has quite a potty mouth when my thighs are burning.

    Coming home I was content to cruise back a little as I knew I was going to make it back before sunset, but I saw 2 mountain bikers turn onto the road about 200m ahead of me. Back in 1898, a guy called Norman Triplett did a study of bike riders by themselves and in groups and he found that the riders who had a companion tended to keep a faster pace than when they cycled alone. For a few minutes, I was one of those cyclists with a companion. I saw the 2 ahead of me and thought to myself, 'I can make some ground on them. I'll just cycle a bit faster and see if I can catch up a bit.' My brain started daydreaming of my extraordinary pace kicking in and me screaming past them at top speed. In reality, the 2 cyclists are obviously a lot more seasoned on the bike, and left me eating their dust (well, if I'd caught up enough for the dust to be in the air rather than well and truly settled). I lost sight of them at a rise in the road, but I had caught sight of home by that stage, and that's always pretty good motivation to keep up a slightly faster pace. I also made it up the driveway again today.

    My motivation for riding has changed a little more since my last post. When I first signed up for the Great Cycle Challenge, I thought it might kick start me into becoming a bit more active again, which it has. But I was also overwhelmed with donations after my last post. Thank you. My total sponsorship has reached over $500 and the total had doubled in one night. My cousin Anne's message with her sponsorship particularly hit home for just how important the money raised is.

    The Great Cycling Challenge has been going for 4 years and has raised about $8.9 million in that time. The money raised goes towards finding better treatments for childhood cancer. Until tonight, I didn't realise that 600 children a year are diagnosed with cancer and, devastatingly, 3 children a week die from cancer. Anyway, there's a few families out there who have had the lives of their children touched by cancer (you guys know who you are), and the rest of this month is dedicated to you (I'm still likely to complain though).

    On a lighter note, since posting about all of these rides, Facebook seems to think I need a bikini body and fad diets!

    Bike Ride 5
    Posted 64 days ago
  • 6.3 km ride - Scultpures Road to old dairy turn off by myself. - Thursday, 12 October 2017
    Logged this ride 64 days ago
  • $500 raised to fight kids' cancer!

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

    Posted 67 days ago
  • Bike Ride 4
    9 Oct 2017

    Jason was home a little earlier than expected today so I took the opportunity to have a ride by myself. BY. MYSELF. I'm sure his comments of "Active wear" and "Don't die" were meant as encouragement.

    It's amazing how much easier it is to get going without lugging 2 kids behind the bike and watching out for the other. I was cruising - in top gear before the end of the block, wind in my hair (well, the bit not covered by the helmet), alone.

    The first half of the ride was relatively easy. I had a gentle wind at my back and the slopes weren't too taxing. As I was riding out of town, I had the mental argument of how far to go before turning back for home. Having done this ride before, on the ride back there are a few more little uphill slopes and it's a ride into the wind on the way home.

    I eventually resolved to ride to the old first turn off to the sculptures. Maybe on my next ride by myself, I might aim for the new turn off 1km further down.

    While riding, I remembered a 90s movie called Gattaca (I had a bit of a thing for Ethan Hawke back in the day). The premise of the movie is that people in the future are genetically enhanced and bred for certain careers depending on their genetic dispositions. You can read more about it here: http://joshldavis.com/2013/08/31/never-save-anything-for-the-swim-back/

    Anyway, while I didn't quite expend all my energy on the way there (conscious of the dying sunlight), I liked the quote "I didn't save anything for the way back." One day, perhaps, I'll try and ride a little further as the old entrance seems to be my psychological barrier, knowing I have to cycle the same distance home.

    At the halfway point, I stopped and took the selfie pictured today. As you can see, I'm still smiling. On the way back, I was slower, but still managed to pedal the whole way.

    One set back, however, happened just before the old dairy turn off. On the way out of town, I'd cruised past a dead kangaroo that had been there at least 3 days, but, as I was cruising, I didn't really notice the smell. The way back was a different story. Riding into the wind, and puffing a little, the stench hit my lungs. I've known people to exercise to the extent where they vomit from exhaustion. Those types of people are not me. I did, however, have an almost vom when I couldn't escape the smell for a good 30 seconds. I have now discovered that dry retching isn't great for my balance while cycling, but I managed to stay on. Side note: why does almost vomiting make your eyes water?

    Anyway, this is my longest ride (in distance) for this month and I almost doubled the total distance ridden for the month.

    Another win for today, I made it all the way up the drive way!

    Just under 1/4 of the distance done.

    Bike Ride 4
    Posted 67 days ago
  • 11.4 km ride - Sculptures road BY MYSELF! - Monday, 9 October 2017
    Logged this ride 67 days ago
  • Bike Ride 3
    7 Oct 2017

    After skipping 2 days to get over some pretty serious sunburn (still peeling, have used about 1/4 of a bottle of aloe vera gel), we were back into it. This time I learnt from a few of my earlier rookie errors.

    We checked the pressure and pumped up all tyres before leaving and took the electric portable pump with us. I also convinced Jason to come with us (weekends are lovely as it's usually an earlier finish from work). Lachy also rode his bike again, which meant I was only towing Ben.

    Sam really wasn't keen to go and was dressed for weather of about 10 degrees rather than close to triple the temperature, but the promise of the park convinced him.

    We set off and Jason took and early lead with the older 2 boys chasing him. This made me secretly happy as I could wallow in my own lack of fitness at the rear. About 2 blocks in, my heavy puffing resulted in me swallowing a fly. I wasn't sure if it went down or I managed to expel it, but the psychological impact and consequential gagging made my bike riding a little wobbly. I recovered pretty quickly, luckily, but even now I'm wondering if the fly is wriggling around halfway to my stomach.

    We didn't take the direct route to the park, but it was mostly downhill. I even got into top gear and Ben delighted in coasting past the other 3 down the hill.

    We had a 20 minute play at the park. We were conscious of the fading light and headed the direct route home. I even stood up and pedalled up the hill (although I hopped off to cross the road at the crest of the hill).

    About 200m from home, Lachy's chain came off his bike, so after and attempt to fix it at the side of the road, he and Jason walked the last leg.

    I also managed to get about 5m up the driveway at the end, but I reckon if I hadn't slowed down for the emu, I may have been able to manage the whole thing with a bit of momentum.

    My shoulders are also thanking me for wearing a shirt with sleeves today and my watch has informed me that I have burnt the most calories of any bike ride so far, but that's a load of crap because my last ride almost ended me.

    Pros: Another adult = less stress about child supervision; no flat tyres; mostly downhill; family time; better time of day to ride.

    Cons: Fly; bike chain; still unfit.

    Bike Ride 3
    Posted 69 days ago
  • 3.2 km ride - Picton Oval with Jason and boys via a few blocks - Saturday, 7 October 2017
    Logged this ride 69 days ago
  • Second Ride 3/10/17
    3 Oct 2017

    Today started with a phone call from the Great Cycle Challenge, congratulating me for signing up and letting me know that I was part of a great cause, and they're here if I needed support. I'd already planned to ride to the park with the kids this morning, but it was a nice start to the day.

    Just before we left, Lachy discovered he had a puncture. The time it would have taken me to fix it would have made us late for the park, so I decided he could ride with Ben and I. The ride to the park started on the dirt road and had Sam panicking early with the bumps (there are some pretty serious corrugations in the road). He got into a bit of a rhythm and the other two thought it was hilarious to be bumping up and down.

    The first kilometre and a half was pretty smooth sailing and we decided to have a drinks break. We saw about 20 magpies on the way and while 2 flew pretty close to us going past the school, no swooping. So far so good.

    There were a few rises where we walked instead of cycling, but the first half of the ride took about half an hour and we were the first of our friends at the park. The kids played for a couple of hours and I chatted to my friends. I also learnt from Miss Newly 6 that cheetahs can travel at speeds of up to 113km/h over short distances, but then they need to lay down and rest for the next half an hour to allow their bodies to cool down and recover.

    The way home was another story. About half way home, I noticed I had a puncture (or a slow leak) as well. I actually had a pump with me, but the thought of getting 2 kids unstrapped next to a busy road to pump it up seemed worse than riding with a slightly flatter tyre.

    The next 20 minutes were a battle of wills where I silently weighed up the pros and cons of the whole cycling thing.


    * Nice feeling from this morning's phone call

    * Helping kids with cancer

    * Exercising

    * Spending time with my family


    *Kids fighting on the back of my bike

    * Flat tyre

    * Aching muscles

    * Sunburn (apparently my pasty white skin doesn't take so kindly to the midday desert sun)

    Anyway, we eventually made it home (45 minutes for the return trip) and then I made like a cheetah and allowed my body to cool down and recover on the lounge room floor.

    7.71km today.

    90.07km to go.

    Yay fitness.

    Second Ride 3/10/17
    Posted 73 days ago
  • 7.7 km ride - AJ Keast Park with the boys - Tuesday, 3 October 2017
    Logged this ride 73 days ago
  • First ride
    2 Oct 2017

    What was I thinking? First ride since sometime way before winter and I decided it was a good idea to take 3 kids with me. Sam & Lachy were on their own bikes, and given they run everywhere, sprinted ahead of me with their superior fitness. My mother instincts kicked in (traffic, magpies, give way signs, dirt bikes hooning up and down our road) and I sprinted after them, dragging Ben in the bike trailer (well as fast as you can go in first gear). Ben was sitting in the seat that allows for pedalling, but I'm not sure if they're there just for show, because it sure didn't feel like he was any help with the extra 25-30kg behind me.

    Across the first intersection, I spotted a magpie and it looked like it was going in for the swoop, but it flew off (phew!). We rode to a nearby tourist attraction (just over 1km away) and I was pretty glad when the kids asked if they could hop off and serve me (pretend) ice-creams and milkshakes out of the ice-cream cart so I could catch my breath. We took a quick walk (approx 1km - the boys ran most of it) and I had a conversation with a tourist about footy.

    Coming home, a niggly groin made me regret not stretching before we left and I couldn't muster the slight slope of our driveway, so I hopped off at the gate. I then forgot to shut the gate to the backyard and my neighbour came over to let me know the dogs were out. Whoops! Putting the dogs back in, we found a lizard sunning itself near the mail box.

    2.22km down, only 97.78 to go! I'm hoping I get a bit fitter towards the end of the month, or I may need to revise my total. Any encouragement welcome at this point!

    First ride
    Posted 74 days ago
  • 2.2 km ride - White Rocks with boys - Monday, 2 October 2017
    Logged this ride 74 days ago
  • 1 Oct 2017

    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.


    Posted 75 days ago
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