Between 7-9 March, 41 cyclists participated in the Queenstown Classic in New Zealand, a cycling fundraising event organised by 25000spins to raise money for charity. Of these, 26 fundraised for ADRA to help Syrian refugee children attend school in
Beirut, Lebanon where they have escaped the Syrian war with their families. Glenn Townend, president of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church in the South Pacific Division, wrote a daily blog of his experiences riding to support ADRA.
Williamstown’s Xander Schmitz is the youngest cyclist in next month’s three-day 25000spins Great Ocean Road Challenge, riding from Geelong to Warrnambool to raise money for children living in poverty.
Xander, 10, says he wants to use something he’s good at to help people. “I love sports and am very good at riding,” he says. “This is a very big ride for me.
The first two days are over 120 kilometres and have lots of hills. So I really have to be ready for it.” To read more check out the following.
Who remembers getting their very first bike? The excitement when the training wheels came off and you just knew you could do it on your own. For children living in poverty, a bicycle can mean so much more than getting from point A to B. Here are eight ways people around the world use bicycles, and one way you can use them for good.
Cycling from London to Paris to coincide with the tour de France is probably on the bucket list for many, and if you're going to take on the famous route, it's a good opportunity to raise some funds to help those in need. In mid-July a group of riders did exactly that. Setting out from Trafalgar square in central London. Day 1 saw us cycling the undulating English countryside to the seaside town of Brighton where we had lunch then onto Newhaven to catch the ferry to Dieppe France. The next morning we kicked started the day with a relaxing breakfast and a coffee by the beautiful seaside port of Dieppe. Day 1 in France was breathtaking. Every twist and turn brings another stunning view and moment you cannot help but wish to snap with your camera. Arriving into Paris and seeing the Eifel tour and watching the end of the Tour de France is really a very special moment.
The annual ride is limited to just 20 riders. I have riders who haven’t been on a bike in years and those that are out on their bike every day logging 100s of kilometres on Strava. The small group sizes makes the ride a very sociable event and ensures each rider gets all the attention they need. It’s completely different to other charity rides in that you end up meeting a lot of new people; support people know you by name and you will most certainly make a bunch of new friends.
Included in the low entry cost is accommodation (3 star hotels), breakfast, lunch and snacks – leaving riders free to explore without the need to worry – as well as a return transfer for you and your bike back to London.
While the ride aims to make the experience an enjoyable one, at its heart, it aims to help those who don't have such luxuries in life. Riders can choose from five charities to direct their fundraising efforts towards. These are: Fred Hollows Foundation (restores sight to the blind), ADRA (disaster relief work and micro financing), Compassion (sponsor-child charity), Watoto (support for children in poverty), Bikes4life (giving people living in poverty bikes to transform their life through transport).
Each of the charities has a common theme of solving poverty and making a difference to people in need. To learn more check out the London to Paris adventure. This year as a group we raised over $45,000 for people in need.
“It is breathtaking. Every twist and turn brings another stunning view and moment you cannot help but wish to snap with your camera,” says Craig Shipton, organiser of the 25000spins Great Ocean Road charity ride. “It’s a fantastic ride with heaps of challenges which keep encouraging you to continue the adventure.”
My update on the Swiss cycle trip,
So I arrive in Geneva around lunchtime on Saturday and the bike hire guy gives me the bike, I take one look at it and I say "where are the panniers?, I'm sure I booked panniers" and he goes "panniers are €25 per day extra" - my heart sinks as I realise I'm going to have to carry all my stuff on my back! (Didn't really have a choice as it just wasn't possible in the budget)
But I took your advice and emptied just about everything that wasn't essential for survival - but still half way up the mountain it feels like you're carrying a lead fridge.
Day one was actually ok, made good time into Vevay, bit sore but feeling somewhat capable and pleased with myself, relatively drama free.
Day Two aka Day from Hell!
The local hostel owner gives me pathologically understated descriptions of the intensity of the hills..... I only found out after I got back that asking the locals perhaps isn't always the best thing.
I took the Chair lift thing from Vevay to Chatel St Denis - about 10 mins and 5 Euros.
A few Day 2 highlights;
- ran out of food and water, prayed for manna but all that was left in my sweaty backpack was a capsule of peppermint smints! , had to scramble down into a deserted mountain stream once to top up my water bottle or die of thirst); up on Brunigpass had to (quickly) ride through what I can only describe as a ultra right wing Swiss German quite likely fascist leaning rural extremist retreat/training facility/pub, got lost and ended up on a busy highway, got stopped and escorted off same highway by Swiss German Police, grew a beard, developed love hate (mostly hate) relationship with Garmin bike GPS(which I was convinced was alive aka "Garman" and actually trying to kill me!) my phone died and I lost the address of hostel I was going to, ended up riding in the dark without proper lights, had to hold up same Garman as light source - but finally arrived in Interlaken after 11pm!
Day Three was superb, once again there was an abomination (aka bitch) of a mountain.....Jaunpass
But the other side of it, my goodness! Coming down the mountain just as the rain stopped and and the glorious sun came out was pure ecstasy(and I don't mean the pill)
The final few miles were exhilarating, I turned on my iTunes hillsong playlist and had my own little in-the-spirit mobile worship service riding into the beauty of Lucerne
I absolutely loved it - I met some wonderful people:) had some painful but productive conversations with God, did more miles on less sustenance than I thought possible...
A thousand things could have gone wrong, but in the end, nothing really did.
A few twists and turns, yes; yet more drama, absolutely.
But for all the pain and fear and angst, for all the moments my heart sank, I'll always remember how uplifting it was racing down that mountain in the refulgent sun.... :)
Another amazing Swiss cycle experience was had. We were a relatively small group with 13 of us in total. However together we raised an amazing $37,000 as a team. The funds went to ADRA and the Botswana Orphan project , Compassion and the Fred Hollows foundation. Check out some of the scenery below. We will certainly be back again in July 2015.
Ruth takes her patch off and Michri glows as she sees the young Australian with her once blind eye. She stands, puts out her hands and give thanks to Ruth, blessing her and praying she will have a good and prosperous life. Ruth, who has struggled to keep her composure, finally buckles. Tears well in her eyes. Fred Hollows youngest daughers have finally witnessed their fathers dream and, in this perfect moment, it is as if they have come home. Read more...
The Inaugural three day Queenstown Classic ride headed out from Queenstown on a perfect sunny day. This was to be the start of three amazing days of cycling. NZ really does have it all.
I have got to say I have fallen in love with New Zealand. As a group we raised over $35,000 for ADRA NZ, World Vision NZ, ADRA and the Botswana Orphan project . Check out some of the scenery below. We will certainly be back again in March 2015.