It is with a mixed measure of relief and sadness that I report the completion of the Great Ocean Road charity ride for 2012. In total we rode almost 300kms, consumed almost 300 bananas and held up well over 300 cars. With 32 riders coming from around Australia including Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, we bonded quickly as we puffed and sweated our way from Geelong to Warrnambool.
The ride began on a wet and cold and dark Sunday morning, the rain bucketing down as we rode from Geelong. Fortunately the rain died away after an hour or so and we felt no further rain for the duration of the ride. The sun came out, our shoes dried out, and we settled in for 3 days of cruising through the undulating hills and by the majestic coastline of the Great Ocean Road.
One rider suffered 6 flat tires himself! (Found out along the way later that a small piece of glass had embedded in the tyre, piercing each tube he inflated).
In total we raised over $66,000 towards our three charites: ADRA, Compassion and the Botswana Orphan Project. With the government matching donations to ADRA, this equated to over $100,000. A great effort. Matthew Siliga of ADRA has said that he will let us know exactly what our money has achieved, so I will forward this information on to you when I have received it.
There will also be a few more formal photos coming through as well. I have learnt many things through this experience. Here are a few:
- The smell of roadkill is much worse when you are struggling for air up a hill on a bicycle.
- The rider with the flashiest bike isn't always the flashiest rider
- Likewise, don't assume you can keep up with the dodgiest bike.
- Don't underestimate the old blokes
- Riding for charity really unifies a team
- When you are cold and wet and darkness surrounds you, the sun will eventually come out
- It pays to ask... there are generous people who are willing to support a good cause
- Spending time with the Father-in-Law can be a great experience
- After a difficult climb, there is a tremendous down-hill run
- Home is never more comfortable, nor my wife more beautiful, nor my kids more treasured than when I am slogging it alone hundreds of miles away.
- Every hour in training is worth it
- As one person I can't change the world, but I can change the world for one person.
Thankyou for your support. Through hard work and generosity we've made a positive impact in the lives of many. Randall (Roo)
(Source: The state of human development, United Nations Human Development Report from http://www.globalissues.org/issue/235/consumption-and-consumerism
|Global Priority||$U.S. Billions|
|Cosmetics in the United States||8|
|Ice cream in Europe||11|
|Perfumes in Europe and the US||12|
|Pet Foods in Europe and the US||17|
|Military spending in the world||780|
|Global Priority||$U.S. Billions|
|Basic eduction for all||6|
|Water and sanitation for all||9|
|Reproductive health for all woman||12|
|Basic health and nutrition||13|
Where: Paris France
Distance: 320 Km
The night before I headed off from Trafalgar square was hard to sleep. Last minute things racing around in my head kept me up until after 2am. A group of seven of us would meet at Trafalgar square and begin the cycle to Paris. (Ndaba, Phil, Chris, Naomi, Trent, Renea & myself) The rest of the group would meet in the suburbs of London.
Where: Dijon France
Distance: 725 km
Paris to Dijon
As we slipped onto the rain soaked streets of Paris Monday early afternoon there was a very different feeling then a few days earlier. My navigation device was playing up again. There was no support van waiting, there was no clear route and my bike now had an additional 25 kilo loaded on.
That night we got in at 10.30pm. Exhausted we were ready to eat and sleep. Luckily there was still a place open serving food.
Where: St Claude
Distance: 910 km
Today the sun beat relentlessly down on us as we slowly climbed our way over mountain after mountain. Just when we seemed to have beaten it we would be taken at break neck speed deep into the valley only to be given the task of getting out again.
Distance: 985 km
We made an early start on the day. This would be our hardest day yet, the climb to the top of the Col de la Faucille. Three hours into the climbing we had only managed to advance a pitiful 18km. Every snaking corner simply revealed a new level of the endless mountain.
Where: Interlaken Switzerland
Distance: 1,210 km
The first 20 km out of Genève was an architect’s delight with each mansion competing with the next for more grand entrance ways and longer tree lined paths up to a stately manor overlooking the lake. Trent and I were starting to feel a little jealous by the end of it but we soon got back to enjoying the stunning Swiss scenery. As we neared the town of Vevey our stop for the night the hills got even stepper as they rose out of the lake. Running up the side of the mountain were ancient stone terraced vineyards.
The view was stunning. I did feel sorry though for the poor people who had to work the vineyards.