Tag Archives: Cycling for Hope

Cycling for Hope – I FINISHED!

The finish to Cycling for Hope

The finish to Cycling for Hope

I am too tired to write much tonight. But the picture says it all. The signs were totally unexpected.

Total: 104.5km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 3,144.4km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.

Cycling for Hope – Day 30 – The penultimate day

The end is in sight

The end is in sight

The end is in sight! Today was day 30. It is totally surreal to think that tomorrow I will have achieved something so enormous. I will have cycled just over 3,100km in 31 days while still going to work and university. To put that into perspective, it’s:

  • 3,100km from Brisbane to Katherine in the Northern Territory
  • 3,100km from Melbourne to Townsville via Sydney and Brisbane
  • 3,030km from Darwin to Adelaide
  • 2,600km from Amsterdam to Istanbul
  • 3,200km from Los Angeles to Chicago.

And I rode it all while still going to work and university. Of those 3,100km, I only had company for 330km. I rode the rest of the distance on my own with no one to break the wind for me or keep me motivated.

Today I rode down to Victoria Point to follow the waterfront back to Redland Bay before riding to Mum’s house to collect her to ride the next 45km together. It was fantastic to ride with Mum. We cruised along chatting where the road was wide enough. I haven’t ridden with Mum in a couple of months, so it was a real treat. At the end of our ride we wandered the Jan Powers Farmers Markets in Manly together with my partner and dad. It was lovely.

Unfortunately, after my ride with Mum, I was still 3.5km short of my 100km target. But it wasn’t all bad because my partner wanted to go out for a 5km walk, so I just rode my bike alongside her, which was lovely.

Total: 101.5km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 3,039.9km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.

Cycling for Hope – Day 29

Swamp lands

Swamp lands

Today was my final weekday of Cycling for Hope. And, being a Friday, I treated myself to a sleep in until 4:30am because I finish work an hour early on Fridays (at 4pm). This morning I rode an easy 55km loop along the waterfront and on to work. I didn’t stop to take photos but just cruised along slowly. My legs are sore but it’s almost the end now so I’m trying to soak up the memories and experience before it is over.

A local road near my home

A local road near my home

After work I didn’t feel like traveling too far so I just did some laps around local roads. The first roads were semi-rural. We live in area with pockets of acreage near the Logan River flood plains.

I've seen these horses and goats eat often this month

I’ve seen these horses and goats eat often this month

And where there’s acreage, there’s cute horses. And in this case, goats. I have watched these horses and goats share their hay biscuits quite regularly this past month. The goats never eat with the big horse; they only eat with the little pony. I also rode laps of roads a little nearer home, which are more suburban.

Total: 100.2km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 2,938.4km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.

Cycling for Hope – Day 28

Cruising

Cruising

Yesterday morning was beautifully foggy. By the time I’d ridden 30km, I could see little water droplets on my eyelashes (I have long eyelashes) and helmet visor. Good music was playing on the radio (I get bored with the small music collection I’ve bought so have just been listen to FM radio) and I was making good progress.

Morning fog

Morning fog

I rode town the V1 towards the Gold Coast because I didn’t feel like being creative or riding too many hills. The roads were quiet and I just spun along until the 51km mark where I turned around. A group of three cyclists were riding back in the direction I had come from and I saw that two of them were wearing t-shirts instead of jerseys. I took that as a sign that they were probably traveling at a pace I could keep up with. So I hooked onto the group and rode the 30km back to work with them. It turns out that they also work in the same building as I do. It’s a small suburban office building with just five tenancies. What a small world.

This is where I do my laps

This is where I do my laps

After work I had to go to my local shopping centre to volunteer as a Justice of the Peace for two hours until 8:30pm before I could ride home. I wanted to look a little bit respectable in my role as a Justice of the Peace so I sat at the table with my cycling clothes on and my business shirt over the top of my jersey. Good thing I could sit down while doing my shift because as soon as I stood up I looked ridiculous: cycling shoes, compression long johns over cycling shorts, business shirt and backpack with high visibility vest draped over it. After my volunteer shift was over I rode home, doing some laps along a 1.6km (1 mile) out and back loop near home.

In other news, my son’s fifth child was born yesterday: a healthy baby boy.

Total: 101.8km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 2,838.2km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.

Cycling for Hope – Day 27

Dawn on day 27 by Andrew Gills
Dawn on day 27, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

I had the day off work today to spend time with my partner, who is on holidays for the next five weeks. With all the cycling I’ve been doing, I’ve been quite an absent domestic partner – if I’ve not been cycling, working or at uni, I’ve been sleeping like a log. So the day off together was a real treat.

I woke early to get as many kilometers done before the day started. I managed 80.5km of riding along the water. I watched the sun rise until it got so warm I had to remove my thermal and cycling sleeves. It was positively summery.

Today was a public holiday in Brisbane for the Royal Queensland Show (locally known as the EKKA). And the cyclists had taken over the roads. I counted well over a hundred cyclists along my 80km out-and-back route, and that was just those I thought to count. Most were riding in bunches of at least ten men (I didn’t see any women riding in the bunches.

Despite my good intentions, I fell asleep almost immediately after my shower. My partner, who is the real hero of this challenge, let me sleep until I woke at about 11:30am. We went on a lunch date for fish & chips by the water before I ducked out to ride the final 20km.

For my final 20km, I just did laps of some local streets. It wasn’t terribly exciting but the roads were fast and quiet.

Total: 101.2km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 2,736.4km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.

Cycling for Hope – Day 26

Early morning ride by Andrew Gills
Early morning ride, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

I woke this morning to find a message from Dad telling me that he’s proud of me and that he wants to take me to Nakuru early next year to see exactly what all this cycling has been for. I could have cried (I’ve been feeling quite emotional the past few days leading into the end of this challenge). I love spending time with Dad and it’s been a few years since we’ve had a father-son trip.

Spurred on by Dad’s message, I was on the road by 4:10am. The roads were quiet and lit by the yellow glow of street lights. I rode into the city. It’s become a familiar route over the past weeks.

I stopped on a bench in Kangaroo Point under the Story Bridge to enjoy the danish my partner bought me last night. I watched the group fitness people sweating, grunting and frowning as if exercise is a chore. I felt a little sorry for them. But then, maybe they were enjoying the experience.

I rode to work, having covered 80.5km. After work I finished the day with a 20km ride home, complete with the usual loops to make up the mileage.

Total: 100.5km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 2,635.2km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.

Cycling for Hope – Day 25

A fresh new day by Andrew Gills
A fresh new day, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

Today’s ride was all about the water and sunrise. I got on my bike at 4am and rode down to Redland Bay from where I followed the coast all the way to Cleveland Point.

At first I had to rely on my Ayup headlights to light my way; their brightness to darkness what a foghorn is to silence. But slowly, the horizon grew brighter and the colours of dawn filled my world.

I managed 77.5km before work leaving just a short ride home. I had to do some laps to make up the distance, but I’m used to that now.

Total: 100.1km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 2,534.7km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.

Cycling for Hope – Day 24

Company on the ride by Andrew Gills
Company on the ride, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

Day 24 was hands down the best day of Cycling for Hope so far. Other days have been wonderful, such as the day I cycled with my sister, or the day I cycled with D and his kids, or the day I visited my friend, or the day I had a picnic with my best friend. But nothing compares to riding in the company of others for the full 100km session.

Well, one thing does, and that’s the kindness of S who drove 120km to pick me up and drop me off after our ride. Not only that, but he also broke the wind (head wind – not smelly wind) for about 90km of our 100km ride. What a champion! (That’s S in the yellow jersey out front).

Water views

Water views

The ride was a route check for S’s Southern Manatee 100km Audax ride on Wednesday. The route took us past the water in Wynnum, Thornside and Birkdale before taking us inland through the remnant farmlands and hobby farms of Carbrook and Mount Cotton.

And then we climbed West Mount Cotton Road. The first climb took us up some 12% inclines to look back over views of the Gold Coast. Then we rolled along the lumps to a short climb to see a view of Brisbane City on the other side of the mountain.

The Wall (27% incline)

The Wall (27% incline)

But perhaps the biggest talking point was A’s magnificent climb up The Wall while the rest of us were forced to walk. A had only been cycling for about six months and yet he managed to power his way up this 27% incline with steely determination.

Me walking up The Wall

Me walking up The Wall

Me, I was reduced to laughing hysterically in happiness at a ride that cemented my enjoyment of being on two wheels and of the camaraderie of long distance cycling.

Thank you S for going out of your way to help me to join you. I can’t express enough how grateful I am. And have a fantastic time with your team next week at the Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Total: 102.7km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 2,434.6km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.

Cycling for Hope – Day 23

Picnic shenanigans by Andrew Gills
Picnic shenanigans, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for day 23 until my best friend of almost 29 years called me to organise a picnic together in West End. Given that West End is 50km from my home, this was the perfect plan.

C organised the food (bread and fruit) and I organised the sweets and drink. I rode into town along the South-East Fwy bike way. The sun was shining and a light cool breeze blew to cool the air (it was about 26’C despite it still being winter). The riding was pleasant and I rode a short way with a young lady with a squeaky chain who was trialling a commuting route to her new job.

At Southbank I slowly dodged pedestrians and enjoyed the views. I was early for lunch so stopped to eat ice cream while sitting near the water soaking up the joy of riding in daylight. I only have 8 days of Cycling for Hope left so am making the most of being able to eat whatever I like before I have to start being good again.

I stopped at the West End Markets to look for my contribution to the picnic. It turned out that C was at the same markets so we met up and had our picnic in the dappled shade of a nearby tree. The atmosphere was lovely as we shared olives, strawberries, sour dough baguette, pears, nougart and icy cold fresh lemonade.

After the picnic I rode home, stopping briefly at the man made beach at Southbank Parklands to dangle my feet in the icy cold water. The water was too cold for swimming. You could tell the locals from the tourists. We were dangling our feet in the water while the tourists were actually swimming (our idea of cold is warm for many from temperate climates).

Total: 100.8km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 2,331.9km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.

Cycling for Hope – Day 22

Dusk at the boat ramp by Andrew Gills
Dusk at the boat ramp, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

What a difference 24 hours makes. While yesterday I wanted to sit on the side of the road and just top, today I was able to flip my mindset and enjoy the ride.

I slept in and started my riding in daylight. It’s amazing what sunshine can do to perk me up while riding. I only rode 29km before work but I enjoyed it. I’m still exhausted but that’s going to be my reality for this final week of Cycling for Hope. So I just have to suck it up.

To help me refocus, I took some time during my lunch break to watch a couple of YouTube videos about London-Edinbourgh-London (these videos here and here) and Paris-Brest-Paris (these videos here and here); rides that I’d love to do one day. The videos reminded me that it’s all about mental strength and determination. And about enjoying the experience for what it is.

We finish work early on Fridays so I rode home in daylight (14km), dropped my backpack and set off into the evening for the final 53km. I rode down to the waterfront at Redland Bay and followed the shared pathways around the coastline. It was so pretty to see the last rays of light reflecting off the water as the shadows lengthened.

It took me hours to ride the 53km. I got caught up watching the people fishing and launching boats from the boat ramps. I stopped to take photos of the water and stars.

As I rode, I thought about my bike. I managed to fix the front derailleur (the cable wasn’t snapped, it just needed adjusting). I read this blog post about how to set up the perfect randonneering bike. Given that the key is comfort, perhaps my bike is just right. Other than aching thigh muscles, the rest of my body hasn’t got sore at all through the ride yet. Not my shoulders, back or neck. I still need new head bearings and probably some thicker handlebar tape but they are consumables.

Total: 100.2km cycling
Cycling for Hope cumulative total: 2,231.1km

I’ve set up a Cycling for Hope Facebook page for those who are into Facebook and want to follow my 100km a day for 31 days cycling challenge that way. It’s a public page that you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/CyclingForHope

All donations and sponsorship, whether $100 or $5, is greatly appreciated. You will received an Australian tax receipt from Rotary Australia Overseas Aid.  Click here to donate and read more about Nakuru Hope.