Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Blog for Pedal4Parkinson's 2010

Hi All,

It is that time of the year again and you can keep up-to-date with the progress of Pedal4Parkinson's 2010 by visiting the new blog at:


Look forward to hearing from you soon,


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 13 - Final Stand when your legs would rather sit

I have to say it was exceedingly easy to get up this morning, my alarm went off at 4AM and I was up like a flash. For Adam it did not appear to be so easy. Once we were up we rushed around to pack up camp so we could make it back to Ballam Park to meet with Max. I was so grateful to have a caravan park kitchen as it meant I could have a pipping hot coffee and egg on toast, which was required give n the cold temperatures.

We ended up being a few minutes late for poor Max who had begun to question if he had come to the correct location. Once we arrived we introduced ourselves, checked bikes and went on our way. Along the ride I was able to find out a bit more about this mystery rider. It turns out Max is also about to head off on the same pedal for Parkinson's in Vietnam as Karyn, who I rode into Bega with. The first leg with Max was 19km and was perfect conditions and a wide shoulder so we could chat more. After the first rest we called those meeting us at the finish and informed them we were on time then headed of on the final leg of 28km. This leg would have been great out of peak and without drivers like registration number WOT:007 (Green ford) who thought it would be smart to get close enough to knock Max with the side of his car. After simply brushing it off we moved on.

I was amazed by the number of people that cycle in Melbourne, it walks all over Sydney. On that note though I do see why, the city is made for it. It was just so simple to get into the city, no one way streets no ridiculously tight one lane roads and well signposted, I thought I was in heaven.

Yay we made it!!!! Still hasn't hit home yet.

On arrival we were greeted by Glen and Cath (from Pakinson's Victoria) as well as a sleepy Adam. Again this was the first time I had met both Glen and Cath and I was very lucky that they had the time to sit down for some coffee and breakfast (on a seat much more comfy then my bikes).

Eventually we all had to head our separate ways, Glen and Cath to work, Max to his car, Adam and I to shopping then home. My original plan was to get some clothes that fit while I was in Melbourne but that failed as I am the worlds worst clothes shopper, I get frustrated, thus we began to drive home. We are currently entering Yass and will be spending the night in Canberra with my parents who are very excited to see me, then we will head back to Sydney tomorrow.

Adam eating lunch in a classy Melbourne Cafe (Anyone would think he didn't like my camp cooking...)

I would like to thank all of you for keeping up-to-date and reading my stories as this cycle has meant a lot to me and I have most certainly been touched by all of you along the way. Please don't be a stranger, email me, let me know how things are and your ideas as to how we can make next years ride even better.

Toilets on the way home, you have to ask do they mean under the age of 18??? and why?

Look forward to hearing from you and seeing you all again next year (If not before).



Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 10 - The budget GPS will get us there...

Firstly I would like to let everyone know that I discovered this morning the "creature" previously thought to be a marsupial mouse was in fact a big rat... YUKO. Secondly you will all be please to know I got rid of him this morning so we now have a nice clean car and my iron pills can be reassured that only I will be consuming them.

Today was a long day, but lucky for me it didn't end up hot as we had originally thought. Our first stop was Warragul where we were met by the Warragul Parkinson's Support group who kindly pried themselves from bed on such a drizzly morning. Even after getting lost on the way to the meeting place I still managed to find time to eat an egg sandwich, some nuts and drink tea while talking with the group.

The Warragul Support group, a lot more awake then I was

The next stop was Bunyip North, it was a fairly quiet rest stop here and Adam and I decided we'd cook toast. Well I originally decided then Adam stole some while I wasn't looking, then thought he should cook his own as gluten free bread doesn't really do it for him. It was here I also discovered a new favorite toast topping, peanut butter and sultanas (best energy kick ever!).

Yes I understand you may think it looks gross but it is really quite nice, just try it.

On the way to the third rest as Berwick show ground I was making fantastic time, then I passed an elderly couple having some car trouble and gave them a hand sorting things out. I would have still been ahead if it wasn't for the strange sign posting and weird way of getting off the Princes Freeway onto the C101. Not only did I get totally lost and confused (which would happen if you told me to follow a straight line) Adam also got thrown off track. Good news is I have discovered a fool proof budget GPS, permanent marker on legs. There are still a few bugs I'm ironing out but it's better then nothing.

Worlds cheapest and easiest to work GPS

When we finally made it to the show ground we were provided with a warm welcome by the Cranbourne Parkinson's Support Group and their most magnificent sign. Here we stood around and chatted for a bit over a very much needed coffee. One of the members of this group Anne has started Paint for Parkinson's within Victoria which provides an opportunity for sufferers of Parkinson's to express themselves and socialise through art. If you would like further information as to weather there is a group near you or how you can start your own group drop me a line and I will put you in touch with Anne.

Cranbourne Support Group and there fantastic sign.

The final stop for the day was Frankston and bot was this leg painful. Between having to navigate through roads, avoid very rude truck drivers who knock you off and keep my legs moving I am surprised I made it. But I did, which means only one more leg to go :o)

For dinner tonight Adam and I decided we'd go out as we really didn't want to shop and cook tonight. To our great amazement we found an all you could eat restaurant which served mussels and prawns as well as a decent salad selection all for $16.90 each. So while Adam stocked up on everything and three deserts I raided the seafood and salad bar and definitely ate more then three times the value we paid (I don't think they expect cyclists who've ridden from Sydney much).

Look at my yummy seafood, plate 1 of god knows how many

Now this may have been a world first for Sizzler style dinning... a whole plate of salad??? YUM!

Adam became traumatised after the 3rd bowl of dessert, I just went back for more seafood.

On a totally random note the bellow picture of a tap had to be added in as the most random thing we have seen as it is not just attached but it is apart of the show ground fence.... ummmm

Yes that is a tap-fence you see, it works too!

Hope you are all as excited about tomorrow as I am.

Sleep well.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 11 - Hide and seek in the car

The fantastic tape job holding together my shoe

I would like to start by simply saying the mouse remains in our car. That's right despite our ingenious plans, traps and various methods it still remains. As the mouse had previously eaten my entire collection of iron pills I felt I best be careful as to where I put my replacement pack, and nothing is more safe in any car than a glove box. This morning I was proved wrong, just as I was about to leave I remembered I had to take my iron and opened the glove box to find again that the lid had been totally consumed along with my tablets. I don't want to know how the mouse got in there and I really dont want to know where else in the dash/car internals it is going and what it is eating along the way, I just want it out!!! So far the following things are on the list of what I have learned the Australian marsupial mouse likes to eat:

  • Iron Tablets
  • Orange GU Electrolyte powder (GU20), he doesn't like lime at all
  • Potato
  • Drink bottle tops (the rubber pop top bit)
  • Pain killer gel
  • Road Cycling shoes (particularly smelly ones)
  • Used coffee grounds
  • Egg shells

I really can't wait to totally unpack the car to find out what else he has indulged in.

Today was again a bit of a late start as Adam and I wanted to be on top of the fire situation before I began cycling. Lucky for us we appear to dodge all fire activity at this time but we are keeping an eye out, particularly as the winds and temperatures increase.

The first stop was at Rosedale where Adam kindly cooked me an egg and made me a coffee before I rushed off to try and catch up with time. The next stop was Traralgon where I was greeted by a pleasant surprise of a group from the Moe Parkinson's Support group. Lucky I had caught a bit of time and was able to have a chat with the group while I fed myself a very needed dose of protein and carbs before heading off to tackle the last leg.

First part of the Moe support group who met us in Traralgon

On arriving in Moe we encountered some drama as the name and location google maps had given us for the Oval we said we would meet the support groups at was wrong. So after cycling around town to try and find Moe Oval and the support crew who we had been informed would be waiting my legs finally gave in and we headed to tonight's caravan park while I tracked down a contact number for the support group to apologise. On arrival to the caravan park we were greeted by the support group who as it happened thought that was were we were going to meet all along. So it all got sorted and I finally got to meet the rest of the Moe support group.

The rest of the Moe support group who came to greet us at Moe.

So far this afternoon Adam and I have been exploring the town to find essentials like more iron tablets, another plastic tub to store all the stuff we thought wouldn't get eaten but still did and dinner for tonight. We have also unpacked and repacked the car in a hope of again getting rid of the mouse. Oh and Adam dis some work.

Adam busted doing work, no rest for this boy.

All in all I know today was meant to be an easy day and it would have been a very pleasant ride, if it wasn't for the head on winds the entire way. I honestly do not think my legs have ever hurt that much ever, to the point I had tears in the last 5 km. I really do hope tomorrow the wind is either behind me or just not there as I have my last big day and I am tired as anything now.

Hope you are all well, only two more days to go.

Eat lots of yummy food.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Day 10 - The flat, sun and fire trucks

Today started with a massive reminder as to just how lucky i am. I awoke to not only find the car packed ready to go but also my clothes for that day laid out ready for me to put on. As you would imagine I was totally wiped out the night before and had dosed off after dinner, meanwhile Adam had stayed up to the wee hours packing and organising.

Adam definitely had a good eye for shots, this was taken at Apex Park.

Once we were both up and ready we headed out to Apex Park and got the bike ready to go. Here we had to wait to recieve a call from ABC Gipsland who wanted to conduct an interview. Once the call was done it was back on my bike and pedal, pedal, pedal, no matter how much my legs told me it was a bad idea. Now I have dreaded leaving Lakes Entrance the entire trip because a few months ago I drove down the hill I'd have to cycle up. I must say I had no troubles up the hill this morning and was very chuffed at the fact that I screamed up it without raising so much as a sweat. The rest of the day was exceptionally flat, with gradual ups and even more gradual downs. I found myself just continuously spinning and my bum could feel every turn. As it turned out, even with the late start I still arrived early to the rests and I really did appreciate that extra 5-10min rest.

Today heated up quite fast and being a dry heat this was not the best section of road to be on. I was however very good and forced myself to drink double what I would normally. An interesting game I've leanned to play on the road to pass the time and distract from the pain is called count the fire vehicles speeding in my direction... Today's tally was 7 and they were all on the last 10km of the ride. So far fire safety seems fine but we are staying alert.

I finally found my pedal boat, not so sure I'll need it any more given this heat

Once we got to Sale we were greeted by the Sale / Maffra Parkinson's Support group at the Sale Showground. Given the heat we all took shelter and a seat under the shade and chatted for the better part of an hour, which was so very nice especially after riding alone. It meant a lot that this support group went to such lengths to get out to say hello and I thank them. I would also like to thank Rob, the grounds keeper at Sale Showground, who provided us with a lot of support.

Sale / Maffra Parkinson's Support group and I shading under a tree.

The afternoon was spent setting up camp and heading into town to collect supplies. One of the required supplies was Araldite as at the first rest stop the sole of my cycling shoes sheared off and has since been held on by duct tape (not the most sturdy). Tonight Adam and I plan to go the the Greyhound's Club and play some Bingo if we can (I've never played Bingo before).

Tomorrow is a fairly short day into Moe which my legs are grateful for.

Rest easy.

Day 9 - A day of rest

Dinner the night before, I only had 1/2 a glass I swear!

After a light day cycling into Lakes Entrance yesterday we were fortunate enough to have our rest day. Although dinner wasn't massively wild, it was actually quite pleasant, we felt we would all sleep in until the grand hour of 7AM. Once we dragged ourselves out of bed we made a scrumptious cooked breakfast, washed and then headed out to our first destination for the day, Caves.

Exploring the caves

Adam had never been in a cave before and what better time to reward him for all of his help then the rest day. We were very fortunate as our tour group ended up just being the three of us, I presume everyone else was still in bed. After seeing the caves we went for a nice stroll up to the spring and then into town for a coffee. Lunch was a picnic back in Lakes Entrance which we indulged in by the water as we watched the sardines be brought in.

There were so many sardines on this boat! It was unbelievable!

The rest of the day was really very lazy as we were both extremely tired, we went for a stroll, fair welled mum and got ready to go early the next day. We also checked how our mouse removal plan had gone. The night before we cunningly set up a drop trap with some peanut butter to lure the mouse out of the car. It did appear to work but we wanted to be sure he hadn't crawled back in.

Tomorrow is just over 100km and my legs are starting to feel it. Not long now.

Put your feet up.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 8 - The importance of the morning coffee

I guess it is my own fault for not being bothered last night to fill the furnace with hot water but today I discovered first hand the shear importance of my morning coffee when putting myself through the early mornings, late nights and long cycles. Today was only a short day consisting of only two legs however the first of these I almost did fall asleep at the handle bars. It wasn't until I got to the first stop and sucked back a coffee that I realised why. I guess the combination of everything just got the better of me.

mmmmm coffee.... It's amazing how easy it was to cycle after that

The reason we didn't get a chance to pre-boil water last night is however rather amusing. A few days ago we left the boot open while hanging around camp, only to find the next morning that an empty UHT milk carton left out had been eaten by something. We presumed that this happened the night before and moved on as we had been very careful to ensure all food is in either the esky or plastic cartons, we did however decide to not leave the boot open for extended periods of time from that point on. The next evening we were in Alfred National Park and had no access to bins, as a result in order to avoid animals rummaging while we sleep we locked the rubbish bag up in the car. The next morning we awoke to fine a hole eaten through the bag and egg shells scatted throughout the boot. At this point both Adam and I were sure the other had left the boot open too long at one stage but simply moved on. Last night however after a few games of ping pong we headed back to camp to make dinner, Adam opened the boot only to see something run before his eyes and rest in a corner, tail hanging out...

We have a stowaway!!! We tried for so long to scare and lure him out with no luck what so ever and today we have unpacked the entire cars contents and checked all bags with still no luck. We know he is still in there and are leaving the car open in the drive in hopes that he runs out. What else can we do?

Anyway more about where we are. Tonight we are staying in Lakes Entrance, not only that my mother decided to take the time to come to greet me so instead of spending the next two nights in a tent as planned we have the most luxurious apartment you have ever seen. On arrival to the apartment I indulged in my replenished stocks of gluten free bread which mum transported from Canberra and then had the longest, hottest, most amazing shower ever imaginable. We then put everything in the wash (with double powder), meaning I now have clean undies :o) and headed to the shops to get lunch stuff.

What a lunch, we felt like kings!

Lunch was pure bliss and can not be compared on the same level as our meals in a tin, we had fresh prawns and oysters with salad and bread. It was the most amazing feast! Tonight we will be hitting the town for a deluxe seafood platter at one of the local restaurants (best rest day ever!!!).

Arrrgh I just cant decide between the Putt Putt courses

After lunch mum had to catch up on some work so Adam and I headed out to play some serious mini golf. Now I have a little confession to make, I am actually not sure I have ever played mini golf before. I have played pitch and putt but never your classic windmill obstacle putt putt. As lunch would have it there are two courses in Lakes Entrance, right next door to each other. Given the affordable price of $6 per 18 holes as well as our inability to decide on a pirate theme or classic putt putt we decided to do both. Now I have learned from this that I am not the safest person to be around while playing this game as well as the fact that I would be the best at this game if only they doubled the Par... In conclusion if you ever intend on playing putt putt with me bring a helmet and patience.

Everybody duck!!!!!

Currently we are all still digesting lunch and will be heading out for dinner in a few hours. Adam was about to go do something but it appears I have worn him out with all the early mornings and phhhhoww all that driving he's doing, he must be dead :oP

Sleeping beauty, I can tell you now he isn't waking for anything

I hope you all get a dinner as yummy as mine will be.