2016 Great Cycle Challenge

As you may have noticed, I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog this past month. I do have a good reason though, I’ve been participating in the Great Cycle Challenge for 2016.

The Challenge was set up as a way to raise awareness and medical/research funds for Kids’ cancer. In Australia 3 kids die every week from cancer which is just tragic. So after signing up in August I set myself a 250km goal for the month and a $500 fundraising target. 

Sunset Coast, North Beach, Western Australia.

Week 1 – After 2 months of training and preparation I was finally underway! I had hoped to get out on October 1 after work for a start but due to blustery winds I thought better of it. October 2 wasn’t much better with 25-35km/h winds forecast but I pushed on and in the end achieved a new best for my longest ever ride at just over 40km. It’s a great way to kick off my challenge but the ride wasn’t without some stress. Due to magpie season I got swooped after just 2.5km but this time, the magpie came in from the side instead of from above and clawed my ear pretty good. However I had no time for beef with my winged nemesis instead thinking about all the sick kids I was riding for and the ride soon improved from that low start. So I began with successive bests for my longest ride at 40.2km followed by a 41.4km but the achievements certainly didn’t stop there. New highs for overall time and average speed were also reached on my way to 132.3 km in 5 hrs 59 minutes for the week.

On the receiving end from a broody Magpie!

My fatigue levels were surprisingly low despite the raise in KMs, so hopefullly this will mean even more cycling in the coming weeks. 

Me with my new wheels, the Merida Scultura 4000! 8.4kg of beast!

The challenge wasn’t all about me though and it’s the kids who I rode for. At this point I’d raised just over $350 in the fight against kids’ cancer which was amazing!

So Week 2 came and went and with it another fantastic week in the Challenge. I clocked up 138.3km in 6hrs 3min in the saddle, taking me up to 295km after just 2 weeks of the challenge! I was so happy to reach my 250km goal so soon but I planned to keep riding until the end of the month, when the challenge actually finished! 

Taking in the Indian Ocean at Burns Beach, Western Australia.

I took possession of my new Merida bike during Week 2 so I spent the better part of the week getting used to the drop bar setup on it but it is much faster with the carbon frame and Shimano 105 drivetrain which should allow me to eat up the roads in good time!

I’m glad this great cause has resonated with so many of my supporters and hopefully the money will go towards finding a cure for what is a terrible disease. 

Time was flying and I gotta say, it sure didn’t feel like 3 weeks had passed since the Great Cycle Challenge began. That meant that it all ended very soon but I wasn’t sure I wanted it to end just yet!

Week 3 began with successive 50km rides which was a first for me. There is something special about the feeling you get when you accomplish something you’ve never done before and it’s rides like these that will live long in the memory!

Then on Wednesday October 19 we had “Kick Cancer’s Butt Day” where we had an amazing offer from a few of the sponsors of the GCC where for any donations received on the day would be matched up to an amount of $115,000. Thanks to the generosity of my amazing supporters I was able to reach my goal of $500 and with the donation match I sat on $602 which was amazing! A big thank you must go out to everyone who donated on Wednesday and also to Lahey Constructions for their amazing generosity!

Out on a coast ride, Sunset Coast, Perth, Australia!

So back to my week on the bike and I clocked up another 124.6km in 5hr 16min taking me to 420km for the month and challenge. I had my eye on the magical 500km mark and I was confident I’d get there in the final week.

Well onto Week 4!  It’s flown by and I can’t believe it’s come to an end. All in all it’s been a very successful month where I’ve made a small difference to the challenge and I learnt a lot about myself both physically and mentally.

The week began needing just 80km to reach the 500km mark and to get me partly there was a new biggest ride for me of 53km on Tuesday. I took in Wanneroo, Burns Beach and the coast right down to Trigg and back, a great ride.

My efforts during the Great Cycle Challenge. (Courtesy: Strava)

I surpassed the 500km mark on Sunday and ended up doing 525km overall. This past week totalled 104.5km in 4hr 12min.

So the cycling has finished but the opportunity to donate and support this fantastic cause doesn’t! It’s still not too late to donate if you haven’t done already. The Cancer Medical Research Institute will be keeping the Great Cycle Challenge open for donations into November so please do consider a small donation if you are able to! You can find the page here: 

http://www.greatcyclechallenge.com.au/riders/MIchaelJohnson3

I need to thank all of the wonderful people who supported me with donations during the challenge. Since August when I signed up to this up until last week I’ve had a steady stream of support which has helped keep me going whenever I’ve been absolutely knackered on the bike! I couldn’t have done it without you!

Thank you for your support!

Let’s hope and pray that we will be able to make a difference in the lives of the kids who are fighting cancer from our efforts throughout October.

 -Roamingkangaroo  

 

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