After cycling to commute 20km return to work every day for the past 8 months, wind, rain and hail included : ) and after investing in the tallest bicycle in New Zealand, I committed to take part in this crazy charity cycle-athalon to do my bit to help raise funds for the Cancer Society Auckland.
It was a 200km ride over 2 days, leaving Auckland on 16th Nov.
I asked for support to help me to raise $2500.
If I didn’t raise the required amount I wouldn't have been allowed to ride.
I didn’t actually know I HAD to raise $2500 to actually be allowed to ride!
So I donated an extra $100 as it was my chance to raise a lot for charity!
This was one of the most memorable events of my life! :D
Thanks for your support!!!
In training I spent 4 hours cycling up, down and around One Tree Hill summit ten times!! : )
At the Auckland Marathon I stood like a statue with a bucket for 3 hours and raised $100 in coins : ) - Pretty heavy!!
I've written some names of the most generous donors on the back of my home made Ride to Conquer Cancer Cyclist tshirt : )
We (The Air New Zealand Cycling Team) cycled for over 4 hours each on wind trainers in a shopping mall and raised about $800 in our buckets throughout the day : )
Oh and my very generous contacts around the world and colleagues at Air New Zealand have donated over $1000 :D Plus I raised about $1000 selling raffle tickets : )
There was about 665 cyclists and we raised about $2.1 million altogether which will go to ground breaking Cancer research!
After fundraising my heart out for the last few weeks I finally reached the $2500 required goal 2 days before the event!
I may have been seen on TV dancing or fists up in the air cruising with my red nose on : )
Day 1 - Riding 8am - 1pm - 5 hours averaging 20kph on a very hilly route
I was glad to have 27 gears!!
The fastest cyclist did it in 2.5 hours!!
I finished in the top 300 out of 665 riders.
We cycled through beautiful countryside and along paradise beach roads
It was almost a perfect day for swimming in the ocean!
I've never eaten so many oranges!
The cheerleaders were great! Including a father with his 2 young boys who kept driving past with their big cuddly toys waving at us from the car windows
The snack stops were perfect ! Fun and friendly volunteers and something slightly different at each stop - my favourite being the chocolate brownie!!
After the first day I came to the conclusion that I have a heavy bike (a commuter rather than most of the other racers) and so I prepared to send back my pannier bag and lock as the extra weight wasn't helpful.
At the end of Day 1's route I was much more exhausted. I had a brilliant back massage although suffered from a bit of thigh cramp in my tent.
At the end of the second day I felt great!! :D especially after the thigh massage :D
My team - Air New Zealand raised over $37 thousand!!
This is the end of my first 6 month contract with the company and I was given an Air NZ tshirt for the team photos : )
Started a new job in the company the day after the ride!!
It was such a great atmosphere and the food was yummy!
Extremely well organised!
Ear plugs helped silence the loud snorers among the 400+ tents
Day 2 - A misty beautiful morning - I cruised up and down the hilly countryside taking it easy, enjoying the views - Photos attached : )
The ride was longer than yesterdays but easier as it was less hilly : )
I clearly wasn't prepared for my TV interview:
How was the ride? - Good
How do you feel? - Fine
What do you think of the Cancer Society Auckland? - Great
lol! They jumped on me as soon as I'd finished the ride
My lovely partner Phillipa supported me with text messages throughout the ride and had cooked a delicious meal in time for my return :D
A very satisfying event!
Very happy : )
Thanks to all who supported me!!!!
Happy Pete Rustage