Monday, February 28, 2011

On the Road with a Training Partner

Since the beginning of the year I have spent most mornings riding with Mick a good friend and local surgeon in Ipswich. Mick’s key goal at the moment, well I think some days, is to hurt me as much as possible before we get home.

Riding regularly in the morning with Mick has been a lot of good fun and the intensity of the riding we have been doing has been great from my legs after a break off the bike. Mick has an interesting story to tell and at the moment he is training for the ‘Tour De Cure’ which will see him ride from Sydney to Melbourne. The key focus of the ‘Tour De Cure’ is to raise money for cancer research and hopefully a cure one day.

I have attached a short story which drives Mick to prepare and train for the adventure he has ahead of him with the ‘Tour De Cure’. The Ride will cover 1379km in 10 days with the longest day on the bike totalling 239km.

As many of you know our family has been tragically affected by cancer. In 2005 when we were living in New Zealand our 2nd child Conor, then aged 2, complained of a sore tummy. When I felt his tummy I could feel an enlarged liver. The next morning we took him to the GP and then on to the hospital. I can still clearly remember the day I heard the words I thought I would never hear “I’m sorry, your son has cancer”. Our world stopped and we quickly realised that one day your life can be perfect and the next far from it. We immediately returned to Brisbane and Conor had 15 months of treatment involving chemotherapy, many procedures and tests and an operation to remove 70% of his liver and so much more. The side effects of chemo are not pleasant. Conor would not eat enough normal food so he had a tube in his nose and had regular pump feeds. He had permanent IV lines placed in his chest that hung out so he could have his many blood test taken and medications delivered with less trauma for him. Every night for his bath we had to stop his lines getting wet so we would wrap his stomach up in glad wrap “like a present” he would say. We had many bowls dotted around the house for when he vomited which was regularly. He would be riding his bike, jump off, vomit, and then in true Conor style he would jump back on and keep riding. This became so normal for him. One day in the car Phoebe (our daughter) was sick and vomited and Conor looked at her and said “When I vomit I ask for a bowl”! And in amongst all this our third child Isaac was born, they were busy times.

During his time in treatment we spent weeks at the hospital and met so many amazing children and their families. It is a world that you never think you will be part of, but as we found out it can happen in an instance. In July 2006 we heard the news we had hoped we would never hear, that despite all the treatment Conor’s cancer was not responding and he would not be a survivor. We took our little boy home to die. 10 days later in his Mummy’s arms Conor took his last breath, he was so brave. Our family was broken and the pain set in. To this day Phoebe, now 9, draws a broken heart to symbolise our family. We have since had two more girls, but our family will never be one.

Ever since first reading this story I have gone back to it a number of times and re-read it
again, always resulting in a sense loss and feeling helplessness.

One thing we know about cancer is that you don’t get to choice!

How you respond to and accept it, defines you and those around you!

We do not have to look very far to find some we know that has been affected by this disease, If you can afford to spare even a small amount money to support Mick on his journey I know it would be greatly appreciated.

I have included a link to which you can donate money to Mick’s Tour De Cure below.

I am asking you to please support me in this venture. A donation from you big or small will make a huge difference. It may be too late for Conor, but we would like to turn our pain and Conor’s death into something positive.

Please visit

to make a donation. You will automatically receive a tax deductible receipt for all donations over $2. Alternatively you can send me a cheque payable to Tour de Cure Limited and I will forward it for you, address: 35 Macquarie St, Silkstone, Qld 4304.

Race Report LunarC 8 hour

After having a great year of racing last year I was keen to see the start racing calendar for the 2011 begin with the LunarC 8 hour.

Although I planned to ride this event earlier in the year the start of the race was postponed due to the wet weather experienced in SE Queensland. Having an extra few weeks for the trails to dry out was smart and meant the damage to the bikes and environment was minimised.
After hearing about this event last year, from close friends I decided to enter and enjoy the fun. A little different from most races enter into the LunarC starts at 12 midnight the witching hour.

After the midnight start and a few very dusty laps, it was soon discovered the track put together for the event was tough but fun. With a course which was just over 8 k’s and some tough pinch climbs the riders on course soon spread out, with plant of room to move though the obstacles and more technical sections of the course.

I found a few sections of the single track super tight early on but after working out to slow down just a little bit and finding some good lines linking the fun bits together became easy. Enjoying these sections and riding harder through the other areas of the course resulted in my lap times and position improving quicker than it may normally have.

With a lot of good friends riding/racing there was no shortage of people to chase, or just to follow a wheel and share a laugh with during the 8 hours. A fantastic effort by Rach, Matt and Alistair sore them all end up on the podium at the end of the day and it is always great to see friends do well.

My race plan was simple!
Get out there and ride
Be consistent and Don’t sit down!

I had a great night on the bike and was easy to achieve these goals with encouragement and support from friends around me. Although the race was hot and tough at times I came out of it with a smile and a feel good attitude, and as this was the first race back since the WSC24 in October it felt good to be back on the bike racing and having fun!