AdventureCHALLENGING EVENTS, CHANGING LIVES.

Fixin Poverty - One Pedal at a Time

The Fixin Poverty ride is all about Fixin Poverty! With your help and GENEROSITY, we’re raising funds and awareness for orphans and vulnerable children living in extreme poverty in Zambia. Bringing HOPE.

The ride is also about Everyday People doing something you don’t see Everyday! Seriously, who decides to ride a fixie across Australia!?! That’s the ADVENTURE.

Challenging Events – Changing Lives

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Nat Campbell

Nat Campbell

I’ve been involved with Eagles Wings since I went on a Building Team to Zambia back in 2010, little did I know how fun the next few years would be! Since then, I’ve joined the Board of EW Australia, been back to Zambia with building teams and the annual Kids Camp, bought a bike and been for a couple of big bike rides!

Posted by on in Challenge for Change

Our association with Eagle’s Wings began five years ago when we heard about them through Jeff and Simone Younger and Simone’s parents Phil and Naomi Cavil.  In 2015 our daughter Elise, helped out with a fundraising dinner that was organized for Eagle’s Wings and well-supported by our local church, Naringal Baptist.  Elise was fortunate enough to meet Ba Wesley Mazenta, and became very passionate about the work Eagle’s Wings is doing in Zambia.

A couple of years ago, I started thinking about how I could challenge myself physically and mentally.  I wanted to achieve a goal, raise some money for a worthwhile cause and hopefully set a good example for my children.  Whilst not much of a cyclist, I had the idea that I could attempt a big bike ride for Eagle’s Wings, and set about training.

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Coming home:
We started the final day somewhere between Inglewood and Warwick. Kelvin did the daybreak shift and got us into Warwick - a novel experience coming across traffic lights, stop signs and roundabouts for the first time in a week! We had the rider change-over at the Roadhouse on the eastern side of Warwick - El was up for the range... that's the Great Diving Range... on a fixie!! She was great, climbing like a pro, then loving the descent.

Navigation was a bit interesting on the final day. Most of the way across the country, we haven't had too many options. Now, coming back into built-up areas, there are multiple options, all with their pros and cons - shorter distance, less hills, less traffic, wider shoulder, etc. It's a challenge (that we accepted) to make the 'right' call. In the end, it was Andy who stuck the following into Google Maps:
From: current location
To: Thornlands
Method: Bike

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The 'night-shift' was 6 x 2 hr rotations shared between 3 riders. A few navigational points: Head East to Cobar, North to Bourke, East towards Walgett. Teamwork got them through.

Meanwhile the night-crew shot ahead to a camp spot about 40km east of Bourke (we're no longer in the Back of Bourke!!), to a campsite on the Bogan River. We were still experiencing strong wind gusts at midnight, so we ditched the gazebos and just slept on stretchers under the stars - absolutely magic! We awoke to the message that the riders had gone past, so after a few photos of the sunrise (who knew that the Bogan River could be so pretty?), we were packed up and chasing the riders down.

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After a restful night, Reid took the first shift out of Broken Hill this morning, it was still pretty windy, with gusts up to 50km/h. He didn't stop for food or a drink refill, just punched out 100km in 3 hours (technical average of 33.6km/h).

Dan, Andy, Kelvin and I chased him out of town, looking for a quick morning coffee en-route. We saw a Hungry Jacks drive through at the edge of town - quick, turn in. We rolled through in a bit of a rush...
Nat: "quick guys, what's your order?"
Um, ah, "2 large flat whites, 1 small cap, Kelvin, anything, anything to drink? No, okay..."
Once we pulled up at the pay and collect window, he wanted one... too late buddy. On reflection, we didn't really prepare him for his first drive through coffee experience... it must seem odd shouting a coffee order at a box on the side of a driveway. But no-one was offering to share their coffee, fortunately I'd made a Milo in my travel mug before we left... that'll do (for Kelvin).

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Wednesday saw the crew awake to another awesome campsite, with views of Horrocks Pass. We certainly had a loo with a view!

Horrocks Pass, which auto-corrects to 'Horrible Pass' as I type, was a nasty climb. Big A was doing the final 5km of his 106km shift. It was a This climb was at an average grade of 5% with a final kicker of 11.8% let's just say things got a bit emotional at the top.

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What a difference a sleep makes!

Inspired by Big A's 183km all-nighter on Sunday night, Reid and El teamed up to do a 300km team effort from 8pm Mon to 8am Tues. This was in 4  x 3 hour stints, of 75km each.

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Right, where were we...

Sunday night's dinner stop was just at the start of the 90 Mile Straight, an iconic piece of Australian highway. We have the luxury of 240V power on the road, running the Tough Power gear, provided by Intelliquip (thanks guys!). This meant we were able to blitz up a banana and Milo smoothie for the riders as one prepared to go, and then as the other recovered. Apparently this hits the spot.

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Yesterday (Saturday) saw us having a tasty roadside dinner of Spag Bol in Ravensthorpe. For about 20 mins, all 11 of us were in the one spot. With the constant moving and switching of riders, crew and bikes in and out of the different vehicles, I'm surprised we haven't left anyone on the side of the road (though it's only Day 2)! On that, a few of us have been guilty of leaving a blanket, pillow, hoodie or cycling shoes in the wrong place. I think we'll have ourselves sorted in a week.

By 2am Sunday morning, all 4 riders had done 2 x shifts each. El and Kelvin headed out after dinner, punching through the night to join the newly relocated base camp in Dalyup. The night rides are tough, lonely and quite different to how you would normally ride at home or train for an event. I hope our offers of chocolates, bananas, home baked goodies (thanks Jill!) and boiled eggs on the side of the road, are a welcome sight to the riders.

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If I could go back in time and repack for this event, I would put in way more warm clothes. Friday night/Saturday morning were freezing! The cyclists struggled to drink their water (El's started to freeze), or eat their food (numb and fat fingers with thick gloves on). The ride support crew stayed in the car as long as possible, before jumping out at each stop to shiver their way through a bottle refill, sanity check-in or cyclist changeover. With temperatures around zero overnight, the 'base camp' stayed put inside the ute, rather than setting up camp in the dark.

El started off at 5am on Saturday, and witnessed a frosty first-light with a spectacular sunrise - though she had to wipe the ice off her glasses to see it!

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The Assembly
After months of training and what feels like only weeks of planning, checklists and long-winded emails... the team all met in Perth today.

We come from different stages of life, different professions and different states. We've had 1 drive from Brisbane, 2 fly from Sydney, 1 finishing holidays in Perth, 6 fly from Brisbane and 1 fly from Zambia... that makes 11. Quick head count 1, 2, 3...11 yep, we're all here.

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It’s hard to really picture what this event is going to look like once we hit the road. Will the crew be leap-frogging with the rider, will we be cooking and camping on the side of the road (yep), how often can we shower, should we take a shovel? There's probably no such thing as a "typical day" in a 24/7 event… our latest motto is “Over-prepare, then go with the flow”. This event can’t happen without a willing support crew - each member of the crew will be contributing to make sure that ‘all’ the riders have to do is turn their legs over. Shopping, washing, fuelling up, cooking, setting up tents, chatting to the locals and the media, keeping the riders safe on the road, adjusting plans, filming, navigating, updating social media, playing card games, working on our tan… all in a day’s work. Let us introduce the 2016 Fixin’ Poverty Crew.

Laith Beveridge
Head Spanner and Owner of Cranks Bicycle Garage

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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

In our last blog post, Reid gave us the WHY of the ride. This post is all about the HOW.

If you’re wondering what all the talk about “Fixies” or “Single Speed” is about… our team mechanic and member of the support crew, Laith puts it in simple terms for the non-cyclists out there. Thanks Laith!

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Sometimes I questions myself as to WHY on earth do I, and others like me, do dumb stuff (riding fixies across Australia is not smart – adventurous, but not smart) to raise money for those living in extreme poverty? I don’t think there is a straight forward answer to that question. It would be a whole lot easier if people just gave generously and I stayed home. Man that sounds good right now!

Here is what I have noticed over the 16+ years I have spent raising money around poverty based issues. People rarely give or give little when you rock up and talk to them about poverty and how they can help. Sometimes you win big, most times you go away with loose change. And I get that. If I hear someone I don’t know speak about their mission in life I myself rarely give. Not sure if I ever have to be honest! So I understand.

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I am humbled to share with you a little bit of a story of my life. My name is Kelvin Lufwandika, I am 25 years old and I work as the Computer Manager, Network Administrator and Computer Teacher at Eagles Wings Christian Community School in Zambia. I am married to Barbara and we have two daughters, Fiddes and Dorothy.

In my childhood I was attending a poor community school in my compound but my twin sisters heard that they could get money by begging in town. My sisters were beaten many times by the older street children, so I started escorting them to town after school each day, and by the age of 11, I was fighting for our survival on the streets. During this time, I met Ba Reid and Ba Lackson from Eagles Wings. My sisters and I started going to a Government school and experiencing the generosity of Eagles Wings in Zambia.

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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

Well, just on 6 weeks to go until we embark on this crazy adventure riding from Perth to Brisbane – 4 cyclists, 4 Single Speed bikes, 7 days, relay style! We can do this!

For those who don’t know me, I am new to the Eagles Wings - Challenge For Change Team and at times I am questioning my sanity the night I met up with Reid, Big A and Hedgy to hear about this ‘adventure’! The guys explained their plans and asked me what I thought, “I’m in!”, was my reply all the time thinking how do I go home and explain to family that I’ve decided to ride across Australia!

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My association with Eagles Wings (EW) is coming up on 10 years. Numerous cycling adventures throughout Australia and NZ and even a semi-famous Backwards Cycling Guinness World Record have left me wanting to do something special in 2016.

 

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  • $795,000
  • Raised since 2008
  • 9
  • Countries cycled
  • 479
  • Participants
  • 34,700
  • Kilometres cycled