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.
Let me introduce myself… my name is Andrew Hellinga. I work full time as a Chaplain at Livingstone Christian College. I’m in my 50th year on this planet. I stand at 200cm and weigh more than a tenth of a ton. I typically don't fit the customary stance for a cyclist. They are normally small framed with no weight.
Amongst my Challenge For Change (CFC) buddies, I’m known as Big A. These buddies have been influential in my life and assisting me in using my abilities and talents to serve EW. I've had some of my best life experiences with CFC. I've never been to Zambia and don't particularly believe I need to go. I understand the cause; I understand their needs and feel like I will continue to challenge myself for some of the most disadvantaged kids on the planet.
This year’s Perth to Brisbane event came about when Reid and I started dreaming up something big for 2016. Reid turns 40 this year and had been given leave, by his lovely wife Chantelle, to do something big. We dreamed big… kayaking to Hobart, running to Sydney, but we're not that good at events other than cycling. After seeing two guys cycling across the Nullarbor on Atma fixies, we decided to tackle a 4 person relay event across Australia.
My training started on the 1st of January. I've committed to riding my bicycle 300km/week to get myself into shape. I started with a weight of 123kg and now proudly boast a weight of 107kg. (Still 7kg over my target leaving weight). I’m training to get myself ready to ride a minimum of 200km/day during the event. I see myself riding most of my part in the darkness of night. I rode 200km last week on my fixie and felt okay. What stresses me about this epic challenge is being able to recover and rest between my daily 200+km. Each day I complete my distance, I will need to be transported up the road, recover and rest and be ready for my next stint. Opportunities to sleep during the day will be tough and I’m envisioning this week is going to be a blur.
I continue to prepare the best way I can, doing lots of km. In the next 2 weeks, I’m planning to do a 300km ride on my fixie and also do an all-nighter. Preparation, prayer and encouragement will allow ordinary Aussies to do extraordinary things to help the cause of EW. Can't wait…