AdventureCHALLENGING EVENTS, CHANGING LIVES.

Challenge for Change News

Follow the CFC team and event participants as they tackle physically challenging events to raise funds and awareness for Eagles Wings.

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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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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

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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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

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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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

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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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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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

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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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

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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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

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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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

“Hey Reid check out the link I sent you on two guys riding fixies across the Nullarbor…”

It’s funny how things start out. Í have many ideas for raising funds through slightly challenging, come ridiculously hard events. Many die a natural death and never get past first base. One year we seriously considered having a race from Sydney to Brisbane between Kayakers and runners. It seemed like a very good idea. But it died. Then Andy wanted to ride his bike across the Nullarbor…backwards. I tried to explain to him that there is no way we would get a permit to do that! The conversation went like:

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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

Up nice and early for the last day of this years Challenge For Change. Yet again another cold morning for this bunch of warm blooded Queenslanders.

 

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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

It would be remise not to pay tribute to our support crew. Graham, or Hedgy to his friends, leads the team and is the perfect man for the job. No task is to hard or to small. No request from either rider or cook is insignificant. If something needs to  be done, he will find a way to do it. The support crew is divided into two teams. The road crew who drive with the cyclists and the ground crew who look after washing and cooking. Wesley travels with either of the teams, helping and also getting to know the riders, as does Rihanna, our videographer. There are eight road crew, two per vehicle and two vehicles per team. The road crew keep our cyclists safe on the road. They manage the flow of traffic as it passes the cyclists and at each rest stop they are there helping the cyclists with heir gear, keeping them fed and topping up their water bottles. The ground crew are amazing. the prepare all the food, supplying food for the riders to take on the road, a snack when they arrive in the afternoon, breakfast and dinner. The conditions that they sometimes have to cook under can be challenging. However, every meal is nutritious and full of flavour. You hear no complaints, just people asking for seconds. In addition, they wash all the clothes over night, ready for the riders to wear the next day.

 

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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

Back on the road and back into the countryside. We leave the city of Wodonga behind and are heading to Bright. Once again rolling green hills and pastoral vistas. The wattles are in full bloom and in every creek bed there is a weeping willow. The sky is clear, the sun is shining and days are warmer. We have left the cold weather behind, well almost. The mornings are still very cool and by the end of the day we will be heading into the Victorian snow fields. We are in Victoria which is the land of coffee drinkers. For every coffee drinker there is a good barista. And what do all good cyclists like to do, drink good coffee. There are two coffee stops planned today. The first in the small country town of Yackandandah and twenty-five kilometres later, a roadhouse in Dederang. These two towns have been reconnoitred to ensure the quality of the coffee is good. In both towns, not only good coffee but good service. Yakandandah also provided giant cakes. Both teams are traveling well today. As usual Team Twenty-seven left first soon followed by Team Twenty. You may be wondering how the teams got their names. Team Twenty-seven are more experienced riders. They are disciplined in their riding and average twenty-seven kph. Team Twenty, while also strong riders, average twenty kph. Team Twenty-seven arrived into Yackandandah, ordered their coffee and enjoyed a short break. Just as they finished and were climbing onto their bikes, Team Twenty rolled in. The happy barista had just finished making the first teams order and had to start again. The same happened in Dederang. As Team Twenty-seven were leaving, Team Twenty rolled in. It shows the strength of Team Twenty to match the pace of the Twenty-sevens. It was also a good time for some brief but positive interaction between the two teams.

 

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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

Today we leave the country town of Colac Colac and head for the regional city of Wodonga. 157kms across country to Lake Hume and then following the shore line into Wodonga. There were a couple of big hills, however, for every hill that went up, there was a hill that went down. After the first big hill climb for the day, Jonathan, one of the Team Twenty riders said “I enjoyed that”. The riders are getting stronger. The temperature was warmer, the sky was clear, the sun was shining. Team Captain Paul mentioned that the whole team enjoyed todays ride. Our riders were provided spectacular scenery when they reached Lake Hume. An old disused railway has been converted into a bikeway. The riders were dropped on the opposite side of Lake Hume to ride the bikeway. This included crossing the lake via a long bridge, giving them a 360-degree vista of the lake. What a great way to finish a day’s riding. The riders met up with their road crew for the final ride into town and their accommodation. 

 

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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

 

Our ride continues in earnest today as we leave the alpine region. It was a day of contrasts and a day off firsts. The contrast of leaving overcast snowy conditions into clear sunny weather. It was the first day we crossed into Victoria and the first time a bunch of Queenslanders tried to attach snow chains to the wheels of their cars.

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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

 

We woke this morning, looked out our windows and saw the surrounding paddocks covered with a white blanket of snow, kangaroos hopping through the snow, grazing on the grass beneath. A postcard winter wonderland. However, this is spring and we have a job to do. A mini snowman was built on one of the picnic tables, all before breakfast. As the sun rose higher our snowman watched the rest of the snow dissipate clearing the way for todays ride. Our goal today is to ride up Kosciuszko as far as Perisher Valley and while the day started in snow we had relatively clear skies. The good news is no one got wet. It was definitely chilly and as predicted colder than yesterday. a thirty-five kilometre climb and then a thirty-five kilometres down hill rush. Our riders were able to ride up at their own speed. No bunch riding up the mountain. Each one was able to ride within their own ability. While it was a hard ride, reaching the end was a great sense of achievement. The team dynamics are also starting to develop which is preparing the way for the longer rides over the next few days.

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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

Kosciuszko Challenge 2015 

 

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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

Now that Reid has had a few days to recover, we got some time with him to ask him some of the questions that have been asked by the cycling community on Strava and Twitter during the course of the Aussie Challenge.

You have built up quite a following on Strava and Twitter among the cycling community. What has it meant to you to read the comments of strangers as you completed the Aussie Challenge?

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