LifeCycle [OnRoad] for CanTeen 2013 - A Wrap Up
LifeCycle [OnRoad] 2013
Over March 9th, 10th and 11th I, and about 150 others, rode our pushies to Busselton. Before you think we were all a little mental, it was all for a great cause, CanTeen. LifeCycle, entirely run by volunteers, has been in operation for around 14 years and has been able to bring in alot of monetary support for CanTeen over that time through their [OnRoad] and [OffRoad] events.
Anyway, I signed up for this event in September last year, after hearing about it from a friend who’d done it 6 times before, as a CanTeen member. He said it was a great weekend, well organised and I thought “why not, I have like half a year to prepare” (optimism) and paid the registration fee and signed up. Throughout the trip I came to learn that literally everything along the way (bar an emergency trip to Dominoes) was donated by local businesses, RSL clubs, people, and various other establishments. This means that every dollar raised/donated goes directly into the CanTeen programs to empower and enrich the lives of children who are effected by cancer, either directly to sufferers, or the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and the like who have had loved ones taken.
All up I rode 380km over 14.5 hours on roads ranging from beautifully resurfaced highways to muddy gravel country roads, and I had an amazing time!
Day 0: The Calm Before The Storm
Literally, the forecast for Saturday was 36 degrees and stormy, and for that, I was bitterly angry. I spent the whole day preparing my bike, clothes, food goods and the like. I ran horribly over time and didn’t get to sleep until 11pm, ready for a 5am wake up to be at the ride sometime around 6. Well, I was late for that again, and was in a mad rush all morning; this would come to define my three day journey.
Day 1: “This is actually alot of fun” -140km
I met up with four mates, and we decided to jump into the second fastest group, the ‘Gold’ group which does extra distance by taking some decent detours from the direct route, except for one who was riding with the CanTeen group. We wove through the swan valley and up Ridge Hill Rd, that huge hill near the Zig-Zags, and stopped for lunch before getting into Pinjarra for the night. We all found some drinks and enjoyed a dinner at the local rec centre, courtesy of the Pinjarra Rec Centre, before hearing some amazing stories from some of the CanTeen members.
We all headed off to the Pinjarra High School to set up camp, and went to sleep, beautiful sleep.
Day 2: “Did you know Pinjarra has a Dome?” - 125km
We woke up in the classrooms, in relative comfort, and made our way to a delicious bacon and egg breakfast. The caterers are the unsung heroes of the trip, without them, nay, without bacon, the ride would be much more painful. And full of cereals.
After a mate and I found coffee (of the non-instant variety), we set off for Harvey, which was the last leg the CanTeen members would be completing with us. It’s quite amazing that those guys and girls were able to ride, for up to 9 hours a day given that some had survived the disease, and some had recently lost family members. We all enjoyed a delicious beef burger courtesy of the Harvey RSL before heading off to Brunswick for the night.
This was the hottest day of the weekend, and we ramped up the speed to get into Brunswick to get to the lawn bowls club, sink some beers (Carb loading!) and roll some balls (?). The night was capped off by a great spaghetti and meatballs meal from a local caterer and a silent auction which raised over $2500.
Day 3: “It feels like I’ve been in prison for a week... make that a month” - 120km
After sleeping, or maybe just laying there for 7 hours I’m still unsure, I dizzily made my way to the bathroom to wake the fuck up. This was a fatal mistake, as I was late in getting up, and someone (some10) had destroyed the toilets. It was a rookie move to not brush my teeth outside with a water bottle. Bacon and eggs and hash browns were consumed, before getting into another rush of getting my gear ready, Staminade rationed and sunscreen on.
We set out of Brunswick Junction and made our way for Donnybrook, and the dreaded section of rolling hills which lay at the end of the 88km leg which would run through to lunch. From there, it was a relatively small 32km to the small seaside city of Busselton, where our journey would end. It was a great end to the trip, except for the fact half a dozen riders stacked it over a wet rail line and the last 15kms seemed to be directly at the wind, no matter which way we turned.
All in all, I didn't hear of one person having a bad experience on the ride, and this years road ride was been able to raise over a whopping $80,000 for CanTeen (and will be increasing until EOFY). That is roughly equivalent to 1,600 day trips or 160 5 day camps, and it felt great to be a part of something truly larger than a 380km ride.
Donations are still possible here, remember that all the money goes straight to CanTeen!