Theaussiechallenge Post # 116 In closing from Sandgate

Day 141 0 days to go. Distance today 0km Sunday 20kms GRAND TOTAL 13318km.

It’s 5.30am Thursday 29/12012 Sandgate. It’s early o’clock and I’m sitting outside at Ma and Pa’s on this still and stunning morning listening to the local birds and stirring ‘burb noises. It’s pretty cool how wildlife share residential with us. I had the same thought when I woke Sunday morning staying with Brendalee and Nicole in Newstead. Despite the dense inner city living, the birds were in full swing and song off to their next social event. The party life of inner city bird starts early and finishes late, or so it would seem 🙂 It also seems way more than 4 days ago when Rube and I peddled into Brissy via the Mt Lindsay H’way and Beaudesert/Ipswich Rds. Our first glimpse of Brisbane was from an elevated point where we could see the city skyline at a distance. It was a teary pinch moment knowing we were almost home. We stopped at the Kangaroo Point cliffs for a picky at my fav part of Brissy ‘yay us Rube.’ There’s a bird walking across the metal Pergola very much a tap dance stomp and making me smile. It rained last night while we were eating the falafal salad I cooked up for the fam. So all the gutters are drawing the birds in for a drink and they seem fresh and spritely like the morn. Clearly a lilt in the ‘two step’ that’s for sure!! Opsy, that’s an early butterfly moment even for me and one of a zillion the last few days. I’ve been in a daizy haze but a walking smile slowly coming down from the momentum and hype. Where was I…… more stomps more smiles…… Anyway Nicole was there to meet us in their glam magazine apartment which is a tasteful delish space. It was such a pamper to scrub up into something other than riding gear and settle in for the evening. But firstly I had to go get my phone that had fallen out of Rube’s handlebar bag on the bumpy shoulders near Annerly. I calthe number hoping someone someone would answer and they did…Bonus!!!!! Nicole drove me there to collect the Nokia, talk about a guest from hell!! We got back to find Brendalee home and into the cupcakes Nicole had baked. Smack naughtiness…not before the frosting and we sat and chatted chick stuff over coffee. Nicole cooked up the best falafal salad for dinner that I tried to recreate last night for the fam. So delish yum. The ladies are dear friends and I dearly loved our time together as a step back to Brisbane and home. They donated $50 so thankyou loves for your spoiling and generosity xx. I got up super early with good tips on a flat route to Virginia Maccas on Sandgate Rd where I was meeting Scotty. I went via Coronation Dr, and Nudgee /Toombull Rds. There were so many cyclists out enjoying the morn and waving us by. Oh I almost forgot, riding into Brissy I got a flat tyre can you believe it!!!!!! The last flat tyre was take 1 Day 1 on the Bruce highway just before BP Burpengary when I realized I didn’t have the teflon liners in Rube’s tyres. Soooooo long ago and kms in between. What’s a finale without a bit of drama hey? Back to Maccas and meeting Scotty who was all smiles and welcomes and hugs and lovely my dear dear friend!!! Rube and I were squealing and after lots of pickies and chats we moved the conversation inside over a couple of coffees. Who should walk in but Brendalle and Nicole on their way to Sandgate and our heads up to get peddling the last 5kms to the foreshore. We were so busy chatting it seemed a blink and we were there. Scotty went ahead to give the fam heads up were were coming. The next moment Rube and I are turning at the Baptist Church onto the bikepath and towards the crowd of family and friends who had come to welcome us home. It was such a delight to savor the approach with everyone waving and cheering and blowing blurters big big big bigtime yay indeed!! This is a total teary understatement and super spesh delish memories to be treasured to be sure!!!!!!!!! Channel 7 was there filming our squeals cross the finishing line of ‘white crape paper’ held by the local members. Nice touch Mops and Pops. Mother Nature treated us to a beautiful day on the waterfront and to share this celebration and event with loved ones meant so so much to both of us. The State member Kerry Millard donated the money for a cake which Mum had decorated with our logo. I so wanted to share my thankyous and the following is a copy of my speech.

I firstly want to acknowledge and thank State Member Kerry Millard MLA and Councillor for Deagon, Victoria Newton for coming along today to support our white ribbon event.
A couple of weeks back I stayed with new friends Peter and Phylis in Horsham Victoria. During my stay I met Peter’s daughter Bec. Bec is a sassy 20 year old who lives life to the max despite managing a neuro muscular condition. She has the words ‘My Strengths’ tattooed on her wrist and told me of her strengths amongst her challenges. Before leaving, Bec said that I was an inspiration for her and to hear these words from such a courageous young woman was a humbling experience. Bec has become one of my inspirations and like Bec my strengths are family, friends and loved ones. It’s in these strengths I have found incentive to keep peddling when we’ve flatlined and wanted out of the challenge. To have you hear today to share in our achievement means the world to me so thank you.
My Mum and Dad have been there every peddle of the way and we’ve shared many phone chats when Ive needed to debrief and regroup. They have helped us so much with the fundraising element and arranged the event today to welcome us home. Mum and Dad you gave me life so I could live it doing cool stuff like theaussiuechallenge. Thank you my Darlings.
What an incredible incredible experience its been with so many ‘steak knife’ stories we’ve shared with you through the shecyclesolo blog. Im officially in love with our country and its Aussie characters. We have experienced first hand the strength of kindness from so many folk. Some have opened their homes and spoilt us with overnight stays. Special thanks to Thea and Graham from Stanwell, Tish and Gary from Maroochydore, Bruce from Warwick, Sue and John from Geraldton, Peter and Phyllis from Horsham, Gary from Shepparton, Shane from Coonabarabran, Johnathon and Catherine from Narrabri, Dave from Woodhill, and Brendalee and Nicole from Newstead
Thank you to family, friends, and all the community and business folk who have generously donated to the white ribbon foundation.
We have scored countless free camp sites from Roadhouses and Campgrounds happy to support the cause and not let me get too stinky.
I especially want to thank the Sandgate business community members, Laurels Beauty Saloon, Sandbag, Terry Duffy Optomistrist, Dr Molesworth from the Sandgate medical centre and Hawgood Jewlers for their contributions. Also the Bayside Star for their commitment to promoting the foundation and our fundraising challenge.
I hope that the awareness and money raised through theaussiechallenge will help white ribbon continue their challenge to change a culture to one that respects women and protects us from violence.
There are so many men already living healthy relationships and who white ribbon asks to come forth and swear never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women. White Ribbon Ambassadors lead the campaign by living these values and being a role model for others. The Ambassador supporting theaussiechallenge is world record holder and Qld police officer, David Alley who’s here with us today. Dave rode into Redcliffe on the 22/10/2011 after cycling around Australia in 37 days taking over 3 days off the previous record and raising $20,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Dave’s strength and character is recognized by the Courier Mail through nomination for the Community Spirit Medal in News Limited’s 2012 Pride of Australia Awards. You’re a jetstar Ambassador Dave and thank you being here today.
When I say ‘we’ I am referring to me and my bike Ruby. Rubes is my hero for Theaussiechallenge. She’s taken us across Qld, NT, WA, SA, Victoria , NSW and home. We’ve crossed semi deserts, mountain ranges, the Nullabor, sung tunes with birds, mood at cows, frightened sheep, shared a birthday, slept in bush camps, smelt the wildflowers, ran with emus, met cool folk, swore at headwinds, saw beautiful sunsets, squealed down descents, waved at truckees, spotted falling stars, posed for photos, laughed at bad jokes and shed many many good tears. I want to thank her for keeping us both safe, sound and sane and for sharing the last 13500km together.
We celebrate our achievement but know its only been met through the help and support of ‘My Strengths.’ “

On Sunday my Dad (being an ex-bankman so all over it) collected donations made on the day that totaled $583.25. (What a huge surprise bonus). The biggest of ta’s to Doug’s Seafood Cafe ($100), my Aunty Di and the Jayo/Moody Clan of John, Adrian, Ruthy, Benny, Lila and Harley ($150), Kris and Terry ($40), and Greg ($50).

Lastly but never ever leastly once home, Mum and Dad gave $300 from them and Nana, who passed away earlier this year but remains in ‘my strengths’ every peddle of the way.

Once everything came to a close on Sunday, Rube and I walked home with My sister Katie and her handsome lads Christoper and Ryan. We officially left Mum and Dad’s driveway back on the 9/7/12 so ‘the lap’ was complete wheeling Rube back into their drive….. Katie popped upstairs for a tick and back with a black t-shirt pressie from her and Janet with Janet’s logo on front how soooooooo jetstar cool my word indeed!!!! Katie intended to bring it down to the waterfront but I’m kinda thankful she didn’t in retrospect. I’m a little socially unsound at the best of times which is slightly turned up from recent events. Without a blink the shirt was off and the newbie one on. This was probably better shared with fam away from the Channel 7 cameraman and local supporters. What choo fink?????? Another inglorious aussiechallenge moment to add to the colorful list 🙂

We didn’t meet the fundraising target of raising the distance in dollars. I was originally disapointed whilst on route (At Ongerup SE WA to be precise) when I realised this was most likely. But that was one of those debriefing moment’s with Mum when I was given a loving upper cut and post it note from her. Mum reminded me that theaussiechallenge was about raising awareness just as much as the dollars, and to honour the folk who have donated through our cause. Since then our ride has been about just this. I happily concede that sometimes……only sometimes….. Mum’s do know best!!!! I have alsomore the wiser about fundraising and how to tackle it better next time round. Since coming home I have been able to get online and check donations as well as collect a couple more cheques that have come in from the business community. Extra thankyou’s to Charlie Jeays ($50), Jacqui ($100), John Decker ($50), Debra Griesheimer ($50), Bruce Brymer ($100), Fiona Brymer-Head $20, Victoria Newton ($100), Janine Batters ($25), East Timor supporters ($145), Ewa ($30), Rosalie ($40), Paul ($20), Nicole ($20) and Dianne ($20). Linda from Laurels, Laurels Salon, and Hawgoods Jeweler, supported us by having a donations tin that together totaled $142.25 (awesome xxx). My sisters and their families went with the cent per km idea (plus a bonus dollar or two 🙂 and together donated $295 (Bear hugs and butterfly kisses to Janny, Marcus, Evan, Katie, Werner, Christopher and Ryan xxxxxxxoooooo). Sooooo……

Donations for theaussiechallenge grand totaled at $5252.25

Awareness raising….Priceless!!!!

I know that every bit will help white ribbon towards meeting their challenge to change a culture to one that respects women and protects us from violence.

The next stage of our adventure is treasured time out with loved ones over Christmas and early New Year. I am also so excited about writing book 1 of 3 from our 1080 days around the world as shecyclesolo. It’s almost a year to the day since we started the epic adventure and what a mind blowing experience of safe and sound steak knives it’s been. Lots lots more of this to come. We’re off line now but will be back before you know it. Thank you for all the emails, texts and blog comments wishing us well and home safe and sharing. Its very cool indeedy to share this time as we have loved sharing the last 141 days of theaussiechallenge with you. Be safe and sound and happy during this Christmas, and pamper the heart with loved ones. I’ll always remember what Anne said to us leaving the billabong camp at Camooweal….. “make someone else’s day….. have fun doing it…… and always show that you’re listening…….” I know the world is what we make it so be what you want to be part of now and into 2013. Talk soon x

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About shecyclesolo

If you could dream up the most wildest adventure imaginable what would it be? Between jobs and craving new experience, I decided to indulge the challenge. This is what I conjoured with a promise to come home safe and smiling. I hope you enjoy the 1080 days of stories as much as I will sharing them. "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

2 responses to “Theaussiechallenge Post # 116 In closing from Sandgate”

  1. greg beel says :

    Congratulations Maree. Home at last and into the arms of a loving family. I really enjoyed your pics and imagined the excitement of crossing the finish line. It was a pleasure to meet you enroute and share just a small slice of your heroic challenge. I heard your stay at Shepparton was enjoyable in my absence and we often wondered how you were battleing along. Enjoy your family time and rest up and plan the next adventure.
    If you are ever in my vicinity of Shepparton drop in and stay or maybe a coffee
    Take car
    Greg/ Shepparton

  2. Yan stam says :

    Hi congratulations you have done so well.I have been reading your post and they where very entertaining and a great inspiration to keep my cycle dreams alive. its been a hart year for me ,but the thought of long distant cycle touring collecting the bits and pieces for a future trip.And having the internet with new stories keep me going so thank you for all ya sweat and tears.So good to hear that your planning to continue the Sheciclesolo.All the best Yan Sorry for this late post

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