Sophie Frazer

Base to Base 1386km

My Activity Tracking

1,389
kms

My target 1386 kms

I am fundraising for The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service

I’ve registered to ride 1,386kms - the distance between all four Westpac Rescue Helicopter Bases across Northern NSW, to raise funds for this worthwhile charity. (Belmont - Tamworth - Lismore - Belmont return)

My cousin was very fortunate to receive urgent care near Woolbrook from neighbours, followed on by a Newcastle Westpac Rescue Helicopter in 1999. Since then a Westpac Rescue base has been established in Tamworth, greatly reducing the time it takes to get assistance to those who need it in surrounding regional areas - saving lives.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter provides urgent aeromedical assistance to over 1.5 million people. All funds raised on my mission this October will help keep the Rescue Helicopters ready to respond to those who need it most so please make a donation and support my Base to Base mission.

I’ve got one full month to complete my cycle - all of my km's will be on the bike.

Thank you for your support.
Sophie

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My Updates

Day 22 - 1386km Base to Base Completion

Saturday 23rd Oct
Guess what? Over and out from me - I have completed my goal pedalling 1386km Base to Base. Thank you so much to all those who have donated already. Your support has motivated me to complete my mission of pedalling 1386km through the month of October

It is not too late to donate. I set out to raise $5000 and I am not quite there yet. I have raised $3,188 so far.  Please help me reach my fund raising goal. Donations of any size will be happily accepted!  Every donation does make a difference. 

In the last month I have cycled the distance from Belmont Westpac Rescue Helicopter Base to Broadmeadow Base, past the coal fields near Singleton and Muswellbrook on the New England Highway, through to Scone where there are currently plenty of little Spring foals resting in the heat of the day and kicking up their heels in the cooler hours. Continuing on my pedal journey, I appreciate the beauty of Murrurundi nestled into the edge of the Liverpool Range. Then up and over for a good constant churn to Tamworth Westpac Rescue Helicopter Base. The crops that are ripening for harvest are in full swing after such a great season. I hope harvest time when the farmers need a bit of calm, fits in well with the weather patterns. From Tamworth plenty of pedal power heading into Northern NSW to Lismore, where I lived for a year and loved the green, the creativity of the weekend markets and the welcoming diverse community. Then across to the coast onto the home straight pedalling south along the Pacific Highway. Fish and chips at Coolongolook sounds very good and the anticipated welcome of the Fernleigh Track back down to Belmont Westpac Rescue Helicopter Base is incredible. I made it!!! 1386km in 22 days.

My longest cycling day was on Day 20 (October 20) with 128.57km. At this point I think the home stretch was in my mind! My largest donation day to date was on Day 11, with $1515.00 coming in - thank you so much!  I reached half way on my bicycle on Day 13 and kept pedalling on.... Day 22 gave me a great sense of completion for my part of this journey, but I still have about a week to include as many other people as possible, through donation support.

Please support Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service  through my Base to Base Mission profile page, by October 31. Every donation does make a difference. 

Day 21 - 50.79km

Thursday 21st Oct
After a day out on location with my camera in the Upper Hunter I managed to get onto my bike at 8.30pm for about an hour and a half...and 50.79km later. All I can say is thank goodness for one of my current music favourites Tinlicker. Specifically Fractal, which managed to get me into a nice rhythm so I could pedal away.

And something fantastic today for Tow N Go - I think they managed to gain about 8 new sponsors. Willow was absolutely wrapped when she gave me the update this evening. So good!

I just had a quick look on my Garmin page at the km's this month in comparison to my general flow..quite a difference!!! I don't tend to count or tally, but it does show what happens when you are on a mission!

Day 19+20 - 199.67km (71.1+128.57)

Wednesday 20th Oct
I signed up for this Base to Base mission for a few reasons:

1. My cousin was rescued by a Westpac Helicopter in 1999; so I have a close connection and I have known a few people in regional NSW who have been very lucky due to the speed and expertise of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

2. Newcastle and Sydney looked to be in lock down for weeks which for me made my kilometre target on the bicycle a big challenge, but possible. Less location work and time away.

3. I do enjoy time on my bicycle. However I do not think I have ever pedalled so many kilometres in about 3 weeks!

My daughter reminded me that 'actions speak louder than words' - she is also in progress (Tow N Go Team - https://events.rescuehelicopter.com.au/fundraisers/willowfrazer/base-to-base-599) with David on this challenge. They decided to join up a few days into October which has also made for some nice moments on weekends together with our bikes.

I hit my own daily record for the mission today - just over 128km...tired, yet satisfied. I am on the home straight now and quite keen to reach the Belmont Base by Saturday!

Location work will have me out and about tomorrow but I might be able to sneak in a short fast churn after dark, once I get back to Newcastle and a few more cycle sessions should bring me in range of the Fernleigh Track and back to Belmont Base.

Willows Westpac Rescue Helicopter 300km effort

Wednesday 20th Oct

Day 18 - 61.28km

Monday 18th Oct
Thank you to the generous sponsors today that have increased my fundraising effort amount for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and also giving me the energy to cycle for a second session this evening to bring in 61.28km today.

Admittedly I am feeling tired (from the weekend riding and quite a work load at the moment) so I will just give you a few quick stats that have inspired me to make an effort for the Rescue helicopters....along with a link to some of their rescue stories.

- The AW139's cost a total of $4000 per hour to run
- Currently there are 4 AW139 Helicopters operating from 3 bases; Belmont, Tamworth and Lismore
- Broadmeadow base is for deep maintenance, engineering and admin
- Began in 1975.... same age as me!
- The Service is a not-for-profit organisation
- Westpac Rescue helicopter flies over 1,500 missions a year

Read more about some rescue stories:
https://rescuehelicopter.com.au/our-stories/

Day 17 - 89.24km

Sunday 17th Oct
Cycling today was split into two sessions.... a morning loop with Willow and David (Tow N Go) over the Stockton Bridge, along Cabbage Tree Road, over the Hexham Bridge and back via a cafe in Lambton that we have tagged as a very good recoup spot for thick shakes, before the last kilometres back to the house. My Garmin clocked 57.32km. We saw the same swans, a flock of black cockatoos, a very large snake and a few other cyclists heading in the opposite direction. One nice vehicle gave us a friendly toot and wave - always feels good to receive some encouragement along the way.

My second session I had planned for out and about again - as their has been little wind today and the temperature has been perfect. But the hours had disappeared so I decided on an hour with the bike trainer before tea time. I managed another 31.92km. No wonder my legs were encouraging me to stop by the end - nearly 90km is quite a big day for me on the bicycle.

I am pleased to have added some valuable kilometres towards my final destination...I nearly feel like I am on the home straight now!

Happy snap of Willow - we had a food and drink stop in the shade by the Hunter River.

Day 16 - 50.89km

Saturday 16th Oct
With 50km winds (and greater gusts forecast) we decided to head along the Fernleigh Track this afternoon. Tow N Go (David and Willow) are getting closer to their target 300km distance, which is great, as they are generally limited to weekend cycling.

Due to the strong wind there were not too many people on the track. The green surrounds blocked out the majority of wind so all in all it was very pleasant. As soon as we ventured further south, off the main track and out onto the road to the Belmont Westpac Rescue Helicopter Base, we felt the westerly gusts coming across Lake Mac. It was fierce and we were very exposed. Holding tight to the handle bars and trying not to be shifted sideways on the bike....it is quite an unnerving feeling. Interestingly Willow seemed OK with it - I was following and assumed she would feel it more than I, but there were no remarks from her.

On the return journey, we pedalled back along the Fernleigh Track and looped by the Broadmeadow Westpac Rescue Helicopter Base through to Islington and then on to Hamilton. I have promised Willow that each time she goes over 50km in a ride I will sponsor her... we were nearly back to the house and my bicycle Garmin clocked just over 47km....so naturally we had to pedal a few extra blocks to go just over 50km. It gives her a bit of extra incentive!

Tomorrow we are all out on the road again with a calm forecast and blue skies. I might need to top up the km's after our cycle together; to keep comfortably ahead in my challenge as I have at least one day, if not two, away on location coming up. I think David and Willow are aiming for about 50km again, so I should be good to pedal out an extra 20-30km afterwards.

Day 15 - 64.27km

Friday 15th Oct
I decided to get on the bike earlier today as I had booked the tennis courts weeks ago for Willow and I to play before sunset. (storms pending!) Willow was finishing with her online schooling session of maths and then heading into Inquiry - which today was combining corn flour and water while writing about states of matter.

64.27km later and happy to have cycled my share for the day. I have mentioned previously my love for music - when pedalling some songs just hit the spot. Today my favourite tune was Renegades, X-Ambassadors!  Yesterday my favourite was Big Sky, John O'Callaghan/Audrey Gallagher - my collection of cycle beats varies a lot. One other thing that makes quite a difference for me when cycling is my food and liquid supply.... iced coffee before cycling is fabulous as the milk hydrates and fills me up (without being heavy) while the coffee adds a nice boost! With night cycling, my body does not operate well if I eat dinner before I go. Hence a smoothie or iced coffee and my favourite CLIF bars along the way, fill the gap until after my ride when I cool down and eat well. When pedaling in India and Nepal, bananas were my saving staple. I absolutely love Indian food but the bananas helped the endurance when we had hours on the bikes.

Many years ago I joined Paul, Duncan and David in a team to compete in Geoquest - I had never considered something like this previously, but the offer was there. We did the half version as a mixed team. It was such a wonderful experience for me - which really got me into cycling. We did a lot of night training around Scone. I loved running and cycling under the full moon and on darker nights I saw so many falling stars...just being out there was great and we worked together really well as a team. I am forever thankful to have been a part of it. As a child, I had often madly pedalled down the long gravelly property driveway with Puff, our Australian Terrior, bunkering down into the front basket, and over the bumpy ramps. And when I worked in London, the family I stayed with lent me a bike.  I would often follow the Thames from Putney to the Botanical Garden in Kew and ending up in Richmond Park. So I guess you could say, cycling has played a fabulous role in my life.

Day 14 - 45.28km + Total end of second week = 783km

Thursday 14th Oct
Storm cells featured this afternoon and evening in Newcastle - multiple times the rumbling and rain (with a little hail) came through. Hence another session on the trainer. It was a bit of a sprint for me - 75 minutes and 45.28km later.

This reminded me of a couple of the cycle days in India and also Nepal where we were heading downhill for hours on end -  in the Himalayas it was the way it worked..some days up, up and up and some days down, down and more down. Or the often harder alternative of shorter ups and downs all day long, following a river and ridge.

This is the story... It was the 26th of November 2010. We began our cycling day departing from an apple farm in Chindi, Himachal Pradesh. Our destination for the day was Sundernagar, via Karsog - about 73km away. We generally had a bit of a plan of where we would like to end up by the end of the day - after talking with locals and also from our general map plan route that we had marked out before leaving Australia. I had mapped the first month as precisely as I thought possible due to all of the unknowns we were heading into and having never done a cycle tour before.

We had stayed the night in accommodation next to the apple farm. It was picturesque and the farmer proudly showed us his trees and asked about apple farming in Australia. He was very keen to be able to move here with his knowledge and to experience the Australian lifestyle. When we booked in, the usual rock 'n' roll wrestling was on...so popular with the boys in India and so often playing on TV's as we passed by.

Chindi is 1850 metres above sea level and aside from the apple orchards it has beautiful pine and deodar forests. The day before we had one of our very few days in a motor vehicle of any sort while in Himachal Pradesh. As we gained altitude we appreciated the visuals that unfolded, all from the seat of a Tata truck, with our bicycles on the roof. We had left Tatapani (682m) and risen to Chindi - I guess at the time we decided it was just too much to achieve in the day with the weight we had on the bikes. 

On the day ride to Sundernagar we passed by a few small roadside temples which tended to have a few temple dogs enjoying the sunshine alongside. We had fabulous chai from the roadside stores and we met a group of mums with their children who insisted on dressing me up in their colourful head wear - with plenty of side giggles coming from the group! The Indian sweets (especially milk cake - sweetened condensed milk flavour in squares or rectangles - delicious) were always appreciated while on the road too. When we did pass by a good looking store with the sweets on display we would stock up for a few days worth.

The view while heading down the mountain was inspiring - you could see the little road winding down and around way off into the distance. I was also quite lucky (in some ways) that day - I managed to shear the seat post bolt on my bike on the way down... putting a bit of extra pressure on the legs to stay balanced and out of the saddle for quite some time. This had happened to David during our Geoquest training session one night so it was not a completely new experience to us. Luckily there was a bike shop further down in the valley, so we could get a replacement bolt that did last the remainder of the trip and is still in my Rocky Mountain steel frame hard tail mountain bike!


Day 13 - 80.44km

Wednesday 13th Oct
Guess what - I topped my daily km total in the base to base mission. 80.44km over 2.5 hours. I am feeling satisfied!

After a very early start at my desk I was not feeling particularly motivated to cycle. However I received an email in regards to some photography work and on sending my response back (which has the Base to Base details in the signature area) I promptly received a 'Great job. You have received a donation' email. What a lovely surprise! Thank you so very much - and that is what then inspired me to pedal out 2.5hrs. I finished work, cooked dinner for Willow and hopped on the bike at 6.00pm.

I have a little cycling story from 2011. David and I departed Bhaktapur in Nepal, heading east. We had been on our bikes for months following the Himalayan foothills. The day began well, as we pedalled to the top of a ridge where a huge bronze coloured Shiva statue overlooked the valley. The view of terraced hillside was fabulous - then descending along the high sided valley down to the Rosi River with crisp air from an approaching storm.

We arrived at Nepalthok - noted by a signpost stating 'NEPALTHOK 0km' so we guessed we had arrived! A very small village with a few buses lining the side of the road and the road ahead with a security fence and Road Closed signs. We had made enquiries before leaving Kathmandu as to whether we could cycle through this way and had been given the green light.....after stopping for lunch and conversing with a few locals it was confirmed that there was a diversion road that tracked alongside the new highway in progress of being built.

It was quite nice being down by the river but it was not long before the diversion road, in various states of track and rubble took us up to the ridge, down to the river, up to the ridge etc etc etc. My goodness me. It was such a hard slog and we were pushing our bikes at times - between the weight of the panniers and the rubbly road track, it was tough. I vowed never to cycle on a road that was listed on a map as 'under construction'!

However, I did manage to see the beauty of what was around me at times. The mud rendered homes and the agricultural fields of corn growing near the River and the large 'Peepal' trees with boughs stretched wide over the roadside. And of course, the people we saw along the way - friendly and encouraging, curious and generally happy. At one stage we had a little boy - I would say about 9 years old - who offered to help me push my bike up quite a long steep rubbly section. By the end of it he was perspiring as much as I was - he was strong and so helpful and waved good bye as we continued on.

Fairly late in the day we pedalled down through a small village that had a very nice feeling. There were no evident food places or accommodation,; it was more a cluster of homes on the hill and down towards the river. We decided to setup our tent on the flat. (small two person that we purchased in Kathmandu as a backup in case we were into areas that had no accommodation of any sort). Before hopping off the bikes we were joined by a group of children following and running alongside - so excited with what was unfolding in front of their eyes! Not long after that we were invited to stay with a family in their home, just up the road. They were also worried about the possibility of a local rogue leopard (which we had been warned about at various locations during our trip in both India and Nepal, and also read about in the news from time to time) They were really keen for us to stay with them. What amazing hospitality they gave to us. We sat on woven mats, on the rendered floor, in the kitchen and had a wonderful Nepali meal. In true Nepali style, they filled our plates and then topped them up again, before they considered having any for themselves. I always felt a little uncomfortable with this, but I did realise over time that it was what the Nepali people enjoyed so much - helping and making others happy. Time and time again, the Nepali people proved to be so kind and thoughtful. They gave to us so much, in the months that we cycled there.

The next day we set off again (after answering as many questions as we could about Australia), feeling pepped and with extra energy. We did have a section of road to cover that was rough again, however about half way through the day we were finally greeted with a newly constructed finished section of highway that had little traffic and was so smooth. It was an extraordinary transformation! It wound away with hair pin bends, up, up and up to the top of the mountain before we dropped off a little to our accommodation for the night. The day after that was a much easier downhill ride and we felt like we were once again flying!

Day 12 - 56.83km

Tuesday 12th Oct
To be honest, it was a mind battle for me to make it on to the bicycle today. My head is full of work deadlines and with the wet weather outside the bike trainer was the better option.

Today I am not going to write about another scenic route that my bike has taken me to in previous years. While pedalling away I was thinking about the enormity of what the Westpac Rescue Helicopter team do, day after day and year after year.

Put yourself into their shoes - I cannot imagine flying into an area that is often hard to access or in non ideal weather conditions, to face what can look like a disaster zone and not really knowing what you are heading into.

The courage of their team members to take on the scene in front of them, to act under pressure, often using physical and mental strength on the scene and afterwards.... I admire these people so much - working under very stressful conditions and doing their job so well. They absolutely save lives. In some ways I have always thought that their presence is stronger within regional areas, where it often takes hours to drive to the closest hospital...their early intervention and stabilisation as well as rapid transport helps to save lives.

I have been very aware of their help time and time again, within regional communities. Just today a friend told me of someone I know of, involved in an accident who was transported in a Westpac Rescue Helicopter to a city hospital. The difference in time to move someone from an accident scene, hundreds of kilometres inland, to appropriate hospital care, can have such a huge impact to their recovery. Fingers crossed in this case.

They also play a crucial role within the city areas and marine/coastal zone with accidents, emergency situations, search and rescue events and inter-hospital transportation.

So the mind battle for me to hop on my bike rapidly diminished as a feeling of awe and inspiration took hold. I managed 56.83km today. On the Westpac Rescue Helicopter website they have updates rolling through of recent rescue missions - it makes you realise how busy they are and how many people they impact.

Day 11 - 74.62km

Monday 11th Oct
THANK YOU to my generous sponsors/supporters today. How wonderful to feel the appreciation there is for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter teams. The encouragement for me to keep pedalling absolutely grows when I see a donation come in...especially when I need a bit of extra energy - so thank you very much.

I was on the indoor trainer today for two sessions - wet weather in Newcastle today and with online schooling for Willow; this was the better option for me! I was very pleased to finish a one hour session this morning and then revved up for another 75 minutes later in the afternoon for a total of 74.62km.

Each day that I am on the indoor trainer to cover my kilometres for this challenge, I have decided to tell you about a wonderful location that my bicycle has taken me to. I sometimes close my eyes when on the trainer and visualise the route that my bike has taken me on previously - it really helps me pass the kilometres away as I can churn up hills and feel the breeze as I zip down the other side!

The first location is in the Upper Hunter. A back country road that I have cycled many a time in previous years - to stay fit tackling the dips and hill climbs, unwind after work and really just to take in the incredible visuals, that were always on offer and forever changing, according to the season. Whenever it was possible, I would time the bicycle ride for sunset and dark..the last rays of sun would cast across the valley and the sky was often a moving force of hues and beautiful cloud formations.

This photo is one I took on my drive back along the road that I had just cycled..feeling very content and loving the light.

On this particular route, the challenge of corrugations were sometimes evident - to the extent my arms would feel totally rattled and the vibration would remain in them after finishing before the tiredness would set in. At other times it would be smooth packed and I had to be careful that the kangaroos jumping alongside the road were happy where they were and did not skittle out in front of my night lights. On the odd occasion I would see little black piglets that had ventured down out of the hills and my worst cycling fear - the brown snakes, either sun baking on the roadside or slithering across. Often before big rain in the country, the snakes seem to be more visible - I remember one ride where I counted 6 snakes - by the end of it I was a ridiculous nervous wreck. Just one of those silly fears I cannot rid myself of! (having grown up on a property and seeing my fair share of snakes in the garden and surrounds, I do not really understand how I can be so ridiculous in my reaction to them..luckily on the bike as long as I have enough time to swerve I can then gain speed and clear out of their zone) But with the few discomforts aside, I really loved cycling this particular road. By dark their were fewer cars and I always think with really good bike lights the visibility for the cars and trucks to see a bike rider is possibly better than during the daytime. The other advantage of night riding is the temperature in Summer - the further I went on the ride the cooler the outside temp was....working well for me! In Winter I used to feel the temperature drop (quite dramatically) as I neared the river sections or when I dropped over the hills. This was invigorating, giving me extra energy and a gee-up when I needed it to pedal well up the next hill. For the most part, it was just my bike and I, pedalling along enjoying the surrounding. Such a good journey that I made so many times - the memory of each turn in the road, the beauty of the valley and the breeze down into the gullies are all etched into my mind.

Day Ten - 77.38km

Sunday 10th Oct
A fabulous morning to be out on the bicycle - light cloud covering and a cooling breeze. Tow N Go (David and Willow) and I pedalled along many cycle paths today and some roadside sections. We covered 35.21km's out on the road and once back I hopped onto the trainer for another 75 minutes for a fast churn of 42.17km.

We waved to Broadmeadow Westpac Rescue Helicopter base, passed the MacDonald Jones stadium and sports fields to Lambton and Jesmond Park. Then up through the University grounds and over to Sandgate Road before joining on to the Newcastle Inner City Bypass.

The photo is of my weekend 'support crew' - helping me gain the distance I am aiming for and also to fill their own 300km goal. This is cycling into the Hunter Wetlands area. Willow has taken to her hands in the air at every opportunity! A new found bicycle skill?!? I am so glad she enjoys time on her bike.

The highlight for me was our pedal around a section of the Hunter Wetlands National Park - Kooragang Wetland Rehabilitation Project. A variety of bird life, not to mention a huge birds nest (eagle I would think) right in the top of one of the electricity towers. It was good for cycling, with tar and smooth dirt roads, few cars and some groups of walkers...as we were on the move we were not bothered by any mosquitoes. After looping around we came back over the little entrance Bridge and onto Industrial Drive to Newcastle foreshore and city.

Watagan Mountains - Westpac Rescue Helicopter in action

Saturday 9th Oct

Day Nine - 56.82km

Saturday 9th Oct
Back onto the bicycle after two very full days on location with my camera. My legs felt like they were on holidays compared to my work leg fatigue, for a reasonably smooth 56.82km. (but maybe tired legs yesterday afternoon was also accrual from the previous days of cycling) I was following David and Willow (Tow N Go - https://events.rescuehelicopter.com.au/fundraisers/towngo) who I think are aiming to cover about 300km on their mission (Belmont to Tamworth). I do not feel guilty about David being totally in charge of the tow rope, knowing I have another 300km's to cover this week!

The loop today took us over the Stockton Bridge (I thought it was then out of our LGA, but apparently not). The photo shows David and Willow ahead in the centre section of the Stockton Bridge. For walkers or cyclists you access the bridge through stairs underneath, to cross over...along Fullerton Cove Road which was a display of horses, cattle, sheep, goats and plenty of people mowing extended areas of lawn. Then onto Cabbage Tree Road where we enjoyed kookaburras and even a few black cockatoos - maybe the yellow tailed as I did not notice the flash of red when they flew over, squawking out their very distinct call. I was quite surprised to see them here.

The final section was out onto the Pacific Highway, over the Hexham Bridge and back along the Newcastle Bypass, through the Newcastle Uni grounds on the shaded cycle ways and back via Islington to Hamilton. All in all a very good outside cycling session  enjoying the glorious weather.

I put my bike camera on today. If the footage is OK I will upload for you to view in the next day or so. I think the road was smooth enough, so it shouldn't make you sea-sick!

Thank you so so much to the generous sponsors/supporters in the first week. If you have the urge, please help give me extra incentive for my second week of pedalling for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter service.


Day Six - 73.28km + First week total = 392 km's

Wednesday 6th Oct
I am happy to have reached 392 km's total in my first week of cycling for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter base to base mission! Please jump on this ride with me - every donation regardless of size will help make a difference. (and also give me extra incentive for pedal power in week two!)

My pedal power effort today consisted of two cycle sessions.
The first being on the trainer this afternoon while Willow was occupied by her online STEM (or STEAM) and Mandarin class - two hours and 56.22km later. The second ride, an afternoon/sunset cycle with Willow, was fabulous - just a light breeze as we toured through Hamilton, Cooks Hill and Newcastle Foreshore. We then looped around Broadmeadow Racetrack. A perfect calm afternoon cycle of 17.06km.

I am away on location for the next two days (essential work) and will not be able to cycle... fingers crossed for a nice weather weekend to get moving again on the bicycle for week two.

Day Five - 55.83km

Tuesday 5th Oct
Off to a morning start of a smooth two hours cycling (on the trainer) covering 55.83km.

Online schooling is back on and Willow was nicely engaged on zoom with her class friends and teacher making ice cream! (solid and liquids - change of state) Luckily I had thought to put a few extra bowls and tea towels etc onto her work table. While I was still peddling away, starting to feel the pinch, I heard the vacuum start up - so I was pleasantly surprised once I hopped off the trainer to come back out to a very clean table (no evidence of ice cream making) and a spotless floor. So the juggle of finding time for at least two hours cycling per day or night will hopefully balance out OK. 60-70 hours for me on the bike in one month is at least 3x the time I would normally spend on my bicycle in a month. I do love cycling, but it is what I normally view as luxury time, rather than everyday time.

Please support to keep my momentum going in raising funds for Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

Day Four - 77.07km

Monday 4th Oct
Today David, Willow and I cycled to Stockton Bridge and I continued solo for a further 20km. 44.58km today out on the road. Definite gusty head wind this morning (which appears to only have increased further into the day - I am pleased we left straight after pancakes for breakfast!), however the tail wind was appreciated when I changed direction.

You might wonder why Stockton Bridge.... it is the boundary to our lock down zone with Covid restrictions. The edge of the road has been widened over the years for cycling along this section. I am not a huge fan of the traffic and industrial section, however it gives some churning bicycle km's which are harder to find at the moment while in lock down.

I think Dave and Willow have been inspired and are starting a team effort 'Tow and Go' to cycle the km's between Belmont and Tamworth with Dave assisting Willow when required with a tow bungee chord - it appears to work well.

Once back to the house I jumped on the trainer and pedalled for another solid hour bringing in 32.49km which brings my daily total to a joyous 77.07km. No wonder I am feeling a bit tired! With a few on location days with my camera later in the week, I do need to ensure I make up as many km's as I can for the days I am unable to pedal out the average distance....

Thank you so so much to a very generous supporter who donated 1000.00 today. I was feeling the pinch on the trainer and was trying to divert my attention to another place; reading the news and catching up on my emails - then to see a wonderful donation had been made. It definitely kept me on course to pedal out the hour. So thank you very much! What a good start in raising some dollars for Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

Day Three - 60.56km

Sunday 3rd Oct
Today was split into two rides....
This morning out on the road to Stockton Bridge with David and Willow in tow, 26km; and onto the trainer this evening for 75 minutes.
It was a perfect Spring morning to be out on the bicycle.
Tomorrow I might opt for at least 40km out on the road, to lessen the time on my bike trainer later in the day.

Day One - 60.72km

Saturday 2nd Oct
The start of an exciting mission on the bicycle!
Two trainer rides today clocking up 60.72km. I might need to work on the trainer comfort levels as my seat is not doing me any favours...However my beat music mixes and maybe some podcasts over the month will definitely take my mind away.

I much prefer to be out and about on the road or trails with the mountain bike. It has taken me to some amazing locations over the years and just being out there allows you to observe and appreciate (in most cases) the landscapes and nature at a slower speed.

Day Two - 64.22km

Saturday 2nd Oct
Out for one ride this morning with David and Willow in tow - a nice morning cycle to Stockton Bridge, plus a top up trainer ride for 75 minutes before lunch.

Thank you to my Sponsors

$1.52k

James Bettington

Congratulations on your support and efforts for the Westpac Helicopter.

$1,000

Anonymous

Great work, enjoy the kms!

$500

Sally And Andrew

$500

Giselle Gerber

Great cause Sophie. Well done

$227.90

Charlots Warner

Great work Soph!!

$200

Sarah & Rhod

Good on you Soph. Love your commitment.

$115

Al Mcauliffe

Soph bloody inspirational. Well done.

$106

Renee Hunt

Hi Soph! You are a superstar. What a fantastic cause!

$106

Duncan Rayward

Giddy up Soph. Great job!

$100

Tony Bishop

$100

Anne Bishop

$84.80

Daniel Frazer

Inspirational Soph, I'm sure you will be trailblazing ahead on our next ride together.

$84.80

Meredith Munro

Go Soph! Best of luck with this challenge. Such a great cause xo

$84.80

Brissett Family

Congrats Soph, awesome effort!

$53

Eric Prior

$53

Heather Love

Soph!!!! Fantastic effort for a great cause!!!

$53

Amanda Lau

Well done Sophie You have a heart of gold and we love you From the Lau Family

$53

Clare

Well done Sophie - huge effort and a great cause!!

$53

Melanie Fahey

Go you good thing - Sophie you are amazing!!!

$53

Kylie

Well done for doing this challenge! A great cause.

$50

Alice Forsythe

Great effort Sophie, and congratulations for raising money for a fantastic regional and rural service.

$50

Gill Coles

Congratulations Soph! Amazing effort.

$50

Karin P.

$37.10

Claire Rogers

We’ll done Sophie

$31.80

Teresa Byrne

$26.50

Bronwyn Frazer

Well done Soph. I'm sure that you'll hit your targets. Love B

$25.44

Skye Waddingham

Absolutely awesome Soph x

$21.20

Buckley Liane