Bek and Steff's
China Challenge
2 - 14 Dec 06

Friday, January 28, 2005

Love the O.C.

No, I don't mean the television program! You're welcome to love the show, but we want you to love our new newsletter -
The Oxfam Challenger

See a copy of the newsletter here.

Please feel free to sign up to the newsletter to keep up to date with our happenings, fundraising and events generally.

Great if you don't want to visit our website every day to know what is going on.
Even more useful if you are interested in attending a fundraiser [hint, hint to family and friends!!]

We promise not to email too often - only when there is something big afoot.

The way to sign up...
Fill in the little box on the right hand side -->

Milestoned within an inch of my life

Third "RPM" class this morning, and managed to stick with it all the way (except the bit where I had to stop 'cos I'd dropped my towel - oh the shame - social death at the local gym), altho' staggered out of there like a new-born foal (except for the spindly legs thing. I never could get the hang of spindly).

Nevertheless, I am claiming "failure to collapse halfway through the class" as a milestone. It's certainly better than my Wednesday milestone ("first fitness class missed due to extreme hangover").

Have now got my official Oxfam Challenge letter so can fearlessly go forth and fundraise. Truly too legit to quit (Apologies to MC Hammer).

Tomorrow was going to be Team Melbourne's (viz. "my") first crack at a "real ride" (ie something longer than the trek to netball and back) but the weather's looking iffy so it might be another gym day instead :o( On the other hand, if the threatened rain doesn't materialise, it will be hot and muggy - perfect conditions for aclimatising to cycling in SE Asia (the roller-bladers make excellent water buffalo substitutes).

Up with the early worm...

As Bek mentioned Team Canberra did achieve a bit of a milestone today. What she failed to mention was that we started riding at 6am! We beat the early bird and we were up with the early worm!!

To be on our bikes at 6 meant I was up at 5:30am - before the sun, before any birds had even begun to think about their stomachs and before most of Canberra.

While I'm impressed that Bek's constant C'mon Steff's are having the desired effect and we're getting fitter - getting out of bed was my real achievement for today!

Sleep-walking is known as somnambulism, so what do you call sleep-cycling?

On a roll

Well, this morning Team Canberra achieved a great feat - taking nearly 20 mins off our previous time for a lap of Lake Burley Griffin! The first time we did it about two weeks ago we took around 1 hour 20 mins, and this morning we did it in just under an hour. So, 25km in an hour means only 4 hours of riding to get to 100km...

...we're nearly there!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

A BBQ and a bike ride for Australia Day

Well, what better way to spend Australia Day than with a nice little ride (about 35km) around central Canberra and Lake Ginninderra, and a BBQ lunch!

Team Canberra (Bek and Steff - which may be reduced to Bek if Steff relocates to Team Melbourne) set outselves a go further than we've ever gone before. So, to surpass the 30km effort last Sunday, we did 35km (including a dirty, great, big hill near the AIS). No wonder those athletes are so fit, just getting to training would be an ordeal by bike! We did, as is customary on Australia Day, fit in a bit of a BBQ lunch and a little bit of Alicia Molik's (almost) win in the Australian Open quarter finals. But, unlike Alicia who I'm sure enjoyed a well earned rest, we were back in the saddle for the ride home.

Of course, all this riding was after the bigger challenge of fixing my first flat tire...and getting the air thingo at the petrol station to actually work!

Now, onward and upward to 40km this weekend...

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

First Flat Tyre

Yes - this morning Bek got her first flat tyre. Probably the first flat of many but it really was not welcome at 6:15 this morning. I got up at 5:45am to be able to meet her for what is hopefully our new morning exercise routine. Lo and behold, the back tyre was dead and we had no tools to change it.

It did end up being a nice morning for a walk though!

We're Legit

Also, for those who may have any concerns about our legitimacy and ability to fundraise on behalf of Oxfam I have scanned in a copy of the authorisation Bek received yesterday. No doubt mine is in the post (probably lost in the ether after I redirected my mail..) and I will add Marty and mine once they arrive. A permanent link to this authorisation (and the others) will be added to the Useful Links section on the right...

Monday, January 24, 2005

Rubber gauntlet

Yes Steff, i've thrown down the exercise gauntlet and it's bounced back and hit me right in the... bum. Ouch.

Had "RPM" this morning, and am now walking like john wayne after a big night. The ride to work was soooo slooooow (and most of it's downhill). My legs are starting to develop muscles in places i never even knew they existed (there's a shin muscle? who knew?) Apparently some people find this attractive. From where i'm sitting it just looks kinda lumpy. Have been staring at other cyclists legs on the bike path (purely in the interests of science) and it turns out you can get even lumpier. I think my block-a-day chocolate habit will stop reaching the stripped-down extremes of those who look like a cut-away medical diagram of the major muscles groups with skin on. And speaking of chocolate (nice segue marty, real smooth) ...

AGS Melbourne chockies are due to arrive today. Given that the chocaholics are starting to chant and wave pitchforks, i hope the delivery is on time. Buggered if i know where they got their hands on pitchforks. Who the hell keeps a pitchfork at the office?*

*well, other than you-know-who with the horns and the tail and the cloven feet and the really bad PR issues.

Up with the early bird

They say (no, I don't know who they are) that the early bird catches the early worm... all I caught was a face full of insects and the early sprinklers on full-ball over the bike track - at least getting wet cooled me down a little. And now I'm even more tired. Remind me why this is a good idea again?!

Mantra: It's a good idea because it helps communities in developing areas, I'm being socially responsible, schools being built in rural areas in Asia and Oxfam is a great charity!!

Ten more kilometres were added to the odometre this morning. I'm slowly building up the stamina and iron butt cheeks needed to get back on a bike seat the day after a long ride. It's definintely character building!!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The gentle slopes of Canberra

I am absolutely exhausted, and I only rode 21km today... last weekend Bek and I managed 25+ km around Lake Burley Griffin. I think the hills (or perhaps gentle slopes is the more apt description) were the killer because there seemed to be more going up than there was going down on this ride. But, we did it. It was a lovely ride through the northern suburbs of Canberra with a hint of rain in the air enough to keep me moving! To be fair to Bek, she had already cycled about 8km before she met up with me so she managed a whole lot further than me.

The state of my body at this moment (think - ready to fall in a heap and go to sleep) is a sign that I need to get into some serious training. Marty - you've thrown down the gauntlet and set a pretty high standard by joining the gym and doing both weights and cycle classes, riding to work and swimming on top of that.

So, tomorrow morning I'm going for a cycle before work, then I might even attempt a ride after work and I'll check the gym timetable. It's about 10km to work from where I am staying at the moment but the return trip is 10km up a hill/gentle slope... I might try and brave that later in the week!!

My odometre reads 84 km for the 3 weeks that I've had my bike and I'm sure I can improve on 21km in 1 hour and 40 mins (plus breaks).

Friday, January 21, 2005

Chocoholics beware...

Cadbury chocolates have arrived and will be available through out the year from the following outlets in Canberra:

- Steff and Bek

I understand our Melbourne store will be stocking up soon...

We offer a variety of flavours, catering to all tastes. In block size for $2 each, we have:
- Dairy Milk;
- Caramello;
- Fruit & Nut;
- Coconut Rough; and
- Crunchie.

And, for something different we are stocking for $1:
- Giant Freddo;
- Giant Caramello Koala;
- Peppermint Freddo; and
- Strawberry Freddo.

They are available wherever you see this sign...

Alternatively, if chocolates aren't your thing but you're keen to help out this good cause - you can make a donation. The account details for donations are at the top right-hand side of this page. Donations over $2 are tax deductible and if you email me at with your details I will ensure that you receive a receipt for tax purposes.

Numb in the Nethers

Ride to work was amazingly slow this morning - it might have been the stiff southerly headwind blowing all the way down Royal Parade, or it might have been the fact that I had my first "spinning" class this morning - puff, puff, puff.

The class itself was mostly pain free (until afterwards when I had to ride to work) but the old-style bike seats were a problem... there are places where pins and needles just should not be. Am investigating seat covers for the sake of unborn progeny.

Oxfam forms are all sent in now, so hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to 'Nam we go.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

We interrupt this program...

We interrupt this program for a public service announcement...

You may have noticed ads appearing on the right side of this page. We have signed up to Google's Adsense program in the hope that the ads appearing will have the desired effect that ad execs all over the world bank their bonuses on ... you'll have the desire to purchase the product advertised ... so, you'll click on the ad and woohoo! we get more money for Oxfam!
(Following the link generates revenue for us.)

So, Have a Break - Have a Kit Kat!
(Um, I think I pay too much attention to advertising...)

Or even better - as one anonymous reader so rightly pointed out -

Have a break - have a Free Trade organic chocolate harvested in an environmentally sound manner by paid workers with health care and rights of free association.

Canada Votes

Well the view from our transpacific contributor is a resounding "no" to B.U.M.S. as our new team name. Plus, as Steff has pointed out, the new mystery member does in fact have a name, and it doesn't start with "U" (never a cyclist called "Uther" when you want one). Shame, BUMS seemed kind of apt.

Have also just found out that this blog is not, as one might have thought, a democracy, but rather a (presently) benign dictatorship under the control of Steff-who-must-be-obeyed. Apparently she has the power to delete or edit our posts at will. Hopefully she will resist yay steff the temptation steff is tha best to exercise unreasonable editorial steff 4 eva control.

Bek is in da house

It is good to be on board (or on seat as the case may be) and gearing up (pun intended) for a big year of cycling and fundraising.

I had a chat with the good people at Oxfam yesterday, and apparently each Oxfam Challenge group trip raises enough to build six three room schools in rural Asia. So, that is definitely something to aim for! And such fun activities as wine tours, cocktail nights and selling wine by the case are fully supported by Oxfam as excellent fundraising activities. Can anyone detect a theme in our selections...

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Marty's in da bloghouse.

Team update - a fourth member may be about to join the artists formally known as the Three Musketeers (name withheld pending confirmation of involvement). The new team will be - Bek, Unknown, Marty & Steff - now if only we could think of a new name...

And so the fun(draising) begins...

We decided to start this blog about us, the Three Musketeers (aka Bek, Marty and Steff), and our challenge to raise $5000 each to take part in the Oxfam Challenge - a bicycle ride through Vietnam and Cambodia between 24 November and 6 December 2005.

We decided 2005 was the year to become more active and more socially responsible and so, here we are- getting saddle sore in preparation for the cycling, and planning events to raise the necessary money.

Stay tuned to this blog for notification of events we will be holding, and goods we are selling.

Half of the money we raise will go towards getting us to Vietnam and Cambodia, and the other half (and more, when we exceed our target!) is donated directly to Oxfam for use in its projects and programs overseas.
Any donations $2 and over are tax-deductible in Australia.

If you are so inclined, donations can be made to the following bank account, with the description 'OXFAM':

THANK YOU for your support

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