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Triking the Trails for Thai Kids

by admin | March 1st, 2017 | 0 comments

In 3 weeks we leave for Thailand, where we will be riding 500 km in 5 days from Bangkok to Khao Lak. This will be my third ride and my partner Oliver’s second. Like all of the 60 riders training and preparation are front of mind. There’s also one difference in my preparations – I will be completing the ride on a 3-wheel trike rather than a conventional bike. Preparation includes training, which is hard. For us it also includes raising $10’000 – to be able to take part in Thailand and make a significant difference to the lives of these children – we’re almost there, but still need some donations to reach our target. Watch the video below or find out more about this Australian registered charity here > Hands Across the Water [Video by CEO and founder Peter Baines]

 

So when we woke up on Sunday morning to a perfect day, the topic of the day was where were we going to ride today? I felt like doing something different and found inspiration while sipping my early morning coffee, and spontaneously decided on the Lilydale – Warburton Rail Trail.

It’s amazing what happens when spontaneous decisions are made! Just after we parked in Lilydale and started unpacking, we were passed by a recumbent bike and then a recumbent trike. Seeing our shiny new orange GreenSpeed GT20 – they stopped and chatted – by happy coincidence they were all members of the Spon Riders Group of Melbourne, and were also doing the Rail Trail. We rode with them for a while, exchanging tips and insights about trikes and life in general.

GreenSpeed GT20
GreenSpeed GT20

 

 

 

As we proceeded down the dusty trail we passed a lot of walkers – and discovered that they were walking to raise funds to help fight ovarian cancer. Here we were training for our fundraising event and they were raising funds too. Many of them, tired and sore from their long walk, commented how comfortable I looked on my trike and wished they could jump on which did make me feel just a little guilty. The trike turned heads wherever I went – and many people stopped to talk with me.

 

 

This 80km ride was my longest trike ride so far – so it was a good opportunity to learn. I learned that negotiating up – and downhills, the sharp turns at barriers and the gravel trails (even with the slick scorcher tyres) were no problem. I thought that I needed to be a little more careful when crossing roads being a 2 wheeled cyclist but realized that drivers seemed to pay more attention to me when crossing – even stopping to let me cross over. Perhaps it was the 2 bright green flags or just that I was different.

Bike vs Trike – relax and put your feet up!

  • – Adjustable seat with headrest – no need for padding, no chaffing, no cramped neck or shoulders
  • – Natural arm position with no pressure points and no gloves needed
  • – Super stable with low gravity centre, positive steering – great for me who fears speed downhills and falls

 
Along the way we stopped at a spontaneously placed coffee van run by an awesome couple who had 6 children and 15 grandchildren. Again the trike became a topic of conversation, while we enjoyed our cappuccinos – the walkers that passed by were more interested in water than coffee – unfortunately their water was sold out.

After a break in Warburton (halfway for us – finishing point for the walkers) – we headed back and had the trail to ourselves most of the way. On one occasion I did see what I thought was a large brown stick that turned out to be a brown snake – again I learned that when on a trike you are closer to the ground and get to see such things close up 🙂

We pondered why more people didn’t make use of the trail at this time of day, with the heat of the day gone and shafts of late afternoon light shining through the trees. As we approached our destination we realised that it was all downhill – with long sweeping runs. This is where being on a trike is awesome, I felt like I was flying and felt super stable – and all the fatigue of the day disappeared.

So apart from the trike and bike (and us) getting rather dusty – It was a great day filled with experiences and connections. It brought us one step closer to our training goal – and left me feeling even more confident and excited about riding the Trike in Thailand – and no sore butts about it!
 
As for our fundraising goal please consider donating by clicking this link – any amount will help as reach our 10K goal. Collectively our 60 Blueprint Riders aim to raise $400,000. Funds raised contribute to food, education and a home for at-risk children of Thailand, including our original tsunami affected children in Khao Lak, our HIV affected children in Home Hug and children at high risk of abuse. Every dollar counts and Hands has deductible gift recipient (DGR) status with the Australian Tax Office.

Generous thanks to Ian Sims (GreenSpeed CEO and Director) for your support.


Irma Zimmermann
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Lilydale Warburton Rail Trail
Lilydale Warburton Rail Trail

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Phone: +618 574 3955

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