Sunday, 20 June 2010

Perth - "biking" with Jim Cairns

These interesting and unexpected experiences keep coming up in Perth.. is it the trip itself, or is it because I am actually in one spot for longer than a sleep in the tent..

So, if you have seen on my Facebook page about the group "Against the Grain", you will know I met up with these amazing men who are organizing a journey on quad bikes to re-visit their motorcycle accident sites that left them disabled.

Jim, who rides a hand cycle regularly, was keen to get me out and try it.  I did!

Thursday afternoon I met Jim at his friend Peter's house to borrow a bike.


Peter (left), is not part of the Against the Grain group, but he is a hand cycler (is that a word?), of which Jim tells me has won a couple competitions with this bike I am riding.

The gears and brakes are nearly the same as I am used to, however they have an extra job of actually powering the bike as well..

Okay boys, you can explain it as much as you want, but I think just get Sherri Jo on the road and I'll work it out by trial and error.


This is really a good experience!  Number one, I am so impressed to see how these men live as well!  So independent!  I love their passion for cycling, and so happy they invited to me experience it!

Number 2, Sherri Jo has been missing the gym for quite a while now, and looking forward to a decent work out.  However!  My arms have always been the weakest part of me in the gym, so go easy on me!

We went onto the bike track and a really nice hill.. how fun!!

Then over the bridge to enjoy the river and a great view of Perth..

We wind up cycling around 20 km's.  My arms were buggered near the end as you can imagine, but it so happens that the big hill I enjoyed going down at the beginning is the same hill I have to cycle up at the END!


Jim said if I can't do this hill, then I won't be able to motorcycle around the world.  Well I better do it then!

Jim helped me get my gears right and we go.. starts off okay!  But he does stay right beside me, and as I get slower and slower and slower, he had many many words of encouragement to keep me from giving up.  I don't think even if I did rowing in the gym it would use the same muscles.

What is hilarious to me, that only a few hours earlier, I was on the back of a Harley screaming my head off we were going so fast, and today I was struggling at snails pace!!

If we had sound recorded this event, you would have bet money that I was having a baby!! (No, not the screaming... just the serious huffing and puffing)

It was a long haul, but we made it!!

Jim said he had other able-bodied riders get out and walk the bike up to the top, so that made me feel better.. not sure if it was the truth, but I'll take it anyway..

So, what are we up to, interesting and unexpected experience number 4, just for Perth!  Thank you to Jim and the boys for allowing me this experience.  Again, it's a window into a world I have never known before.. and ironic as my own father has recently had both legs amputated and he is adjusting to a new life without use of his legs.

It's a whole new perspective when you get to see things from their angle, if only for even an hour or two.

If I haven't mentioned before, their website is http://www.theridemovie.org/

They need your support in completing their journey starting in August - Perth to Adelaide!

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