Category Archives: Charity Rides

Training for the Timid

This is a summary post of the training rides that I have been doing in order to get me ready for the Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer. Mostly I have done these rides solo, sometimes with a buddy. They are not routes for big groups as they mostly involve Principle Shared Paths.

South Perth/Freeway/Roe Highway/Railway Parade – LOOP

The map on Bikely is here, this variation includes the Tony Discerni pathway through Maylands.

I do this one fairly frequently if I am by myself as it is 90% principal shared path.

The diversions around Fiona Stanley Hospital are constantly in flux, so all of my Freeway South rides will have slightly different wiggly bits around that area.

My Bike at Bells

Bayswater/Bells Rapids via Middle Swan Road – OUT AND BACK

Middle Swan Road has a poorly maintained Principal Shared Path along it’s length. It has a lot of root damage, narrow parts, and power poles in the middle of it. Sometimes large groups of cyclists riding together to the wineries get in the way. This is the way to ride if you want to take your time and be as separated as possible from traffic.

Bayswater/Bells Rapids/Bells Lookout via Reid Highway & GREAT NORTHERN HIGHWAY – OUT AND BACK

Click for the GPS generated map of a ride I did out along Middle Swan Road/Railway Parade and then back via Great Northern Highway, crossing the river at Reid Highway.

I now prefer to ride Great Northern Highway, as it has a great, smooth, wide bike lane. There are multiple large trucks using the route so this can be off putting as they try to suck you in as they go past. The Reid Highway part is not actually on Reid Highway, there are a series of back roads with connecting bike paths running parallel to the highway which go past the Prison.

If you combine these two rides you can make a loop instead of an out and back ride. Obviously there are more climbs that you can ride around Campersic Road but I was battling a fierce headwind the time I went up there and so wasn’t up to much more than one climb!

Bayswater/City/Freeway North/Scarborough/North Fremantle/Bayswater – LOOP

This is an excellent summer ride. I ride down the Midland rail line Principle Shared Path, through the city, up the Freeway North path, then get off at Cedric Street and work through the back streets to the beach. Then you can follow the coast to Fremantle, then ride back via the Fremantle rail line.

Freeway South to Singleton – OUT AND BACK

My GPS generated map is here.

Patagoni Road has a wide sealed shoulder, the section of Mandurah Road has a rather rough sealed shoulder, and Singleton Beach Road is narrow and full of hoons, so I used the shared path.

Freeway South to Rockingham/Safety Bay Road and Wellard Road – OUT AND BACK/SMALL LOOP

GPS-generated map here on Bikely.

I found this loop on a Department of Transport website, but the Wellard Road route is by far the most pleasant way in to Rockingham. Safety Bay Road has a disappearing sealed shoulder and a couple of two lane and very busy roundabouts to negotiate. I want to try riding down the coast, as the area in between the Freeway and the coast in the vicinity of Rockingham is not very scenic!


I hope that these rides give you some ideas. After you’ve done all these you might want to spend more time on the road or doing hills, or whatever else you want to do. The greatest thing about riding in Perth is that the number of cyclists on the road is constantly growing, and there is safety in numbers.


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Ride to Conquer Cancer – Video Summary, Day 2

Here it is, the next instalment from the Ride to Conquer Cancer. This one is a slightly longer video as the scenery was a little more variable on Day 2. Hope you enjoy!

N (and many others) have been scouting around for coverage from the mainstream media and found nothing. Whilst that is slightly disappointing, at least we have the Internet. People who were at the event can cover the event, and I think that is truly great.

My workmates are all starting to complain because my fundraiser chocolates are no longer in the common kitchen. They say I should do the ride again next year and reinstate the chocolate supply. I am thinking that we might volunteer next year for a different experience and perspective.


Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Charity Rides


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Ride to Conquer Cancer – Video Summary, Day 1

I ran a GoPro on my handlebars for the ride – there were no charging facilities at camp, so I borrowed a couple of batteries from a friend. I ran the GoPro battery bacpac for 3 hours of battery time, and then swapped them over on Sunday so I had a fresh set.

Stay tuned for Day 2.

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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Charity Rides


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The Sunsuper Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer – 2012 – Ride Report

It is over, and I am a little sad. I need another big cycling event to train for, and need to up the ante somewhat. We completed the ride comfortably, with a average moving speed of around 23 kph on the first day and 22 kph on the second.

I dropped our bags off on the Friday afternoon before the ride, with the trusty xtracycle. I rode it to work loaded and left our gear and the bike in the bike cage downstairs. Fortunately Friday is a quieter day so there was room.

Our bags were a bit bulky, but nothing compared to what some other people bought along! I used the packing list they provided as a guide but didn’t bring everything they specified. I did bring an extra pair of shoes for around camp though, and these turned out to be the only superfluous item as they gave us a little bag when we arrived at camp with thongs in it. It also had ear plugs and an eye mask. They were important items if one hoped to get any sleep at camp, and you will see why when you see our photo of camp!

We rode to the start at around 6am on Saturday morning and the place was buzzing. Volunteers were cooking up bacon and egg rolls, and there were people everywhere. The ‘sweep’ car volunteers were dressed up in elaborate clown outfits. There was a guy there with a 1970s chopper bike, and another guy with a giraffe type unicycle. There were old mountain bikes, and flashy carbon road bikes. There were people with spokey dokes on their roadies. The self-identified cancer survivors had big yellow flags attached to their bikes, and there were at least 25 of them. There were 1,200 riders ready to start and we had raised a total of $4.6 million for cancer research at the WA Institute of Medical Research (WAIMR).

They closed Canning Highway temporarily to facilitate all of the riders getting out of the start area. It was very congested, and as expected, there were a lot of riders having problems with their cleats. The chopper bike was on the side of the road with a mechanical very early on, which was sad, but we later saw him at the very beginning of day 2. I am not sure how many kilometres he pedalled but he must have gotten a lift with the sweep vehicles!

By the time we got to South West Highway, the congestion had eased a little and it was easier to go at our own pace. We headed on to some quieter country roads, like Hopelands Road, and it was quite pleasant. The only problem for me was that the road surface was very coarse, and the vibrations caused me some issues with body/bike contact points. I could feel my cleats burning a hole through my shoes, and my saddle was not very comfortable either. My hands were OK though, I just made sure I moved them around a lot.

We rolled into Pinjarra at about 12.30, and there were already a few riders back. We had stopped for lunch at Karnup at about 10.30, so we were hungry, but when we went looking for food, all they had were museli bars and chips. Everyone was scrounging. There was no announcement about dinner over the PA but we noticed a line forming over by the mess tent at 4.30 so we ran over there. I filled my plate up as high as it would go and at it all, except for a bit of the roast beef as it was as tough as an old leather boot. Then we got desert!!! It was wonderful.

Our tent was in a great position – it was on the edge and it was furtherest away from the bar/dining/entertainment tent. It was also pretty close to the toilets. Everyone was pretty quiet and respectful once in the tents, but they had the oval lights turned on, so it was like daylight outside. They had the crew and the riders all mixed up together, and the Crew had to get up at 3.30 or 4am to go to their meetings and get breakfast ready, and with all the sound and movement, everyone else got up as well. We had set our alarms for 5.45 but I was up and had packed my sleeping bag, pillow and thermarest sleeping mat by 5.15. There was bacon and eggs for breakfast, but I wasn’t that hungry after being such a pig the night before so I just had some muesli. There were coffee trucks providing the hoards with their caffeine fix, and they made me a beautiful flat white.

I saw some really tall guys around camp and I wondered how they fit themselves into the little pop up tents. There were a couple of people who bought their own tents and set up, I think they may have been riders who were doing the ride solo but who didn’t want to share with a random (it was two people per tent, no exceptions, so if you were alone they would randomly allocate you a tent mate). I noticed later that there were quite a few couples where one was riding, and one was doing the crew work, so they could obviously share a tent and spend a bit of time together in the afternoon/evening.

There were also a few people who bought old canvas swags along. Good for them there weren’t too many mosquitos around.

Day Two had it’s high points and low points. They allowed the riders to leave on their own time within a half hour window between 6:45 and 7:15. This mitigated the congestion a little bit, but the problem was that they had routed us along the Kwinana Freeway bike path! The bike path was congested, and there were a lot of groups of guys who thought it as OK to overtake three abreast. There was little regard for riders who might be coming in the other direction!

I was just saying to N that we should back off a bit and let the crazy guys get far ahead of us to stay out of trouble, when one of the guys clipped a wheel, ended up wobbling across the path of all the guys behind him, and slamming another guy into the fence. He hit it fairly hard. A few other riders stopped to help out so we kept going, not wanting to contribute to blocking the path even more. People around us seemed to settle down after that.

When we got to Paganoni Road, we saw the half Ironman guys on their bike leg. They were the elite guys who would have been the first out of the water, and they were very, very fast. After that we were back on the road, and it was quite pleasant. We headed to the coast, and rode around from Point Peron to Rockingham. Lunch was at Rockingham near the grain loader. The ride got a bit ugly after that. We went along the coast via Cockburn Road, but you didn’t really get to see the coast line and the traffic conditions were not great. There was no overtaking room on the shoulder which was very narrow in places, so you had to pick gaps in the 90 kph traffic to pull out and get past people.

Fremantle was the last pit stop, then we headed back in towards the city. I really quite enjoyed the little rolling hills on the way back, but a lot of the riders did not.

We ended up riding with two other girls, and there were not many other riders in our immediate vicinity. We then were routed back on to the freeway bike path, but that was OK this time because of how strung out everyone was. By the time we got to South Perth there were a few more yellow Ride to Conquer Cancer jerseys. As we arrived at the finish line, the music was blaring and the MC announced all our names. There were quite a few supports hanging around and they were generous with their applause. We rolled in at about 1pm and it felt like we were in the front half of the pack. The last riders came in at 4.30pm – it must have been a hard slog for them!

I took the Gopro along for the ride and I am editing together a video. I had 4 batteries and a 64GB card, there were no charging facilities at camp. I managed to get quite a lot of video, so it’s going to take a while. Stay tuned for it, hopefully it will be worth the wait.


Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Charity Rides


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The Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer – Route Map

This week we were emailed the route, and there are designated “cheering stations” which are marked on the map. Here is the link to the map on google.

I am all ready and rearing to go but the route is going to be interesting. I guess there will be partial road closures, and I’m not sure how many people are going to drop out on the second day – there is the option to put your bike on a truck and get a ride back to the finish line.

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Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Charity Rides


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Training: Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer

I am pleased to announce that I have made my fundraising minimum for the Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer. Training is going well too, as you can tell via the graph below, plotting my actual kilometres against the 1,000 km goal.

Last weekend topped it off with a 135 kilometre ride from our place, down the freeway, and a loop to Rockingham. We rode down Safety Bay Road to Point Peron, along the foreshore to Rockingham’s cafe strip, then back to the freeway via Wellard Road.

I found the route on the Department of Transport website here. The Safety Bay Road ride involved a rather skinny sealed shoulder at one point, and then on the Rockingham side of Warnbro Station there was a nasty roundabout crossing that felt like a game of ‘Frogga’ where you are a frog that has to dodge the cars to get across the road. It was very busy.

We stopped for lunch in Rockingham and watched the little yachts racing in the bay. There were a lot of bikes rolling past, and dogs of all sizes as well. It was quite a busy little strip and the weather was perfect.

The route back via Wellard Road involved a really crazy intersection between Kwinana Beach Road and Patterson Road which I would not recommend cyclists turn right at, as directed by the map online!

Wellard Road has a good shoulder and would be a good ride if it wasn’t for the road works that are happening closer to the Freeway which have covered the shoulder with rocks and dirt. Also, to get onto the Freeway shared path, you need to be on the dual use path once you are on Bertram road, which is also ripped up due to roadworks. We had to get off our bikes and walk them through the sand to get there, otherwise we would have ended up on the Freeway proper.

We took a little break at the water fountain just north of Cockburn Central, and I needed to stretch out a little.

I am not planning on doing quite so many kilometres in October because I’m planning on tapering a little the week before the Conquer Cancer ride. Longer distances are certainly getting easier and I am really enjoying being fitter and faster when I am commuting and running errands on the bike. I will have to pick a new challenge after the Conquer Cancer ride to keep up my motivation levels. Any suggestions?

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Posted by on October 6, 2012 in Charity Rides, cycling


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Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer Training: Chocolate Cookies, cyclist superfood!

Two rides this weekend, on Saturday I rode to ‘My Pet Warehouse’ in Osborne Park – I rode into the city via my local bike track, and then back up to Ozzie Park via the Mitchell Freeway path. The pet shop wasn’t far from the path, but even so, there was no bike parking! I expected that I would have to lock up to a sign, but I didn’t think I’d have to wade through rubbish and weeds.

I bought some stuff for the dogs, but they didn’t do cash out, so I had no money for the sausage sizzle and rode home hungry. I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice so I made a batch of chocolate cookies, minus the chocolate chips, for my big ride on Sunday.

I rode down to a friend’s place to hang around her garage sale in my lycra. It was a 72.3 kilometre one way trip, and when I had gotten there I was astounded to see that my average speed was 26.9 kilometres per hour. It had taken so long to break that 26 kph barrier, and I had finally done it! I credit it to my chocolate cookies!

I stopped once on the way down, for 15 minutes, so I wolfed down a cookie then. They aren’t really convenient to eat on the bike. It is a convenient bottle refill spot as well – the only water fountain that I know of on the Kwinana Freeway bike path. It’s a couple of kilometres North of Cockburn Central (for those who aren’t from Perth that is pronounced Coe-burn, not how it is spelled).

After a day of hanging around the garage sale, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to ride the whole way home. The sea breeze had wafted in and made the ride a bit easier, so I kept going. I managed to finish the ride with an average of 28.3 kilometres per hour.

I don’t know how you can live in Perth and not love it. Well, apart from some of the bogans who seem to try their best to ruin it all. I did get slapped on the lower back by some tool kid on the back of a trail bike somewhere near Mortimer Road. There was a group of three bikes and after the first one went past and slapped me I rode wider to force them on to the dirt. I got a few middle fingers for my trouble. I thought about pulling my camera out of my back pocket, but that would have resulted in, well, blurry pictures of their backs.

Anyway, after 144 kilometres, I say bring the Ride to Conquer Cancer! I am ready!

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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Bike Parking, Charity Rides


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Ride to Conquer Cancer: Weekend Ride & Fundraising Update

As I am typing this, my fundraising total has reached $2,266.66. My goal is $2,500 for the WA Institute for Medical Research. They are doing some groundbreaking cancer research which this ride is going to provide a great funding boost towards.

A big boost came this week when we were given a bar fridge to raffle off. In three days $200 worth of tickets were sold.

If you want to get aboard the fundraising train and help me get the last little bit then go here to donate some moola.

My weekend ride update is a bit late because I have been having internet issues at home, but I did a 68 kilometre ride via the South Perth foreshore, the freeway South path, Roe Hwy, Railway Parade, and then along the Swan River past Maylands. It was 29 degrees, which is pretty warm, actually it was the warmest September day in 120 years.

The path along the freeway has been subject to detours for months now, as there is a bit of development happening down around Murdoch. The Fiona Stanley hospital is coming along nicely, though I wonder about the design – I think it’s going to date quite badly. There are a few ‘iconic’ big capital works buildings in WA that have made these bold design statements – the Perth Convention and Exhibition centre came under a lot of criticism for it’s resemblance to a giant Colourbond steel shed. Perth residents seem to have just stopped whining about it, perhaps because it’s position as ‘most loathed building’ has been taken over by the new Perth Arena. The whinging has been going on for years and the building isn’t even open yet.

Back to the riding, I had to stop for a bit at the lakes in Maylands because I was getting a calf cramp. A symptom of the unseasonably warm weather and the fact that I had run out of my usual hydrating GU Brew and was just on plain water for the ride. I haven’t had a cramp for ages and it disappeared quickly, but gave me a chance to take another bike + water photo. These lakes were pits where the nearby brickworks sourced their clay.

All in all it was a good ride, but I really wanted to wag work this week and ride some more. I think now I understand how surfers feel when they skip out on work when the waves are good.


Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Charity Rides


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Training Ride: Beach Loop, Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer

There is a huge advantage to having a riding buddy – photos end up actually having people in them. We did the same loop, more or less, as last weekend. Home to the beach, along the coast to North Fremantle, then we went back up the coast a little to Cottesloe where I ate a hotdog (I was hungry, OK!), and then home again.

admiring the view

waiting for hot dog

There was a 30% chance of rain, but the rain stayed away for us. It was pretty windy, but at least it was a headwind on the way out and a tail wind on the way home.

We saw a guy with a red Bike Friday New World Tourist near Subiaco, and I called out ‘Bike Friday’, he smiled and waved. I wonder how many people actually recognise his bike as he pedals around. Mine gets some funny looks but no-one really says anything.

As we were getting closer to home, I had slowed down to wait for my riding buddy, and was overtaken by a guy on an electric monster-board, followed by his mate who was riding a fairly powerful DIY e-bike.

electric skateboard

The board looked a bit like this, but with bigger wheels and it sure packed some power. The chunky tyres hummed like big mud tyres on a four wheel drive truck. They sat on about 25 kph up a hill after overtaking me, the guy on the ebike not pedalling at all. I decided I didn’t need to wait for my riding buddy and that smoking these guys with leg power would be the most fun. The guy on the board was looking at his buddy on the ebike and he knew I was sitting behind them. I overtook them and the sound of humming tyres blissfully faded into the distance. I waited at the end of the path for my buddy and they came along after I’d been stopped a while. We exchanged smiles as they continued on.

I feel like I could do it all again tomorrow, but I won’t. I have other things to be working on. Maybe a shorter ride is in order.

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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Charity Rides


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Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer: Weekend training rides

On Saturday I rode from Bayswater, to Scarborough via the city, then to North Fremantle down the coast, and back to Bayswater via the train line. Usually when I ride to Scarborough, I cut across various suburbs to the freeway, coming out near Cedric Street, then ride along Cedric, Beatrice and a few other streets to get to the coast.

Scarborough Beach

This time I decided to ride into the city, then follow the Mitchell Freeway path up to Cedric street, and I have to say, it was much more pleasant than riding the backstreets. It may also have been a good way to ride to Leederville the other night!

The only thing that might be hard is finding where the freeway North path actually starts! It had been a long time, but I picked up the path near the corner of Aberdeen Street and Fitzgerald Street.

Trying to get to the beach, I ended up riding a 200 metre stretch of Sackville Terrace which was 12.9% grade, according to Strava. I scored a Queen of the Mountain, but it seems I am the only female who has used Strava while cycling up that nasty little kicker!

It was a 70 kilometre day all up and it was a lot warmer than it has been lately, at 24 degrees Celsius. It took it out of me a bit, so I went to bed early. I missed some Saturday night alcohol fuelled shenanigans though.

On Sunday I went for a ride out to Bell’s Rapids via West Swan Road.

Brigadoon - a different horse

It’s always nice to go out that way, though it feels like a bit of a cop out to stick to the Swan Valley and not do any hill climbing!

Maali Bridge Park

I saw a kayaker hanging out near the Maali Park Bridge, on the way up to Bells. I saw him again in Guildford on the way back.

Bells - Sitella

There was a bit of water at Bells Rapids, but not a lot. It didn’t stop the hoards arriving, not long after I did. There were big groups of hikers heading off, and a few cars arrived with kayaks on top.

My Bike at Bells

It was a 54 kilometre day and I feel like my legs pulled up pretty well. At this point I feel like the 2 x 100km+ days in October will certainly be doable.


Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Charity Rides


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