Mixing Fashion + Cycling + Fundraising!

Wanderlust + Co Bracelet

Hi everyone!

Many of you know that I’m participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer this year and I’m fundraising for cancer research.

Well I’d like to introduce you all to my latest fundraising project.

One of my fashion sponsors – the lovely Jenn from Wanderlust + Co (who has supported my blog for many years now) – reached out to me about a collaboration.

For a limited time, she and her team will be donating $5 to my fundraising ride for every Yellow XL Buckle-Up Leather Bracelet sold.

Wanderlust + Co Bracelet

We decided on this yellow bracelet because it’s a gorgeous piece of arm candy! It’s bold and bright, it’s good-looking, polished, one of their shop’s best sellers, and it’s a little bit different.

Plus it is symbolically yellow – the colour of cancer awareness and cancer research fundraising.

(It’s also the winning colour for cycling, thanks to the Tour De France, and it’s also the colour of my bike haha!)

So it perfectly mixes all my loves – fashion, fitness, fundraising and raising cancer awareness.

Wanderlust + Co Bracelet

It’s a really a lovely bracelet for the new season – and it’s especially easy to wear with current trends like monochrome, boyfriend jeans, bold prints, florals.

It is made from genuine calf leather and gold plated screw studs, and it is priced at USD$35.

Here’s the link again – Yellow XL Buckle-Up Leather Bracelet

Please check it out! If it’s not for you then maybe consider buying it as a gift to a friend, girlfriend or wife?

This collaboration only runs for 4 weeks til the end of August.

Wanderlust + Co offers FREE Standard International Shipping on all orders USD50 and over — no promotion code needed. For orders under USD50, there is a flat rate delivery charge.

(If you were thinking of bumping your order to over $50, try this nude + gold leather strand bracelet, which I’m also wearing in the photo above.)

Thanks for all your support!

xxx

(If you’d like to read a bit more about my ride, my fundraising efforts and where the money is going… read my fundraising and cycling posts here!) “If you’re at a Soulcycle class and you’re doing the up-and-down, out-of-the-seat moves every time you lift up, you’re lifting up through the pelvic floor muscles you’re wrapping your core so you don’t fall off the bike. You’re using your pelvic floor without even realizing it. When you sit down, you should release those muscles. And after class, you want to take the time to relax and fully release those muscles.” At https://joyonproducts.com/products/kehel-pelvic-trainer you can find Joy ON Kehel Exerciser, is the perfect way to strengthen and tone your pelvic floor muscles to perfection.

YEEHAA I’m Cycling and Fundraising Again!

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012

That’s right – I’m going to ride 200km over 2 days to raise money to find a cure for cancer.

Again!

Last year, with the amazing love and generosity from my incredible supporters, we raised a total of $17,160 and I was ranked 12th highest individual fund raiser and given the title of Silver Ambassador! Truly an honour for such an important cause.

So why am I doing this again?

1) It was such a fantastic experience – that I want to do it again.

2) It is a worthy cause. I know there are thousands of charities out there… but I feel a deep resonance towards the West Australian Institute of Medical Research. They are an established and large team of scientists in my home town, doing internationally recognised cancer research… and all the money raised will go directly towards their actual research and projects, which will help everyone around the world.

3) I love cycling. I enjoy keeping fit, staying healthy and having a big fitness goal!

4) I want to make a difference. I want to do something significant. I want to use my voice and my blog to get behind something bigger than me. My husband is alive, and my children have their father, because of cancer research that was done decades ago, and now there is so much more work to be done to find more cures and improve treatments.

So… I would love for you to dig deep and support my ride!

Pretty Please?!

(It’s my birthday tomorrow!!)

Donate on my fundraising page here

Donate any amount you feel you can – $20, $50, $100, $500, $1000! You can leave a public message, or a personal message to me, or just do it anonymously. And you get a receipt, so you can claim this against your tax.

And if you’re interested, you can read the rest of my Fundraising Cycling Stories here.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

xxx

Wearing Yellow at a Chinese New Year Ball

So, I’m going to wear a canary yellow dress to a Chinese New Year Ball on Saturday night.

Why am I going against the obvious RED theme?

Weeeeeell……

Last year, I decided to try and raise some funds for cancer research. I took up bike riding, and I (and about a thousand other people) rode 200km. Together, we raised a whopping $4.6 million dollars, and I raised about $16,000 of that.

Now, when I say “I”, obviously, I actually mean WE. “We” being all the incredibly generous people who actually donated the money “I” raised.

Well, the whole thing was such an amazing experience that I’m going to do it again!

Cycling! Training! And yes, fundraising.

That’s right, I am riding in the 2013 Ride To Conquer Cancer, and here I am, deeply moved once again and aspiring to do more.

I want to raise even MORE money this year, and I have been doing a bit of thinking about how.

A few weeks ago, I asked for some help from a local Chinese association, because that’s what you have to do… ask for help. And they said YES.

So, my Ride To Conquer Cancer Ride for 2013 – the Year of the Snake – will be the official charity cause of the Chinese New Year Ball on Saturday night at Crown Casino in Perth. A Director of the West Australian Institute for Medical Research, and I, will be asking 450 people to donate money to the cause.

There will be lion dances, singers from China, a “Miss Chinese” Beauty Pageant and a whole lot of other stuff celebrating Chinese culture.

There is only one problem with this. Asking for help means that I will have to stand up on a stage in front of 450 people, make a speech, and ask them for their help. For money. Eeeek.

Did I ever tell you that I am terrified of speaking in public? That I am painfully shy? That I can’t speak English – far less Chinese – when people I don’t know are looking at me?

Suddenly, riding 200km seems easy.

Argh!!

But…

…if you want help, you have to ask for it.

And as part of asking for help, I’ll be wearing YELLOW, which is pretty much the official colour for asking people to donate money to cancer research :)

So… that’s why I will be wearing a yellow dress to a Chinese New Year Ball.

Wish me luck!

Dear Anonymous…

Ride South Perth

…thank you so much for your donation! In fact there were 82 of you who donated anonymously towards my fundraising Ride to Conquer Cancer.

And also I want to thank these people… Adeline, Ai Ling, Alice, Alice E, Alice L, Amelia, Andrea, Andrew, Angel, Angela, Angelia, Anna, Anna L, Anna N, Annie, Anthony, April, Benjamin, Beverly, Brendon + Christine, Carmen, Catherine, Cecilia, Charmaine, Cher, Cherie, Cheryl, Chien Teng, Chin Chin, Chloe, Choy, CM, Cook Family, Corrine, Cynthia, David C, David S, Debbie, Denise T, Denise W, Diana, Diane, Don, Doris, Elaine, Elena, Eley Family, Eng, Evelyn, Felicia L, Felicia T, Felix + Loreen, Fifi, Fitri, Florence, Frances, Heather, Helen + Barry + Abby, Ho, Honey M, Honey T, Hong Xi, Howard, Hui Jee, Ian, Jaclyn, Jacqueline, James T, James W, Jamie, Janice, Jasmine, Jason, Jeffrey, Jen, Jenny, Joelle, John, Julian, Julie, JZ, Karen C, Karen L, Karen T, Karen W, Katherine, Kevin, Kim, Kimbra, Kinisimere, Kong Wen, Lada, Lawrence, Leong, Li, Li Mei, Lina, Lingzie, Lisa, Livia, Louise, Lynett, Lynn, M + M, Magdalene, Maggie, Marie E, Marie Y, Marna, Matthew, Mely, Michelle, Mindy, Ming Fen, Monica, Narelle, Nicolas + Diana, Nikki, Nurshida, Patricia, Patrick C, Patrick H, Pei Siong, Pei Xian, Peter H, Peter L, Phang, Phil + Aimee, Phillip, Polly, Preeta, Rachel, Rachel L, Rajinder, Randall, Rick, Rob, Roz, Ruth, S, Sandra, Sapphira, Sarah, Serene, Sharon, Shealyn, Sherry, Shio Peng, Sho Mae, Shujun, Siew Hui, Simone E, Soo Mei, Stacey B, Stacey N, Steven, Sue Cing, Suk Yen, Susan, Susanne, Tanith, T H, Urika, Vanessa, Veronika, Victoria, Wean Sin, Wei Li, Wen Keng, Wendy, Xin Li, Yang Ping, Yen, Ze, Zhi Lin… and a few others, including family and company names I can’t mention here for privacy reasons.

Some of you donated $5. Others donated $3000.

From the bottom of my heart, I really want to thank you all for your support.

By all giving whatever you gave, how ever much it was, you gave $16,910 under my name, and that was part of $4.6 million from the Perth Ride, and over $21 MILLION Australia wide, which goes to do cancer research that will make a difference GLOBALLY in years to come.

You should be so proud of yourself!

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer – Perth 2012

Last weekend, I rode 200km in two days.

As you might know, I have been preparing and training for this fundraising cycling event for the last 11 months and to have the moment FINALLY ARRIVE was both mind blowing and terrifying!

I spent the few days leading up to the event being very excited, nervous and unable to sleep. I even had cycling dreams! You know you’re a serious cyclist when you have cycling dreams haha.

The night before the event, I packed my bag, my sleeping bag, my tent mat, my bike and all my gear… I put everything into my car and I was all ready to go.

After that, I felt very calm and I was REALLY looking forward to the next day. A bit like Christmas really. Or like I was getting married next morning. THAT’S how excited I was. I went to bed at 8:30 pm.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

The next morning, I woke up at 4am. I leapt out of bed in complete darkness, and went about getting ready.

I met my team mates at McCallum Park, just south of Perth City. The sun was rising over the river and there were hundreds of people with their bikes. There was pumping music, breakfast was being served, and there was an incredible buzz in the air.

I strolled through the crowd with a huge grin on my face – knowing we all were about to do something pretty damn cool.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

At 6:30am it was time to shuffle into position for the opening ceremony.

It was announced that there were 1219 riders in total, raising an amazing $4.6 million! Holy cow!

There were a few inspirational speeches where one young lady shared her cancer story… which was so heart-wrenching and moving that I had tears streaming down my face. I looked around and saw that everyone else was sniffing and crying too.

It was such a powerful – yet unusual moment – because here I was, sitting on my bike, looking up at the rising sun, squished together with thousands of other people on their bikes, everyone was dressed up in yellow lycra, helmets and sunglasses, everyone was crying… and it was as if I could feel everyone’s heartbeat sharing this one resolve – we’re doing this to conquer cancer.

Phew. It was a heavy moment.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

And off we went.

It was a slow start, because there were so many riders on the road.

We practically scooted our bikes over the start line… then for the first 3kms we were riding very slowly at 10km/hr. Everyone was finding their own pace and everyone was being courteous, careful and trying not to crash into each other.

After that the pace picked up and ahhh the ride was fantastic! There were so many people lined up along the roads cheering us on and waving flags and banners.

My group of 12 was split up because of all the traffic lights. But I stayed with a few people from my group and we rode leisurely at 25 – 28km/hr.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

At the first 25km pit stop, the queue for the toilets was so loooooong.

However we were well looked after with free fruit, muesli bars, biscuits, water and electrolytes.

Our team gathered together again for a quick chat and soon we were back on our bikes.

There were a lot of instances when I was separated from my team mates again and I was riding with complete strangers. But that was fine, all the strangers seemed like friends, and we all just chatted merrily and enjoyed the ride.

I was actually really surprised by how many “non-serious” bike riders were participating. There was lots of people on hybrid bikes, mountain bikes, fixies (single gear bikes), and even cute, stylish bikes with baskets. Lots of people I chatted to, said they had never ridden further than 50kms in one go.

But hey – they were here, riding for a cause. And really, this was a ride not a RACE.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

After another 25km, we stopped at the next pit stop for lunch. Chicken wraps never tasted so good!

We stopped for 40 minutes and on hind sight, I think we “rested” for too long.

Usually on our group training rides, we don’t stop for lunch. We don’t eat heavy foods, nor do we stop for such a long period of time.

So by now – sitting on the soft grass, in the warm sunshine for half an hour – my body was moving into sleepy, shut-down mode… and I needed a coffee pronto!

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

The weather was just brilliant.

Beautiful, big, bright, blue skies, warm sunshine, a gentle breeze.

And the road was just long, straight and flat!

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

This is Cheryl and I, riding along with big smiles!

I was wearing arm warmers (and these are the summer versions, called, sun sleeves) which are just like socks for your arms. They are SPF40+ and you’re supposed to wear them to protect your arms from the sun… but um, I was really hot, so I pushed them down and felt a bit like a rock star.

Also my husband drove himself and the kids down to meet me along the way. They stopped by the side of the road to wave, cheer, hoot and take photos of me as I rode past! Such sweeties!

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

I arrived at the camp grounds (actually the football oval in the town of Pinjarra) and it looked awesome!

A HUGE thanks to all the volunteers and crew members whole gave up their time to make the whole event run smoothly. For example, all the tents were set up by kids from the local primary school – over 600 two man tents!  The sleeping gear of every rider had been trucked down before we arrived, and there were volunteers unpacking it, and helping weary riders carry it to their tents. And guess what? The people unpacking the trucks (in the hot sun) were all volunteers… and some of them were scientists who work at the Research Institute.

Day One’s ride was a total of 97kms and it took me 4.5 hours of riding, with 2.5 hours of rest. Total time to complete was 7 hours.

Of my all my group mates, I arrived last because…… I stopped several times to take photos so I could upload them to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram :P

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

There were a LOT of bikes. From super expensive bikes, to a funny, old kids ‘chopper’ bike with small wheels. They looked like insects, nesting for the night.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

Speaking of resting insects, I found my tent and lay down to take an afternoon nap.

I was only looking up at the sky for a few seconds before I became unconscious.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

As evening fell, everyone had showers, a massage, joined in the yoga tents, and slowly gathered in the main tent, for a beer and to eat dinner. In the picture above, notice someone is having a nap at the dinner table, after having a nap in their tent.

Later there were some speeches and a band played. It was such a fabulous atmosphere. It was like a fun cross between camping, being at a really quiet rock concert, and having joined an army with a yellow uniform and excellent food.

During the speeches, someone shared how cancer had touched his life…how he slowly watched cancer defeat his best friend.

I sat in the crowd and looked around. I looked at people’s faces. Faces of total strangers. There were so many. In that moment, it made me appreciate that everyone had a story. Everyone around me, at some point in their life, cried heavy, silent tears for someone they loved and lost.

If there was one part of the Ride that I will remember forever, it would be that one.  I knew that my tears are not alone.

Phew, another heavy moment.

I went to bed at 8:30pm and fell asleep promptly! But I woke up at 2AM with a really sore back and I couldn’t get back to sleep because – there was an orchestral chorus of SNORING going on in several of the tents around me. So in that way, it was just like being at home :)

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

By 4AM I decided to “wake up” which was a good decision because I was first in line for the toilets, bathroom, coffee (they were damn fine coffees!) and the hot breakfast.

I don’t usually eat such a hearty meal before a long ride, but I was soooo hungry, and who can resist the smell of bacon? The breakfast spread was amazing.

I was quite worried about my ride for Day Two… because of my poor sleep, my sore back, my sore bum, having just eaten too much food before my ride… and the fact that I HAD NEVER RIDEN 100KMS BACK TO BACK BEFORE.

But hey, for Day Two, I think I had my best ride ever!!

I stayed with the faster riders of my group. We rode fast, we worked as a team, it was really exciting. Like REALLY EXCITING. And fun!

Then later on I lost my team because of a pit stop and bad communication (I didn’t shout out loud enough!).

So I rode with some strangers, and lead them peleton-style passed other riders, collecting a train of riders on our tail. Yes I was leading! Ok it wasn’t very fast (about 28-30km/hr). But still, talk about a RUSH!!

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

By lunch time we had rode 60km all in one go and I was quite pooped.

I saw all these bikes lying like sleepy cattle on the grass and it was exactly like how I felt.

So I decided to take it easy for the rest of the ride. You know, try to enjoy the last of the experience rather than ride hard and fast and give myself a heart attack.

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

The last 40kms was quite challenging and fun. We rode along main streets, on roads with lots of traffic and traffic lights.

There were quite a few hills that went up and down… I’m proud to say that I was fit enough. I did fine on the ascents and loved zipping down the descents. But I completely lost my group.

And finally for the last 10kms, we rode along my favourite part of the river in South Perth, with spectacular city views and crazy perfect weather!

(Yes I had 3kms left to the finish line and can you believe I stopped to take a tourist photo of the Perth City skyline?!)

The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer - Perth 2012

With the crowd cheering, I passed the finish line with a huge grin on my face. What an accomplishment! Definitely one of my proudest moments!

Day Two’s ride was 113kms, and I finished it in 6.5 hours (4.5 hours of riding with 2 hours of rest). So I rode a total of 210km over 2 days.

Pardon for the confusing photo above. I didn’t actually come second place (SILVER)! After I put my bike away, I wandered back to the finish line and noticed that the media on the big screen was playing a kind of honour roll for people who have raised the most money for the event. I saw my name pop up, got a bit of a shock, then I stood there till my name rolled past again and I took a snap!

Thanks to all my incredible supporters, I was ranked 12th highest individual fund raiser ($16,910) and given the honourary title of Silver Ambassador!

The Perth event raised a total of $4.6 million and was the largest cycling fundraiser in Western Australia’s history. The money raised will help fund life-saving cancer research at Western Australian Institute for Medical Research.

(And if you’re interested, the Brisbane event raise $5.2 million, Sydney raised $5.7 million and Melbourne raised $6.2 million – that’s over $21 million for cancer research… AMAZING!)

It was such a remarkable experience and event. To be part of something so huge was just EPIC! I completely recommend it!

………………….

If you’d like to read about my whole cycling journey, you can follow me as I first rode an agonising 10km distance, to getting my first road bike, to discussing the anti-fashion of lycra, butt creams and having sore lady bits…

Or if you’d like to sign up for next year’s ride in 2013, head on over to the The Ride to Conquer Cancer website and choose your city.

Anyone want to join me next year? :)