Sunday, March 4, 2018

March fundraising update

March is going to be a busy month, on all fronts!

I've had 18 hours on the bike this week, notching up 440km and just shy of 8000m of climbing.  The team and I have just finished the first week of our third 4-week block, and the structured efforts Hayden has prescribed will get longer over the next two week before we're treated to a seven day "rest" - last week I only rode 250km!

While my legs are feeling pretty good, life's becoming a bit of a blur as I scramble to get everything done.  The training, my day job, and engaging with the fundraising side of things all consume a lot of time, but it would be a shame to not do them all justice.

I've got a couple of things I'd like to do in April-June, but this month is where I hope to get a lot closer to my revised target of $10,000.

Here's what's in store.

Fundraising kit

The Ultimo kit order is going in on the 12th of March, and it's looking set to generate a few hundred dollars for the Mental Health Foundation.  There are two jerseys on offer - one, Victoria University of Wellington branded, and the other, a minor tweak on the Roadworks classic jersey which I commissioned five years ago for Le Cycle-Tour de France.    If you're interested in seeing the designs more closely, and/or ordering, you can find all the details here.

5 years ago, this June

Everest attempt

When dreaming up fundraising ideas, I had some ideas on what to present to the mountainbike community (the hill climb series, and what a great success that was) and to the roadies (the Wainui mini-tour went in the "too hard basket", but a local shopping mall came to the rescue - see below).  But, I was at a loss to think of how to engage the university community.

Eventually, one of the ideas that popped into my head (and stuck) was attempting an Everest on Kelburn Parade - a 300m stretch of straight road which climbs 24m at a steady 7% gradient.  Aside from the cringeworthy segment name - "Showing the Students" and the prospect of riding through over 1400 sets of traffic lights, connecting it with the university raised the spectre of a Health and Safety nightmare.  When the HR team started suggesting alternatives this week, I found myself suggesting something quite horrendous...
I can’t believe I’m suggesting this, because I know what the result is going to be…  There is such a thing as a “virtual Everest”...
A few hours later, Capital Cycles had generously agreed to lend me a Tacx NEO smart trainer for the day, and HR had breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Over the next few weeks, I'll have to learn how to use Zwift, and make sure I'm set up to attempt a vEverest within the rules.  According to the Zwift schedule, I'll be riding in London, and hopefully that gives some reasonable climb options - I'd love to hear from any Zwift gurus out there...!

Image grabbed from dcrainmaker's review of Zwift, with thanks

The "virtual" aspect means I'll be not only safer, but much less isolated - the Rec Centre are keen to set up some stationary bikes so students and colleagues can get a sense of things, and I hope we'll have a great expo of many of the student services for some of the day. 

Aside from an assumption that this will be physically much harder, I accept that it's a much better idea than the original plan to ride up and down Kelburn Parade 370 times.

Oh dear...

Good Friday criterium, 30 March

Things are slowly coming together for a Good Friday event in North City Shopping Centre's parking garage.  I've got access to the three levels of the garage all day long, and plan to use the bottom two for a race track.

My tentative plan is to have a "fun-ride" for the morning, probably between 10am and midday.  A gold-coin donation will grant anyone (and anything) with wheels access to the course, and hopefully we see plenty of folk out on their bikes, scooters and roller blades having a bit of a hoon around the carpark devoid of cars!

Twice a lap through this intersection!

In the afternoon, there will be a series of short races.  We'll probably kick off with a kids race, and I want a dedicated event for mountain bikes running at least 2" tyres.  If time permits, perhaps a novelty event (for fixies, tandems, costumes, or a combination thereof), and then into a series of graded races, culminating in a women's race and open men.

The shopping centre have been amazingly supportive despite my unusual request of them, and Bunnings Porirua didn't flinch when I asked them to donate a couple of kilometres of tape!  Capital Cycles have generously offered help, as has Ashley Peters and WORD.  The Wellington Masters Cycling Club have also been willing for me to run it under their banner, which helps with insurance, and an entry system.  Hopefully the insurance won't be necessary, and the online entry system will be up and running this week.  I've put out a couple of other requests for donations, so hopefully the sponsor list grows over the next week.

Gareth Warnock is peer-reviewing the course for me tomorrow night, and hopefully likes what he sees!

Entertainment book

Finally, my team-mate Aaron has set the team up with the Entertainment Book, so purchases there will result in a small donation to the Mental Health Foundation.  If, like us, you find these vouchers useful (the buy-one get-one-free mains are the bomb!) please buy your 2018/2019 copy here.

* * * * * 

This blog describes a fundraising project for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.
  • Nearly 50% of New Zealanders will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime, and one in five will have experienced a mental illness this year.
  • Depression is set to overcome heart disease as the biggest global health burden by 2020.
  • The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) is a charity that works towards reducing stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. We provide free support, training, and resources for anyone who is going through a difficult time, or for people who are supporting loved ones.
To make a donation, visit  Any contribution, big or small is greatly appreciated, and will be put to good use by the fine folk at MHF.


  1. Among all your prodigious talents we now need to list "marketing guru". Chapeau, bro, great job.

  2. good to hear the progress report!

    Interesting having racing in a multistorey car all weather circuit. I look forward to the race report.

    Good for Bunnings..they have bought Homebase shops here,looks like a "breath of fresh air" has hit them..really good.