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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ten things you didn't know about me...


Check this out. I am getting my share of press this week! And with this photo the Zoco Electric Bike is also getting a fair exposure in the North West press. As it is people in the Devonport region are getting used to seeing me cruise the streets. Often cycling over the Forth Hill, and repeatedly visiting Coles as I usually forget essentials and need to make multiple visits to do my shopping!

Next week I have to go to Hobart to see the Adult CF Clinic for the last time before flying to Vietnam. I wonder if my lung function is increasing. I hope to score 48% of expected FEV1, which is about as good as it gets for me.
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Saturday, July 28, 2012

You are riding where!!!


This is where we intend to ride... It is a long way, and perhaps slightly optimistic. It is good to have a bit of pressure and we will certainly have a big challenge ahead of ourselves! Check it out on [Google Maps].
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Fundraiser Numero Uno


Pictured above is half the crowd at Oz Rock Inn last night, and this was also the lucky table with most raffle prizes ending up here! Both tables raised approximately the same amount, mainly because the other table had the winning bid for the most popular silent auction item; The Cebo fully automatic coffee machine. The fancy Cappuccino/Espresso machine (complete with milk reservoir) received a lot of interest and plenty of bids, and ended up fetching Cystic Fibrosis and the Coughing 4 CF team a handsome return. I would like to know how many people in the area will end up buying one on-line: http://www.cebocoffeemachine.com.au/, I certainly might consider one for Christmas! Come to think of it, I would love to know how many people end up ordering a Zoco Electric Bike in the region because of the numerous newspaper photos proudly showing the bike! Time will tell, hopefully we are all winners in this daring and ambitious expedition as we cycle 5000kms from Vietnam to Singapore...
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OzRock Fundraiser a success!


Thanks to great community support the OzRock Inn fundraiser was a great success. The Zoco Electric Bike had a centre piece position inside the venue, and received much attention. The Dutch Jans Premium Herbal Liqueur was the friendship drink of the night especially for some new converts! At this rate they will need to have a Tasmanian distributor soon.

Most people got a taste of Koolit (the multi purpose AloeVera gel for athletes like us!!), a Cadbury chocolate (or 5) and a  C-Max Movie pass (subscribe to their mailing list if you live in the area!), everyone got educated on Cystic Fibrosis and Organ Donations (register now by clicking here), and best of all we made at least an estimated $500 both for CF Tasmania as well as $500 for the bike team cycling from Vietnam to Singapore! Fantastic effort and a special thank you to Roger and Fiona Smith from RSF Projects who brought the most friends along for the night and to Martin and Christine from OzRock for hosting another fantastic CF fundraiser!
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Most embarrassing moment?


It looks like Ruth Wambui our guest starring rockstar from Kenya has come down with a Tasmanian cold and has lost her voice :(

Ruth was the main draw card for the fundraiser at OzRock tonight, and we may have to do without her. If people do not want to come we can refund your money of course, but we have come up with an idea:

Since Ruth can't sing, and Walter can't sing, Walter offered to recite Vogon poetry! Vogon poetry is of course, the third worst in the universe. A quick vote decided against that too, but instead Walter will attempt to tell Cycling Tales from his Adrenalin Trips. If Ruth is not singing then Walter will tell all about his last day of cycling in Bulgaria; Whores, Flies and Giant Foothills.  Guest starring tonight will also be Troy and Cindy, who were both there and may tell their side of the story!

If people don't fall asleep or totally ignore him Walter may also tell you about how the team made it to Istanbul on the last day, one of the hairiest days of the European ride; Badabing Badabang, cycling into Istanbul.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In the Advocate


Great to see the local newspaper The Advocate giving me attention! Another good shot of the Zoco Electric Bike and the much supportive Derrico bicycle shop where the  photographer caught me (funny that!). 

Friday is the first fundraiser and many of us are running around collecting great raffle prizes that are donated by the many local stores and businesses. Life in the fast lane! I can't wait to celebrate with a bottle of the most appropriately donated  Jan's Friendship Drink (premium herbal Dutch liquor)!

Also now on-board sponsoring the ride is Kentish Funerals who are funding 10 hotel nights for a comfortable night sleep when we need it most!
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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Trouble booking fundraiser?

If you experienced a problem trying to prepay the fundraiser (dinner or lunch), please try again now! I think the dinner bookings were going too fast!

- click here -

:)
Walter----

Friday, July 20, 2012

Alastair in the Western Australia press

Alastair is our Western Australian team member, and he is getting attention in WA! So good to get more Cystic Fibrosis awareness around Australia. Nice photo of the Zoco Electric Bike too incidentally! Onya Alastair, keep up the good work, can’t wait to go for the big ride September 1!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ruth Wambui singing for Cystic Fibrosis

 
Ruth Wambui from Kenya just arrived in Australia and her DEBUT will be at the Coughing4CF Dinner Fundraiser at the Oz Rock Inn in Ulverstone on Friday 27 July!

Ruth is performing completely free of charge for Cystic Fibrosis and she will draw a full house! Make sure you book early: CLICK HERE.

Not only is the $55 covering your food and entertainment we have found a supportive vineyard to put bottles on the table and a supportive brewer to provide highly subsidised beer for us as well. Do not miss this night!

Of course there is always the Thursday 9 August - 1230pm BISTRO LUNCH at the old TAFE's Drysdale Restaurant: CLICK HERE.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Donations!


It is great to see donations coming in  to help us pay for team expenses! These will greatly benefit the team to get from Vietnam to Singapore. As you know we are all self funded and we will use your generous donations for team and CF related expenses. Amongst these expenses is the luxury of a support vehicle (which in some cases might be taxis or rental cars). Not only will the support vehicle help us carry our gear, our spare parts, my medical equipment as well as ‘sore’ riders (hopefully not me as I am keen to ride the entire distance!), the support vehicle will also locate accommodation along the way, which is a tremendous help. Other expenses include costs to print postcards in various languages to promote CF along the way and to explain what we are doing, the occasional press release and internet access along the way. It all adds up, and many of these costs I cannot expect the self funded team members to share, and hence we rely on YOU! We thank everyone who has donated and urge you to share this website!

VistaPrint Australia


When we leave Australia we hope to have enough in our kitty to do what we have to do, and then it is  time for us to collect purely for Cystic Fibrosis. All monies donated during the ride will go straight to CF Australia. Because of the much increased press and publicity gained by riding an electric bike through Asia with Cystic Fibrosis we will attract a much greater web audience. I pledge to not stop fundraising till we have at least donated the same to CF as we have received for the expedition!

Thank you to everyone who has donated!
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

In the Mercury

http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2012/07/12/345401_tasmania-news.html



ADVENTURER Walter van Praag has dedicated most of his life to staying healthy. Next month, Mr van Praag, who has cystic fibrosis, leaves Tasmania to cycle 5000km from Vietnam to Singapore, raising awareness and funds for CF and organ donation.

Five years ago, Mr van Praag cycled from Paris to Instanbul on 38 per cent lung function, thinking it might be his last big adventure. Not only was he named one of the top 20 faces of Australian cycling by Australian Cyclist magazine but he followed it up two years ago by climbing Borneo's Mt Kinabalu for his 45th birthday. From Turners Beach, near Devonport,

Mr van Praag and his companions will ride four Zoco electric bicycles. The 47-year-old defies medical odds every time he takes to the road. "I'm on the wrong end of the bell curve the average life expectancy is 37," Mr van Praag said. He has diabetes, common in CF, calling it an "age medallion" because he has lived long enough to get it: "A lot of people with cystic fibrosis like to concentrate on career and family, but I've dedicated my life to being healthy and out and about, avoiding pollution and avoiding hospitals. "People tend to crawl into bed and stay there, but it's important to walk or cycle and cough to clear my lungs."

Mr van Praag, originally from Holland, will ride with a rotating group of friends on the trip, which is being done under the banner Coughing4CF, the name he uses for his adventures. Each day, he needs to cover 100km, with the battery used sparingly, and will also have to swallow huge amounts of pills, use a nebuliser and inject insulin. 

Through the ride, an Everyday Hero website will allow sponsorship to benefit the CF Association of Australia.
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pretty Coool Out There

Geez, it's sure been cool riding around my N.W.Corners of Tassie. Getting in the miles everyday is one part of the training. Another important tasks to get done is to get the bike in order, the seat comfy, find panniers that work...

Medications and treatment is another part of preparation. South East Asia is very warm and potentially very wet.  Winter is the time for me to be extra careful with all my medicine as it is the time people get coughs and colds. Cycling through Asia I can not keep my medicine refrigerated around the clock as some medications  requires. Thus I am modifying my routines to cut out the refrigerated meds. So as I battle with the seasonal colds and flues I am also testing out alternative/new medicine.

Changing medication is always risky business and needs to be done in consultation with the Adult CF Team from Royal Hobart Hospital. The team there is very thoughtful and tries hard to help without being culpable - doctors having to stick to the 'Gold Standard' for treatment.So this week and the next few weeks I will be doing a few tests to ensure my new drug regime is working alright.

Still, carrying 1500 odd pills and the nebuliser, BSL and lung function test device and other equipment there will be plenty to carry.

Now is also time to sort out visas for Vietnam, Cambodia, and double check requirements for ThailandMalaysia and Singapore!

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Raffle Prizes and Auction Items



We have had some incredibly generous donations for our two Tasmanian Fundraiser events! Look at this fully automatic CEBO coffee machine we received from the Australian Distributor! This will be an item in the silent auction at the OzRock Inn (27 July). Also received two full 2012 personal tax returns from Jac's Accounting (79 Forbes Street, Devonport)! All donations greatly appreciated as it makes the Fundraisers so much more fun with great door prizes, raffle prizes and worthwhile silent auctions.

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Everyone wants a Zoco...


As I am riding the Zoco Electric Bicycle around Tassie's North West training myself and testing the bike, lots of people (like Anthony in the photo) want to have a go on it. Everybody loves the bike and wants one! How could you first of all not want an electric bike, and then one as smooth as this one... At under $1800 complete with express delivery it really is a bit of a bargain! The gears and the disc brakes are fantastic, and the bike is just sooo cool to ride.

So far I have found that racing the bike on the fastest setting, maximum assist (the full 200W) I managed 49 kilometers at just over 20km/hr average - not bad considering the hills and wind we get here! Using the medium assist setting I managed to ride 79 kilometers over three days, averaging just under 20km/hr. Now I am testing a mix of settings, using max for the steep bits and the flats (to maintain 32km/hr!) and medium for the rest. Downhills, over 30km/hr with just gravity I turn it off all together. The bike has maxed out at 58 km/hr to date.Still need to make an arrangement for panniers...

Anthony from Austrips, pictured above, had a huge smile on his face after he did a quick lap, and if it wasn't for his family waiting for him in the crisp Tasmanian air he would've stayed on it! Austrips gave a generous donation towards our Vietnam to Singapore expedition, and we all appreciate it very much. Monies raised before the ride is used for preparations, propaganda and team costs, monies received after and during the ride will go straight to CF Australia. I expect that the donations we raise for CF will be a good multiple of what we receive before the ride, but time will tell! Remember that climbing Mount Kinabalu resulted in $4K for CF Tasmania!
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Creative Humm made our Logo

Creative Hum from Hobart is responsible for designing the Viet2Sing logo!

Megan from Creative hum has also donated money for us to spend with a Tasmanian retailer to help equip the bicycles!

The previous adventure!

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