The 2012 Ride to Conquer Cancer is over. I would like to thank everyone for their donations, support and encouraging words. You gave me the motivation I needed to complete the ride.
My very special thanks to those of you that provided a name for my riding jersey. I am overwhelmed by the names on my jersey, even as I write this message of thanks, I am overcome with emotion for our loved ones lost and those that are still battling. I was sadly given the news whilst on the ride that Katie-Lee Spence had passed away after a very courageous fight with multiple cancers. This affected me greatly because I know she was very excited and honoured to have her name on my jersey and I was looking forward to sharing my story with her after the ride.
I thought of Katie-Lee as I did of all of your relatives, friends and the survivors. Every hill reminded me of the courage, determination and will-power required of cancer sufferers to not give up and keep battling. So many riders succumbed to the larger hills and had to dismount and walk (me included), while others dug deep and pushed with all they had to not give up. This was the hardest battle I had ever endured, but nothing compared to the batle of cancer. I stand up and applaud the survivors. Stay positive and stay strong!
I have already signed up to complete the ride again next year and I know I'll be doing more training for hills!
This ride raised 6.2 million dollars for Peter MacCallum Cancer Research. It is an Australian record for the highest fund-raising amount for a single event. Well done to everyone. There were approximately 1600 riders in the event and I know each and every one of them were very proud to be involved in this amazing event.
All my best to you and your families and good health to all.
by Ian Pratt on Sun, Oct 28, 2012 @ 3:50 PM
D for Determination and Dedication!
I got hit with a bout of gastro yesterday. Timing is everything. I had an early night and a great sleep and I'm all good today.
Weather looks pretty good on Sunday...20 degrees. Saturday is a top of 17 degrees and rain. BRING IT ON!
I'm looking forward to the ride. It will be a great atmosphere with so many people riding for such a noble cause.
I'll touch base with you again on monday to give you a wrap up of the event.
Just a reminder that there will be up to date coverage on Facebook if you're interested.
Once again, a very big thankyou for all of the donations and supportive words. Together, we have raised over $12,000 and I reckon that is fantastic! The team has reached over $120,000 for Peter MacCallum.
All the very best of health to all of you and your families.
by Ian Pratt on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 @ 9:27 PM
The team had a 60km training ride on saturday through the back country of Melton, Bacchus Marsh and Exford. The weather was great with still conditions and a very enjoyable 22 degrees. We met after the ride for a BBQ lunch, final chat and to draw the raffle ticket for the fund-raiser. Unfortunately I did not sell a prize winning ticket but thank you to all those that purchased from me.
I am very happy to announce that I achieved the $10,000 goal. A very big thank you to all who have donated for this very worthy cause. The team has raised a combined amount in the vicinity of $120,000 for Peter MacCallum. This has been an amazing effort and I applaud the team and all the sponsors that have contributed to Tungas Troops.
It was also revealed on saturday that the man who inspired the formation of Tungas Troops, John "Tunga" Wren, has been given the great news by his doctor that he is currently in remission after several years of battling this horrible disease. John had a bone marrow transplant from his brother and is in great health.
I will join thousands of other riders, crew and volunteers very early on saturday morning to commence our 100km riding journey from Albert Park Lake to Healsville. We camp in tents overnight and make our way back to Albert Park on the sunday. And the long-range weather report says rain and 17 degrees!
My good wife, Tracy, has signed up as Crew and will be directing riders along the right path and keeping things safe. She will be among a team that are first to head out and last to arrive on both Saturday and Sunday. A very big thank you to her and the hundreds of other Crew and Volunteers that will be out there this weekend.
I'll do a final post after the ride to let you know how it went. Think of me and the thousands of others who will be out there in the cold and rain this weekend, those of us who got out of our comfort zone, off our butts and chose to do something to make a difference to lives of hundreds of thousands both now and in the future.
by Ian Pratt on Sun, Oct 21, 2012 @ 4:23 PM
It's been a while since my last blog, but rest assured that I have not been resting on my laurels. Training in the gym has ramped up to twice a week and the focus is now on heavier weights to build strength for the hill climbs.
My trainer (Gabe) and I did a ride up "Heart Break" hill that I haven't tackled since my first attempt many months ago. I'm pleased to say that I was able to ride the distance without a stop. It truly is a gruelling up-hill 16km ride that tries to break your spirit. To make it even worse, it's a very narrow road with cars passing extremely close by. The downhill run gets you up to speeds of 70km/h and the cars race by in excess of 100km/h. Then you get to contend with the potholes which are quite frightening as you hit them at speed.
We have 3 weeks to go before the ride and my final request for donations has been sent out to everyone I know. To those that donated, my appreciation and thanks go out to you and your families. I am truly grateful for the amount we have raised together for this very worthy cause. For those that are reading this and are yet to donate, please click on the Donate Online Now button and join me in making a difference!
All the very best to all of you and your families.
by Ian Pratt on Thu, Oct 04, 2012 @ 11:20 PM
Tungas Troops held a fund-raiser last saturday.
The theme was a fantasy horse race and it was a great evening which was attended by 180 friends and family.
Fun was had by all and proceeds went to our fund-raising goal.
We had a ride planned for this weekend to Ballarat from Melton (70km each way) but due to weather forecast of high winds we've had to postpone until a better day.
Take care and keep safe,
by Ian Pratt on Tue, Sep 04, 2012 @ 10:55 PM
I entered into a Spin Bike Challenge on Saturday to help raise money for our team.
We did 3 x 45 minute sessions on a spin bike, and for those who are unfamiliar with these bikes, they are a modern day excercise bike (or torture device) used to create seering pain in your legs, raise your heart rate until it's pounding in your chest and extract copious amounts of sweat!
My bike worked very well on all accounts.
It was an event that I won't forget about soon and I must praise the instructors for their enthusiasm and drive. These guys and girls are amazing! i have no idea where they could get so much energy from.
I'm hoping to get some of the Tunga Troops team members together and do a ride to Ballarat from home on the Saturday and then return again on the Sunday. It's about 80km's each way and will be a great training session before the event.
Fund-raising is going well. I'm getting closer to the $7k mark. Hopefully we can get to the goal of $10K.
Take care and keep safe.
by Ian Pratt on Sun, Aug 26, 2012 @ 11:38 PM
Tracy and I took the opportunity to tour Peter Mac. We viewed the Radiation Bunker where patients receive their radiation treatment on an amazingly precise piece of equipment that can accurately give the recommended dosage at a very specific site and various angles. The radiation is high level doses of x-ray and does not use radio-active isotopes as I thought.
The tour continued onto the Labratories where we got to view a T-Cell in close up where we were able to view individual components of a cell.
Finally, we listened to a research scientist discuss some of the techniques they are currently deploying to more effectively treat cancer with a reduction in side effects.
The future looks very promising for cancer research and I am excited about future possible treatments.
All the best of health and happiness to you all!
by Ian Pratt on Thu, Aug 02, 2012 @ 5:00 AM
Three of us had a great 70km ride from Melton to Ballan yesterday morning. The air was crisp at 8am for the start but there was no wind or rain.
It's a steady uphill ride to an elevation of 350m from Bacchus Marsh to Ballan with very little opportunity to rest your legs. The countryside is beautiful as you travel past Pikes Creek Reserve.
Unfortunately I managed to pick up 3 punctures within a 3km span on the way home which slowed the trip home.
It takes 2 hours to get to ballan and only 1 hour to get home with the excellent downhill runs. I love a good downhill!
Anyway, training is ramping up again to get me to the fitness level required for the big ride in October.
Fundraising is steady but I need your help to get to the $10,000 target. Please help me achieve this goal and together we can do our bit to find a cure for cancer!
Peter Mac has opened it's doors by invitation to attend a tour of their facilities to see a radiation therapy room and I'm looking forward to seeing how our money is being spent.
Take great care and all the best to you and your families.
by Ian Pratt on Sun, Jul 22, 2012 @ 5:26 PM
The riding jerseys have been picked up and they look great. I'll get a photo off to those that sponsored me and provided names for the jersey. I will wear these jerseys with pride to honour your friends and family who have experienced cancer first hand. Thankyou once again.
The challenge to raise $10,000 is progressing with $6,095 raised to date. Please help me get to the target and ask friends and family to donate to this very worthy cause.
by Ian Pratt on Tue, Jul 17, 2012 @ 6:31 PM
I've been back on the bike in the sunshine for a 40k ride and it felt great to be back on the road again. Admittedly it was only 15 degrees at the time but the fire in my belly to achieve our goal kept me warm!
I have written to several large corporations seeking their financial support and sponsorship for the ride and have yet to hear from them. I only select those companies and brands that have an association with good health and lifestyle and I will be proud to wear their names on my riding jersey during the event.
Tunga's Troops continues to lead the way with fundraising exceeding $60,000. I'm blown away by this achievement and know that we can achieve the $100,000 goal!
I ask that you pass on the details of our challenge to your friends, family and work colleagues so that they may have the opportunity to be a part of something that will make a difference. I want our Cancer fighting Army to grow so please spread the word and bring in new recruits!
All the very best to you and your families.
by Ian Pratt on Tue, Jul 10, 2012 @ 6:52 PM
Just to let you know that through the horrible cold and wet days my bike training has continued inside with a trainer.
The team has organised a fantasy Horse race day on September 1st at a local venue. It should be a great night and I'm looking forward to it.
Cheers and keep safe all. Please pass on my details to any friends or family who you think would like to be a part of our challenge to raise money for Peter Mac!
by Ian Pratt on Sun, Jul 01, 2012 @ 10:47 PM
Congratulations and Thankyou to all my new sponsors who have donated so generously for Epic Impact Day.
Together, our fund-raising efforts have exceeded $5000! We are a Cancer fighting Army and our efforts will make a difference in the war against Cancer.
Thankyou for all the names of your family and friends that have been directly affected by cancer. I will proudly wear their names on my riding jersey and it is their names and their stories that will give me the strength through all the difficult training and on the epic 200km ride.
A very special thankyou to Michael and Chris from Hide-Away Industries for your very generous donation. You are awsome!
by Ian Pratt on Thu, Jun 14, 2012 @ 5:29 AM
I've had a 3 week break while I took the wife overseas for our 10th Wedding Anniversary. We had a great time and I've had the last 3 weeks in the good paddock grazing on some great food.
I got back on the bike on Monday and did a 25k ride to get back in the swing of it. It felt like I'd been away for months. I have alot of work to do to get back into the long rides.
I'll keep you posted as i ramp up again.
On a non-related note, my brother Justin who competed in the Tour de Cure, riding from Brisbane to Mission Beach (1800km in 11 days) came off his bike at 40km's an hour and broke his shoulder blade (scapula) and took a fair chunk of skin off his left side. This happened just outside of Townsville on the second last day of the ride. His bike is broken and so is his body, but not his spirit. He'll be back on a new bike ready for the challenge to raise money for cancer next year for Tour de Cure.
by Ian Pratt on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 @ 9:47 PM
I completed the 100km Ballarat Autumn Day (BAD) Ride yesterday.
It was a tough ride in very cold conditions but I had the support of a couple of riders with me who spurred me on through the ride.
I proved once again that I am a fantastic down-hill rider!
Definately need more practice on the uphill though. It was a great training ride and has shown me what 100k's feels like. (And just for the record - it feels pretty painful in the seat and the legs!)
Anyway, I'll soldier on and continue to do the big rides and follow up with a ride the following day in preparation for the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
Tunga's Troops have a great night lined up for Saturday, May 26th at Tabcorp Park in Melton with Mr Meaner playing music from the 70's, 80's and 90's, raffles and finger food. All money raised goes to Peter Mac and will help the team raise the $100k target.
For tickets and information call Deb Wren on 0412101398. Tickets are $35 each and I'm sure it will be a great night.
Cheers for now and keep safe.
by Ian Pratt on Sun, May 06, 2012 @ 7:49 PM
A few weeks ago I set myself a goal to ride the 75km round trip from home to Ballan. I knew from previous drives up that way that there would be some uphill challenges which is perfect training for the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
What eventuated was a 2 hour and 20 minute gruelling uphill ride into a headwind with very little flat or downhill sections.
I used techniques that a fellow rider had told me about to centre myself and control my breathing while riding uphill. I used the wisdom of my Personal Trainer (Gabe) to give it everything you've got and don't quit until you reach the peak and your reward will be the downhill ride. Unfortunately with each peak came another peak until I finally reached Ballan. It was tough, but I didn't give up. I continued to pedal and I stayed focussed and thought of how sweet it was going to be when I rode down these same hills on the ride home.
I am an excellent flat road and downhill rider. I reckon I could do it all day without raising a sweat. The real challenge comes both in riding and in life when we are presented with these uphill climbs that make us work and sweat. It is during these times that our goal and purpose is the most important. It is during these hard uphill climbs that our true character reveals itself and it is a testing time to stay focussed and achieve our goals. The same principle can surely be applied to those that battle with Cancer or any serious illness. To set a goal and to take the necessary steps to climb the hill, to not give in and to reach the peak. And if the hills keep coming.....keep climbing!
I would like to recognise those of you that are currently battling Cancer or a serious illness and I would also like to make a special mention to my friend and work colleague Martin who lost his friend to Cancer recently. My thoughts are with you and your family during this sad time.
by Ian Pratt on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 @ 6:04 PM
I joined a group of 8 riders from Tungas Troops yesterday to ride from Melton to Gisborne. It's a gruelling 75km ride (mostly uphill)and there is a section called "Heart-Break" hill, that didn't so much as break my heart but rip my lungs out of my chest and stomp on them!
Right from the start I knew it was not going to be a pleasant ride as we battled straight into head-winds as we made our way up along an unprotected 8km straight. At this point a group of unknown riders led in from the right (from Diggers Rest)at a round-about ahead of us as they made their way toward the hills. It was like watching a mob of wild brumbies (The Man from Snowy River) and some of our lead riders joined the pack of this wild bunch. It was exciting and my pace quickened.....for about 50 meters when I realised I was more Shetland Pony than Thoroughbred!
I soon found myself quite exhausted and bringing up the rear of the pack and continued the ride alone. It was a gruelling ride and I finally arrived back at the start point some 4 hours later, which was about an hour behind the group.
I received congratulations and encouragement from my team mates that it will get easier and I sure do look forward to that!
by Ian Pratt on Sun, Apr 15, 2012 @ 10:38 PM
I took my bike into Paul Beretta @ Beretta's Bike Hub in Geelong for a Bike Fit on Saturday.
Paul had me perform certain movements to check the flexibility of my body and to see if my body is symmetrical. Most of us have slightly different length limbs between our left and right side, hips that have limited movements or knees and ankles that tend to roll in or out. He asked what current aches and pains I experience with my current riding style and made appropriate adjustments to the bike to alleviate the problems.
Any slight problem our body has will be greatly magnified on a long distance ride and the ensuing pain could put you out of action.
My biggest concern was my seat. It felt very small and caused alot of pain in areas that shouldn't hurt that much. Paul told me that while the seat (saddle) was a good quality Italian seat with gel padding, it was actually designed for thin Italian men. After a quick check in the mirror and knowing that my favourite pizza is the Aussie, it was quite apparent that I was not in the category to benefit from this saddle. Paul changed the seat to a wider one (it's all about the "Sit Bones" and not the width of your behind!) and the change has been fabulous.
by Ian Pratt on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 @ 11:12 PM
I competed in a 65 kilometer Melbourne Autumn Day (MAD) Ride yesterday. There was over 1000 cyclist competing in either 40km, 65km, 120km road rides that commenced at Woodend and travelled through Carlsruhe, Kyneton, Lauriston, Upper Coliban Reservior and back to Woodend.
The first 30km's was completed in 1 hour and 10 minutes and I was feeling great........and then we got to the Upper Coliban Reservior, a 5km uphill ride that destroyed my body and crushed my soul!
Going downhill on a bike at speeds of 65km's per hour is quite thrilling but thoughts of coming off do play on your mind.
The 65km was completed in 3 hours exactly with the last 5km an absolute killer. I loved the challenge of the event and I have signed up for the Ballarat Autumn Day (BAD) Ride (May 6th) for a 50km ride.
Fundraising has hit a milestone with $3000 being donated. Thankyou all for your support.
by Ian Pratt on Sun, Apr 01, 2012 @ 10:20 PM
I took the bike out for a quick 30k ride on saturday morning. It was a crisp 11 degrees but I soon warmed up! It was great to have the extra gears to get up the big hills. I'll be back onboard for a 20k ride to the Personal Trainers for my regular one-on-one session after work today.
by Ian Pratt on Sun, Mar 25, 2012 @ 10:06 PM
Finally got the bike back from the shop so it's time to rack up some serious kilometers in training. My younger brother, Justin, will be competing in the Tour de Cure from Brisbane to Mission Beach. That's over 1600 km's in 11 days! His training regime is phenominal and I am in awe of his commitment once again. The Tour de Cure also raises money for cancer research and I wish him and the other riders the very best.
by Ian Pratt on Thu, Mar 22, 2012 @ 9:21 PM
The world mourns the death of a gentleman and true hero in Jim Stynes. He fought a very hard battle with cancer since 2009.
I note that his wife, Sam, thanks many people for their assistance with Jim during his illness and one of those health care professionals is Dr Grant Macarther from the Peter McCallum Centre.
RIP Jim and God Bless you.
by Ian Pratt on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 @ 8:42 PM
I participated in my first Team Ride on Saturday the 10th March. We had 10 riders who set off from Melton through some fairly hilly terrain past Lake Merimu and into Bacchus Marsh for a well deserved break and coffee. The trip back to Melton was a more direct route that took us up Anthony's Cutting which is a very steep incline that was absolutely gruelling for me and some of the other beginner riders. It is this type of terrain that we will be travelling through during the Ride to Conquer Cancer so it was a great experience to understand how fit and strong we will have to be to do this ride. I definately have a new found respect for mountain bike riders. The ride was approximately 42km's and was a great start to the serious training.
I've had a call from the bike shop to let me know my bike will be available this week. Very exciting stuff. I can't wait to take it for a long run.
For those that haven't donated yet, please take the time to do so now. The team and I have set achievable goals but this can only be achieved through the support of people like yourself. All the best and keep safe.
by Ian Pratt on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 @ 5:49 PM
Hi everyone. I thought I would get you up to speed with the latest developments in my 2012 Personal Challenge against Cancer.
I'm still waiting for my new frame to arrive from Taiwan, but I have been very fortunate that a work colleague and fellow bike rider has provided me with a bike to get me back on the road and training. A very big thankyou to Darryl Lett for his generous support.
I recently decided to join forces with a local group who have registered for The Ride to Conquer Cancer to support a close friend (John "Tunga" Wren) who is currently fighting cancer. The group is called "Tunga's Troops" and I am very proud to be amongst their ranks. They are currently the highest fund-raisers and have a goal to raise in excess of $100, 000 for Peter Mac. This is a monumental task and I will be doing my part to help them achieve this worthy goal.
Tungas Troops held a Quiz Night recently in the local community and raised over $9000 which was an exceptional effort. It was a great night and I believe a good time was had by the 190 in attendance. There will be more events scheduled in the upcoming months so be sure to come along if you can and show your support for the team!
by Ian Pratt on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 @ 5:55 PM
I contacted Avanti last week to find out the latest on my new bike frame arrival. It turns out that the frame is built in Taiwan and the factory had shut down for a week to celebrate Chinese New Year (Year of the Dragon).
I was born in the Year of the Dragon. This is supposed to be my year to shine and achieve!
Just another hurdle in my '2012 Personal Challenge against Cancer'. My walking regime continues and the one-on-one Personal Trainer sessions are still a hard slog but I love the challenge.
by Ian Pratt on Sun, Feb 19, 2012 @ 8:06 PM
My weigh-in yesterday had me with a total loss of 4 kilos which is great. The new eating regime and the training has me on track to be at my peak for the ride in October.
No news on the bike as yet, so I must continue with alternate training for now.
I'm on Facebook now so you can follow any blogs from there.
by Ian Pratt on Mon, Feb 06, 2012 @ 4:22 PM
I would like to thank everyone who has made a donation so far. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and it is your support that will give me the courage to train harder and longer as I lead up to The Ride to Conquer Cancer!
I have made the minimum requirement to compete in this challenge and I am now half way into my current goal of $5000!
I have alot of campaigning ahead of me as I build our army to join us in the fight against Cancer. Surrender is not an option!
Please pass on my weblink to your family, work colleagues and friends so that our cancer-fighting army can grow!
by Ian Pratt on Thu, Feb 02, 2012 @ 7:33 PM
I had my second training session with Gabe. It was a great session that commenced with some cardio and moved into weight training. Attempted some sit-ups but the round belly I'm carrying is a huge obstacle. Gabe introduced a Swiss Ball into the excercise which was great. It works the same muscles with a bit of co-ordination as well.
I'm still waiting for the bike to be repaired, so regular walks are still part of my fitness regime. Weight is reducing with a total of 2.9 kg's lost so far.
by Ian Pratt on Wed, Feb 01, 2012 @ 4:21 PM
Try to contain your enthusiasm on your first weights work-out if you haven't done it for a while. The pain in your muscles on day 2 is exponentially greater than day 1. You'll find that raising and bending your arm high enough to eat or drink is quite a challenge!
Hopefully I'll be fully functioning for my second weights session next Monday.
by Ian Pratt on Wed, Jan 25, 2012 @ 2:35 AM
Met my PT (Gabe Nuspan) last night for my first one on one session.
Had an excellent work out and he eased me through each excercise to assess my fitness level.
I probably had more pain on the post work-out stretching than I did during the excercise.
I woke through the night with alot of pain through my triceps and shoulder blades. It's that dull ache pain that feels good because you know you've gotta go through it to evolve into something better than you are.
Thanks Gabe. I enjoyed the workout and I look forward to the journey to prepare for the ride against cancer!
by Ian Pratt on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 @ 4:20 PM
I had my bike serviced last week to ensure it's ready for the hours of training that I'll be putting in.
The mechanic found a hairline crack in the carbon fibre frame. The manufacturer (Avanti) have agreed to upgrade the frame with a better model, but I have to wait a couple of weeks until the frame arrives in country.
I have been putting in fast paced walks to improve my fitness and tonight is a one hour one-on-one session with a personal trainer.
I'm preparing for the pain!
by Ian Pratt on Sun, Jan 22, 2012 @ 8:22 PM