Hi my name is Maree Stephenson and this is ‘Banjo’ my fat tyre bicycle. The 10 desert challenge is a 140day fundraising event for Beyond Blue. It all starts 1st May. We hope to raise over $10,000 to help people in Australia achieve their best mental health. Mental health is a priority for most folk and especially as we all learn to live with the impact of COVID.
You may wonder what life looks like for us 3 weeks before we kick off. Today’s a typical day. Banjo’s coping with my learning how to bleed his hydraulic brakes. Poor darling. I had mineral oil from pillar to post yesterday so we’re off to 99bikes this morning for some tips. I’m a familiar face in the workshop these days as I continue to get my head around basic bike mechanics. The guys and gals are great and super helpful. It’ll be pretty remote between desert towns so I’m it when it goes pair shaped. Daily maintenance is the key to looking after Banjo so he can look after me. It’s a daunting thought but a huge part of the challenge.
It’s been in full on prep mode since October. Most days have been very overwhelming – physically, mentally, emotionally. However support from family and sponsors keeps me focused and on track during the tricky times. Reaching out for sponsorship has been a new and confronting experience. It’s also energising feeling part of a bigger team supporting the cause. Sponsors so far include Overboard, Anaconda, The Mountain Biker, Chemist Warehouse Sandgate, Priceline Sandgate, Liquid Containment, Woolworths Sandgate, Costco North Lakes, Lava Printing, Platinum Phone Repair, Laurels Beauty Salon, Fiona Green Podiatry, Market Square Meats, Ironwood Cottage Organics and Whole foods and Steve Rigby’s Family Chiropractic.
I’ve been up since 5am this morning. The spare room is now in a state of organised chaos. I’m putting together the supply parcels to top up on food and other essentials on route. These parcels will be pre-posted to Birdsville, Marla, Wiluna, Halls Creek and Alice Springs. The parcels are addressed to myself and held at the post offices for up to 30days. So as you can see it’s far from glamorous this end. Thanks to Moreton Daily for the article today to kickstart the countdown to the 1st May. It’s full steam ahead each day and I look forward to keeping you posted how the last stretch looks ‘til then.