When Rita bought a flash new Eddy Merckx bike for my 40th birthday in 2003 I never imagined how much it would change my life.
At the time I was riding a lot but then, in 2004, I set myself a challenge to ride from Kalgoorlie to Perth in under 24 hours. Except for my best mate Russell, none of my fellow riders thought I could do it. A lot said that I’d do the ride in a single effort but none thought I’d be able to do it in less than 24 hours.
So, at 12 noon on March 5 2006, Russell, myself and John Harmsen set off from Hannan Street Kalgoorlie. 19 hours 6 minutes later we arrived at the Paddy Hannah statue in Burswood. We’d done it, with hours to spare.
That ride gave me a direct experience of my power and determination – an experience that has continued to serve me to this day. Up to that point I’d been married – enslaved even – to my business. After the ride I felt a sense of freedom and possibility about my life that I’d never experienced before. 12 months later my business was sold and I’d set off on a new adventure that took me back to university full time.
That event will always be a defining moment in my life. And it was this bike that carried me through the journey. For that, I’m grateful.