Rhiannon Peterson

I have committed to a charity bike ride for Hands Across The Water where in March/April next year I will be riding 500kms over 5 days in soaring temperatures and even worse humidity in Thailand. I am not a cyclist by any stretch of the imagination, in fact, even though I have done this ride for the last two years running, I still struggle to take one hand off the handlebars just to grab my water bottle!

During "training" for my last ride in April 2019 (I use the term "training" lightly) I was bitten on the head by a wasp and looked like I started growing a twin sister on my forehead for a few days, was narrowly missed by turning cars twice and fell off the bike (I blame the cars for this one), fell off the bike at traffic lights because I was too uncoordinated to pull my foot out of the pedal straps, crashed into my front gate, been chased down my driveway by cows (I live on a rural property) and so many more idiotic things. My list of incidents and injuries go on and on and I have some great bruises to show for it...and plenty of laughs in hindsight!

I am getting a little better with bearing the Thailand heat and humidity. The first year I rode I was up vomiting all night after the first day, but the human body is amazing and I bounced back and successfully completed the ride. I prepared a bit better for my second ride by "training" more and knew I was physically capable as I'd already done it the year before, but what I wasn't ready for was the hotter temperatures and gravel/rocky roads. Temperatures soured over 45 degrees, humidity reached 90% and there were long stretches akin to mountain bike trails. I am petrified of riding on uneven and rocky surfaces and my body and bike were being thrown around like a rag doll. How I came away unscathed without falling off is still a mystery. Despite all the hurdles and me telling myself I wouldn't put myself through it again, I knew from the moment I rode into that orphanage that I was definitely signing up to do it all again in 2020. And how could I not! Seeing how happy those kids were to see us was something I will never forget for the rest of my life. Even writing this gives me goose bumps and a lump in my throat.

As part of committing to the ride, all riders must raise a minimum of $5000 and this is where I am seeking your help for a small donation. Unlike a lot of charities where a significant proportion of donations are absorbed by "admin" fees, 100% of the funds donated are spent on housing and educating the kids. Hands Across The Water is a registered charity in Australia so any amount you choose to donate is 100% tax deductible. The kids I am riding for have been rescued from drugs, sex slavery, trafficking and other atrocities I don't want to think about. If you would like to help, it would be greatly appreciated.

Rhiannon Peterson