1000ks 4 Kids done and dusted – a life changing experience

After completing the 2019 Camp Quality 1,000 Ks 4 Kids ride, Danny Mortensen shares his life changing experience with us:

Who would have thunk that 58 average people could do something so incredible. I certainly doubted myself during the lead-up training and almost pulled out, but I didn’t. I also doubted myself during the ride. Waking up every morning with sore legs and a sore bottom but still getting on that bike and riding was a challenge. It’s incredible what your body can do. It was of course for the kids.

I did it! We did it! As much as some of us faced our personal challenges, it pales into insignificance when compared to the struggle a single family must endure when a child in that family has cancer. We did it for ourselves, we did it for each other, but most importantly we did it for the kids.

When someone comes up to me and says ‘How was the ride?’, it is very difficult to answer. Great! Doesn’t quite sum it up at all.

It was a very spiritual experience in that it made you dig deep searching for mental and physical strength. Not being a morning person getting up at 6am every morning was a challenge. I may just have now reset my body clock to become one 😳 We’ll see how that pans out.

I feel like I’ve been away on a spiritual retreat with a bunch of crazy but beautiful people. I may just try and convert you to come and join our ‘cult’.

It was a pleasure riding with everyone and making many new BFFs. What an awesome, fun and friendly bunch of people. Being around 80ish outstanding people was very humbling. Everyone was there for their own reasons, but ultimately to raised money for the families with kids that have cancer.

All I did was ride a bike. It is hard to fathom the work that goes into the lead up to such an event. Michael and Karen who have organised the rides for the past 9 years dedicate hours and hours of their own time planning these events. I take my hat off to them and their helpers. They also manage the ride and ensure we are all safe while on and off the road.

There are many magical moments to reflect upon, but the one that will always stick in my mind is Dungay school. My first puppet show. The school was delightful. The children so excited and engaged. I had tears in my eyes when they gave us all the Dungay welcome clap.

The puppeteers were amazing. They taught the kids:

  • you can’t catch cancer from someone else
  • cancer can be cured with chemotherapy
  • chemotherapy has side effects that go away once the treatment stops
  • be friends with cancer sufferers and help them.

Bushfires ravaged the countryside around Dorrigo closing the road. We had to miss a day of riding. A disappointment to many who signed up for the elevation and the challenge this section represented, but possibly a blessing in disguise for my tired old legs, but my heart goes out to those who lost their homes.

Another eye opener was seeing how dry the countryside is along the way. The drought has taken its toll. Dry creek beds and animals scratching at the dirt for any morsel. The locals at Guyra commented that they are within months of losing everything if they don’t get any rain, then proceeded to donate money to help our cause. They’re next level 👍

While we ride we don’t realise the amount of work that goes on to keep us safe. Every now and again you catch a snippet of chatter on a captains radio, but it never reveals the true nature of what is happening behind and around you. 90% of drivers are awesome and supportive, the rest are, well, let’s say not so much. Those 10% make it a challenge for the support crew.

The support crew who took great care of our bags, bikes and bodies. Doctors, mechanics, drivers, massage therapists, fun therapists, cooks, media, etc. What a team!!

This is a life changing experience. It put’s many things in perspective. What is really important to you in life?

  • Don’t stress the small stuff.
  • Be kind to everyone and everything.
  • Surround yourself with good people.

I want to also thank CSA for their support in sponsorship, and allowing Darren McGuinness, Peter Youman and I the time off.

It’s not just any ordinary bike ride. 🚴

How was my ride? It was life changing.

CSA encourages everyone to donate generously – https://www.campquality.org.au/events/1000ks-4-kids-newcastle