Gra Nomad Wanderings

Saturday, October 29, 2005

G is for GROWTH

Well, my brother would say G is for GOLF and the other brother would say G is for GOD and some of think that G stands for GREY NOMADS! When the inflatable kayak goes under the waves (see picture) G stands for GLUG GLUG!!
Seriously, G stands for GOALS and GROWTH. Here is what GROWTH stands for.

GOAL - what do you want to achieve?

REALITY - what's happening now?

OPTIONS - What could you do?

WILL - What will you do?

TACTICS - How and when will you do it?

HABITS - How will you sustain your success?

Thanks to Mandy O'Bree for her coaching tips. Too often we want to GROW but we're not sure what to do next. So, we stay stagnant. If you want to grow, then set goals. That's the way to go. And Jeremy always reckons.... if you want to really commit to something, you have to share it with a "significant other".

Are you into GROWTH? Or just kayaking?

F is for FUN

While in Sydney we had a ton of fun! We rode in the Sydney Spring Cycle (along with another 7,500 cyclists.) I actually rode 80 km (50 miles) that day with Debbie on the back of the Burley Duet tandem. We also saw The Producers at the Lyric Theatre, starring Tom Burlinson, Reg Livermore and Bert Newton. We went to a production of Cabaret put on by Rockdale theatre group. It was excellent! We ate gelato in Newtown. We watched NSW play SA in a Pura Cup match at the SCG. (I'm a cricket tragic!) We shopped at Paddy's Markets!
We went to the pub after church in North Sydney on Sunday night. We caught up with Kelvin and Toni Castlehow from Albany, WA. He even cycled with us in the Spring Cycle, riding in the SKM colours!! I rode with Kel from Perth to Adelaide in 2003.
Yes, while in Sydney, we had a lot of fun. We did heaps of fun things. Even my son Jeremy is into FUN - he just loves to make people laugh. Now that'd be great if you could do that for a living eh?

Friday, October 28, 2005


It's important for me that I keep learning. It's just great to keep discovering, to keep stretching yourself. I strongly believe we should continue to grow (and I don't mean just getting fatter!)
Get out of your comfort zone. Learn to ride a bike, get up on stage, sing in public (like Bill did), join Toastmasters, arrange a party or a holiday which is beyond what you've organised before. Maybe you might learn a new language. (I'm gonna give Spanish a go!) Maybe for you it's losing a bunch of kgs or pounds. Next year for me, I'll be visiting a number of countries I've not been to before.
Yes, D is for Discovery. Get into something.... lash out!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

E is for EARLY

As I pen this, I'm looking out the window of Debbie & Brendan's apartment (daughter & son-in-law). I'm right in the city of Sydney - on the 4th floor. It's 5 am. It's beautiful. The city is just waking up.
If there's a game of cricket or tennis - I love to be early. If there's a plane or train to catch - I love to be early.
I love to take photos of sunrises.
Today I'm riding in the Sydney Spring Cycle. It's a 50 km ride from North Sydney to the Olympic Stadium. We have to be at the start at 7 am. (Geoff's idea!) We are picking up Kelvin Castlehow at 6:30 am. Which means we must leave here at 6:15 am. Kel's a BFB mate I cycled across Aust with in 2003. It's great that he's riding today. We've got him a helmet, a drink bottle, a company bike jersey and a bike! Hope he's got the rest. I'm riding the Burley Duet with daughter Deb. Fay gets to sleep in & then go shopping with Toni (Kel's wife).All 3 of my kids are more like Fay - but as for me - I like to be early. Are you more like me or more like Fay?

PS Who said you've gotta do this alphabetically? What do you think D should stand for?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

C is for Cycling

Yes, I am passionate about CYCLING. (You guessed this one Bruce!)
I have a precious roadbike (Mongoose), a couple of mountain bikes (Giant and Trek), a Burley Duet tandem and a unicycle! I’m also looking after bikes owned by Chenz and Swainy! So, by the time you throw in Fay’s bikes and the Bike Friday Two’sDay we’re buying next year, you can see we need a fair bit of garage space reserved for cycles.
I love cycling as it gives me physical exercise. It allows me to get from my place to a friend’s and it’s also a sport. I regularly ride with Bruce, Liz and a bunch of locals who are either retired or can make themselves available for a couple of hours or more on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I try and ride 100 km each week to help keep myself fit. I cycled from Perth to Sydney (all 4,309 km) in 2003. From WEST to EAST of Australia.
Yes, I believe you need to be passionate about something. For me, cycling is one of those things. What are you passionate about?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

B is for Balance

I believe it’s important to have balance in your life. You need to ensure your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual areas are being looked after.
Physically - I try to cycle 100 km each week. Tennis has featured about 4 times in the last week! Poor knees! Mentally, well, I’m organising O/S 06 which is taking quite a bit of planning. Reading is an important aspect of mental fitness. And crossword puzzles. Emotionally it’s important to have people you can share problems with. And you need to be able to chat with your partner about issues rather than letting them just brood and fester. (Bad combination eh?) And spiritually… well, for me it’s attending church regularly and hopefully a small group and/or a prayer meeting. Yes, it’s important to feed all areas to get a balance. Which areas do you find the most difficult? (I doubt I’ll have anyone game enough to chat with me on this issue!) Guess's mental health week this week. If you get the balance wrong, it can lead to physical and/or mental ill health.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Thought I’d start a series of these… to share what I stand for…. What’s important to me. Maybe you can think ahead and work out what your B and your C stand for.

A is for attitude! You’ve just gotta have a positive attitude to life. With one of those, you can tackle heaps. Never say die! Never give up! Be positive. And remember…have a crack at something a bit different. Try stepping outside your comfort zone. Remember, when people look at you, they’re reading your attitude. Even when you have a bad day!

Thinking today of Anne in Vic who is combating breast cancer by alternative methods. Good onya Anne and Alan. (Hey, they’ve got a powerful Christian faith too!) And Ron in Kansas who’s losing heaps of weight. He was BIG! I’m scared by the time I get over there I mightn’t recognise him! He’s so far lost about 40 pounds! I think that’s 20 odd kg. Still more to go he reckons.
The photo is of Rick (captain), who's battled cancer, and John Ansell, a blind mate of mine... with heaps of attitude. And a great faith.
Yes, A is for attitude.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

O/S 06

Guess I'd better let you know... we've got another trip planned! Next year we are planning to head to South America, North America, Europe (in particular Ireland and Greece), and then call in at Beijing before arriving home... maybe in Dec. It'll be a long trip.
Are there any places you'd really recommend we try and fit in?
We will stay with Servas ( folk as we travel about. It's a great organisation which we've belonged to for more than 30 years. We've had people stay with us and we've stayed with people in various countries. Why, as I'm posting this we have Colin and Jeanette from Mt Gambier, SA staying with us. We've stayed with them a couple of times, so it's great that they've made their way out to Dubbo... eventually. Maybe next post I'll tell you about the bike we are planning on purchasing over in North America!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Don’t Come Monday – BFB 3 Oct

The last day is always a bit sad as we all know we won’t see most of the team for another 12 months. For me… well, this could be my swan song.
The knees have held up remarkably well. Thanks Lord. Even managed 80 kph down the big hill on the final day. My highest speed of the trip. That’s actually pretty quick for an old guy like me.
The hospitality at Blackheath Anglican Church was great (as ever!) Fay drove across from Dubbo (a bit over 3 hours’ drive) to collect me and the bike and the gear. We then stayed the night at Amani Cottage - Bed and Breakfast, with Bill and Rosemary Chapple. I’ve just ridden with 5 of their grandkids on the ride. Good kids! Even Big Jon! Bill and Rosemary have a delightful spot near Govett’s Leap at Blackheath. The view of the Blue Mountains from our top window was awesome! And their garden is spectacular.
So today, Monday, is a public holiday in NSW. It is a rest day for me and the other 50 odd cyclists who participated in this 1,000 km ride over 9 days. We expect to collectively raise between $85,000 and 100,000 for Uganda and Kenya. Funds will be used to develop reading materials and programs and also assist them in dealing with HIV/AIDS. Yes, I’ve still got quite a bit of sponsorship money to come in, but I was encouraged when my mate Bev phoned up this afternoon to assure me of his sponsorship. Thanks mate. If you'd like to sponsor me, send me an email - and we'll arrange something.
A great memorable ride for me. Thanks Lord. Thanks riders and support crew. Thanks Jim (the organiser.) Now I can get some sleep. I'll get you some photos shortly.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Bike for Bibles – 1 Oct – Molong to Bathurst

Another great day in the saddle. I can say that now, but the last 15 km were pretty tough for me. Even my daughter Deb was feeling the pinch at the finish. Would you believe some of the clowns (cyclists I mean) decided to ride round Mt Panorama racing car circuit at Bathurst at the end of the ride.
On our way near Newbridge, we went down a mega hill. It was cool! It was a bit hairy! But it was fun. I was riding just behind daughter Deb and we both clocked 74 kph. Craig did 79 and the two tandems did 82 and 84. Tim managed 88 – the highest speed of any of the riders. This would not surprise his father, Gordon.
In Bathurst we were treated really well. We were comfortably accommodated and extremely well fed by the folk from Bathurst Baptist Church. Thanks Garry and Kim and team. They have a beautiful facility there. We were taken by local folk to their homes for showers. I scored Rachel, Sarah and Eloise’s place. Adrian was my taxi driver. Cool pad guys! Thanks for the HUGE shower/bath. Good to see young ladies training to be teachers of tomorrow’s kids. Keep up the good work. And don’t forget to get that bike out of the kitchen and have a ride on it!
One day to go! Woopee!