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Sam Berry + Nicholas Phillips avatar
Sam Berry + Nicholas Phillips

Nicholas and Sam's Cycle for a Cure - Perth to Melbourne (The Hard Way!)

We are riding bicycles from Perth to Melbourne for SpinalCure because We can!

68 %
$3,425.19
raised of $5,000 target
by 39 supporters
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SpinalCure

We fund medical research to find a cure for spinal cord injuries.

Charity Registration No. ABN: 66 064 327 448

Story

Welcome to the Official Fundraising Page for: Cycle for a Cure – Perth to Melbourne


Every year in Australia, 400 people will experience a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), potentially facing life in a wheelchair as a result. Sam Berry was nearly one of these people. In 2009 a fit, young Sam was involved in a major bicycle accident that left him with 5 broken vertebrae and just a “paper-widths” distance between full recovery and never being able to walk again. 


Thankfully for Sam, it was the former and he now wants to do something for those who weren’t as fortunate as he. With his good mate and parter-in-crime Nicholas, the two have decided to cycle the long and arduous 3,600 km from Perth to Melbourne to raise funds for SpinalCure Australia, an organisation who funds vital research into finding a cure for spinal cord injury.  

 

Awesomely, leading scientists here and around the world are working towards a cure for SCI, with major progress being made in recent years. The question of a cure is now not “if” but “when”, and SpinalCure Australia helps these leading medical and scientific brains continue their good work.

 

You can use this page to donate to this worth cause, and follow the boys as they train for the big trip, and eventually hit the road on their bikes. Be sure to check in for (ir)regular updates from the field and don’t forget to tell your friends and loved ones!


Follow the journey on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/cycle4acure

Keep up with us on Twitter - @Cycle4Spinal

Find out more about SpinalCure Australia - www.spinalcure.org

 

For more insight into the lives and minds of Nick and Sam, check out their Q&A below:    

 

Q. What prompted you to choose Spinal Cure Australia (SCA)?


A. Sam – A bicycle crash in December 2009 when I was 16 left me with 5 broken vertebrae in my back (T5 –T9). Over the last couple of years I’ve realised how lucky I was. I feel now is the time to give something back. I chose SCA because their sole aim is to find a cure for Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI’s). I also love the fact that it’s Australian based.

 A. Nick – It was Sam’s idea to support Spinal Cure Australia. His experience with spinal cord injury, coupled with his history of competitive cycling made this charity a logical choice for him, and me by-proxy.

 

Q. Have you done things similar to this in the past?


A. Sam – Yes. I’ve done a number of trips ranging from 2 days to 2 weeks in the bush. Last year I hiked across Scotland in the middle of winter, this year I did a 1100km cycle through the South West of W.A Hiked the Stirling range, swam the HBF Rottnest Channel Swim in a team of 4. I am always looking for the next adventure. The next one will be a 6-week cycle around New Zealand’s, South Island. Most of which will hopefully be in the mountains.

A. Nick — I’ve lived a pretty adventurous life to date. I lived in the Canadian Rockies for over a year where I was quite active in the outdoors. I’ve run quarter and half marathons, I was on the Stirling Range hike with Sam, and I have attempted two (and succeeded in one) large cycle tours before this, but nothing of the Perth-to-Melbourne calibre. I enjoy a physical challenge and I’m looking forwards to this adventure with hungry legs.


Q. How long will the ride take?


A. Sam – Ages! 3600 kms is a bloody long way. I estimate the ride to take me and Nick 5 weeks. On a previous 12-day trip I was cycling between 100 and 120 kms per day, which was comfortable.


Q. Which towns do you plan to stop at along the way?


A.  Sam – As many as possible. At the moment the route to Norseman (the start of the Nullarbor road for us) is not set in stone. There are 2 or 3 options and each route takes us a totally different direction. After Norseman we aim to stay as close to the coast as possible, even though it will be winter. The more towns we stop in the less food and water we will need to carry on each leg of the journey. Also I’m sure we will need a few intermittent days off the bike so a day around town will no doubt be a welcome change.

A. Nick – I’m all for as straight a line as possible, as far as Port Augusta. I’ve seen a little of the country in-between over the years. But, we need to eat, drink and sleep as much possible, so expect us. We’d love to collect some supporters and sympathy riders for stints along the way. It’s a free road, so come join us! After we reach the Eastern states I’m excited to start throwing some slight bends and turns into the trip and explore a little of the South and South-East coast which I’ve not seen. 


Q. How did this idea start?


A. Nick – We were talking adventurous after a rock-climbing session one day and the idea popped up. We’re both ‘yes men’ and we rarely back down from nutty ideas like this so I asked Sam to shake on it and he did without hesitating. Cycle touring is something that I’ve been interested in for a little over a year now. It’s a fantastic way to see the countryside, and it’s a great physical challenge that leaves you feeling accomplished at the end of the journey.

 

If I can wax philosophical about this trip a little:  Cycle touring is one great way to test the mind, body and spirit and gauge how we are doing at this ‘life thing’. The mental, physical and spiritual character, which develops in the formative years, within the safety of nurturing and supportive social environments, should be tested against the world without at some point. In stepping out of our comfort zone and challenging ourselves, we can measure our makeup, see and take pleasure in where we are well constituted, and observe where we can use more work.

 

Q. What will be the most treasured item you pack?


A. Sam – My iPod. There will be a few days that will seem endless, particularly if it’s raining and windy. The trusty iPod will get me through.

Q. Nick – I think probably a good book. Or my camera if I can get my DSLR fixed in time. An iPod sounds like a good idea though… maybe I’ll borrow Sam’s. Toilet paper!

 

Q. What do you think the hardest part of the trip will be?


A. Nick – If we end up with a head wind for any considerable portion of the journey. Riding into a strong head wind for any great length of time will crush your spirit. It can mean ten’s of kilometres lost (or gained if it’s behind you). Riding into a head wind feels like riding through jelly, it sucks!

 

Q. What part of the journey are you looking forward to the most?


A. Sam - There are a couple of different answers here: First of all, I am really excited to be out there, a tiny dot on a huge landscape with a good mate, pulling all my stuff behind me. Secondly, I think it will be a pretty crazy experience. Cycling across a whole continent is not something I reckon many people have done in the past so I think that’s pretty cool.

A. Nick – That’s a hard one. Probably: The pleasure of eating up the kilometres in the moment, being out in the hinterlands beside a good mate who will share the whole experience, sleeping and waking with the sun. The whole trip, the good and the bad, it all amounts to something important, a life fully lived. 

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Photos

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  • Article in the West Australian's West Weekend
  • Satellite image of the area Sam is currently riding through (added 9/7/15) +5

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