$500 Raised So Far

Thanks to Jeff D of Canberra – and everyone else who has donated so far – I have now reached the $500 mark in donations for the Steven Walter Foundation. There is still quite a ways to go to reach the minimum amount of $2,500 but I have very confidence the goal can be acheived.

If you would like to make a donation to the “Answers for Kids Cancer” program you can do so at my Everyday Hero Fundraising Page. Donations above $2 are tax deductible for Australians.

A test on a slow speed network

Sitting in a little cafe at the moment and have noticed I am not getting 3g access on my iPhone. So this is a quick post with a bit of text to see how long it will take to upload and if it is any good. As an example I tried browsing the Borders books website and it took an atrociously long time to load. Was it just the site or is the non 3g just not cutting the mustard.

This post will be deleted, maybe.

edit: later in the evening I updated this post. The transfer over the slow wire seemed to go good enough, but there are some pretty high doubts as to posting images over a similar link. I’ll leave these posts instead of deleting as originally stated as other iPhone WordPress bloggers might find the information of some use (don’t be scared to leave a comment if you do).

p.s. I’ll try to keep these testing posts to a minimum.

The iPhone Wins

Well at the moment this post is coming to you from my new iPhone. That’s right the decision has been made, helped in no small part by the battery dying on my old Samsung mobile.

So this is my first post via the WordPress app for the iPhone and I thought I would post an exciting picture of the new front tyre I had installed last week.

The tyre has relevance as it is a Metzler Marathon ME880 and with a bit of luck it should last until October and make the trip around Australia without needing a change.

First iPhone post, signing out.

edit: Ok so that wasn’t too painless. The typing speed is reasonably fast and I am now able to edit the post after the fact. Unfortunatly the image below which I took with my iPhone is too large, I’ll have to see if there is some kind of thumbnail function. Also don’t seem to have the ability to add meta tags. Still, for blogging on the road I think this should still do quite nicely and the more practice I have the better it should get.

Road Star front wheel with new rubber

The Serious Side to Ride Around Australia

Sienna Hoffmann
Sienna Hoffmann

I keep saying what a great adventure and experience the Ride Around Australia trip is going to be, but of course there is a serious side to why we’re doing this.

Neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive disease, is responsible for around 15% of cancer related deaths in children.  Sienna Hoffmann was diagnosed with this cancer in March 2008 and despite intense treatments she relapsed twice. According to an article at the Sydney Morning Herald published in January 2010 doctors have given Sienna less than six months to live.

Sadly, the Steven Walter Foundation advises that Sienna has since passed away after the article was published. It’s stories like Sienna’s that make the Steven Walter Foundation even more determined towards achieving the goal of curing 100% of children with cancer.  It also brings home to me the seriousness behind what we are are doing and how important it is to be raising money towards the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia (CCIA). I only hope I have the strength to carry the weight of these small and beautiful angels with me around Australia on my motorbike.

A gala dinner will be held at the Kirribilli Club on March 18 2010 to raise awareness and funding for neuroblastoma with all proceeds going to the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia.  Contact details are available at the bottom of the SMH article.

Latest Update from the Steven Walter Foundation

Steven Walter Foundation LogoI came home today to find a big update from the Steven Walter Foundation waiting in the mailbox.  I couldn’t wait to get it open and was surprised by the amount of work that has happened in the last month!  There was quite a bit of information but to hit on the highlights:

  • The itinerary has changed with a start in Tenterfield instead of Ballina.  This is mainly due to that weekend in October being school holidays and accommodation being difficult to source – not to mention expensive – in Ballina.
  • We now have accomodation costs to approve from Bundaberg around to Perth (rest to come soon).  I was pleased to find the amounts aren’t as bad as I was expecting with the average overnight stay around $100 although there is a couple $200 nights in some of the remoter areas.
  • There are 77 people going on the ride – a little over 50 bikes and the rest pillions.
  • Fuel and rest stops are mapped out at a maximum 200km through the entire trip.  With such long distances regular breaks to stretch and rehydrate will be of the utmost importance

This is all really starting to come together and I can’t believe how excited I’m getting about the trip, it’s going to be such an adventure.  I would also like to say a HUGE thank you to Allan McGuirk and Susan Walter of the Steven Walter Foundation for the unbelievable amount of effort they are going through in organising this trip.  Truly a herculean effort!

Dyno Run

Dyno ResultYesterday a local bike garage here in Canberra had a promotional dyno day.  For $30 you had your bike run up on the dyno to see how much horsepower it’s putting out and also to get an air fuel ratio (AFR) reading.  After the rejetting work I did on my Road Star’s 42mm Flatslide at Christmas I was very keen to see how the bike was handling.  I’m reasonably happy with the attached result, it’s showing the bike isn’t overly rich (although could be a tad better in the midrange) and at 71hp it was putting out more power than I thought it would. 

So why is this important?  Well if I was running too rich it would really add up during the Around Australia trip because 14,000 kilometres is a lot of fuel to run through the bike.  Before Christmas the bike felt like it was running fine but I was getting only 13 kilometres to the litre (30mpg) – based on that I was looking at around $1,507 in fuel allowing for a trip average of $1.40 per litre @ 1076 litres.  After rejetting at Christmas I have since gotten 19 kilometres to the litre (45mpg) – that works out to be around $1,031 @ 736litres.  A saving of almost $500!

The attached dyno run suggests I could potentially gain just a bit better fuel economy still, so in the coming months I’ll put some thoughts into tweaking the carb further.  For the Road Star readers my 71hp was obtained with the following mods:

  • 1602cc engine
  • Kuryakyn Hypercharger
  • 42mm Flatslide carb
  • Speedstar ported Manifold
  • Dyna 3000 ignition
  • Bub’s Jug Huggers exhaust

Oh and for bragging rights I might just mention I did 1hp better than a Harley Davidson Rocker, but was pipped at less than .5hp by a Anniversary Edition Harley Davidson Road King.

Techonology Conundrum – More

It seems the support for blogging tool functionality on an iPhone is a lot stronger than I would have thought (seeing as I am a bit new to this and all).

I’ve found there are various tools available from the Apple App Store to extend blogging functionality to an iPhone – be it the ability of posting to a blog or moderating comments in a blog, such as what this WordPress On The Go article advises.  What particularly interests me about the article is the talk of blogging photos from an iPhone.  I would find that ability very useful as taking lots of photos from the fantastic and varied landscapes Australia has to offer and posting them to this blog is incredibly appealing.

At this stage I would say the balance of my Technology Conundrum battle is:
iphone 2 – netbook 0

February 15 is International Childhood Cancer Day

Gold Ribbon for Children's Cancer AwarenessFebruary 15 is International Childhood Cancer Day.  The Children’s Cancer Institute Australia (CCIA) have announced their partnership with David Jones to sell Gold satin ribbons and lapel pins throughout February with net proceeds to go to the CCIA.

 David Jones, a long time supporter of CCIA will be the exclusive department store retailer for Gold Ribbon Month selling ribbons and pins throughout David Jones stores in February.

Professor Michelle Haber AM, Executive Director of CCIA said CCIA’s vision to save the lives of all children with cancer and eliminate their suffering can only be achieved with support from the community.

“While enormous advances in medical research have been made over the past 50 years, cancer is still the biggest cause of death from disease in children,” Professor Haber said.

IF you are unable to make it down to your local David Jones and you would like to support this cause, please consider a donation at my Everyday Hero site which goes to the Answers for Kids Cancer Program, the proceeds are directed to the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia.

Support While on the Road

Some great news recently as we receive more information from the Steven Walter Foundation.  In our forum where participants of the ride can discuss ideas for the upcoming trip someone asked about support vehicles. This is what Allan from SWF had to say:

At this point we have five support vehicles and this should not change we hope. Four of the vehicles will be able to transport at least one bike and a passenger, each vehicle will have a rider on board with gear to ride if necessary.

We have at this stage – two mechanics, one doctor, and one paramedic (they are just along because they want to be involved) the others are all experienced at something (we hope). We will have one vehicle set up with generator (thanks to Honda) and a compressor and some general bits and pieces including a comprehensive tool kit. We will also look at taking some second hand tyres to fit most bikes just in case, if you have a one off that might present a problem.

 Now this is great news and has certainly gone a good way to helping ease my understanding wife’s concerns about being on the road for so long.  To know there is help in front, in the middle and from behind takes the weight off my own mind as well.

Fundraising – Doesn’t Have to be a Chore

I’ve had limited fundraising experience but did raise over $1500 a couple of years ago for Shave 4 a Cure by, you guessed it, shaving my head. You don’t have to go to the extent of shaving your head to raise money (but hey, don’t leave it off the table) and it can start with the most basic things:

  • Write up a nice email about the cause and send it out to work, friends and family – be sure to include information on how you will collect money.
  • At the end of the email add that if people sent the emails to other people it would help.
  • If you have a nice motorbike (say a Yamaha Road Star?) then run a raffle. The prize, a loop of a local scenic area.
  • Don’t have a bike you think would be a drawcard, how about a mate with a nice car to take a lucky someone for a spin.
  • Put out a challenge at work, you will if you can raise a minimum amount of money like $100/$500/$1000.
  • Have a morning tea and ask for a simple gold coin donation.
  • If you have a hobby, like woodturning or glass bead making, have a “silent auction” for your creations with the proceeds going to your cause.
  • Clear out that back room you have always been meaning to – lets face it you don’t need all that stuff – and either have a garage sale or put stuff on eBay and donate a portion (or all?) of the proceeds to you cause.
  • If you have a Trade (carpentry, plumbing, etc), auction your services for a job and donate a portion (or all?) of the profit.

Every one of those things will generate a small and ongoing amount of interest, especially if you make it clear what you are doing it for. Start now, take it slow and steady and you will be surprised how the small amounts begin to add up to something big!