Hats off to Joel Knott - PK Cycle

January 3, 2016

 

Hi Team TRG,

A massive THANK-YOU for all your support of the PK Cycle. The support of the squad was been overwhelming and I am very grateful. It really does show the strength of the group. 

All the planning and training ensured that there were no major issues on the ride. The support team of Emily and Rod went above and beyond, so that I was able to operate at my best every day. They were a huge part of the ride. The team was responsible for loading the van in the mornings, preparing my breakfast and meals for the day, driving at 25 km/hr for 7-9 hours each day, taking photos and videos, bike maintenance, organising media interviews, arranging accommodation, unloading the van and assisting with the recovery process each day.

Coach was also a critical member of team. She guided me through six months of training to ensure that I was physically and mentally prepared for the ride. Julie has been my coach for the past eight years and we have developed a great relationship, which enables me to achieve my personal best. During the ride Julie was of great assistance checking on my physical and mental condition and also working closely with Emily and Rod. A key success of the ride, because of Julie's coaching, was that I did not sustain any injuries in the preparation for or during the ride. 

Shaun Knott (brother) was also a major help to the ride. He was critical in the final preparations of the support vehicle and daily updates with the support team. 

Leaving from Federation Square in Melbourne on Friday, 4 December was, to an extent, heading into the unknown. I knew that the ride would be one of the biggest challenges of my life but I did not know what to expect. Days 1–3 through Victoria proved to be some of the toughest days of the ride with 40+ degrees celsius temperature combined with hills.  Through increased stopping, cooling, increased fluids (electrolytes and water) and maintaining my food intake I was able recover well each day.

After Day 1 the start time of the ride was quickly moved to 1 hour prior to sunlight (Victoria: 5:30am; South Australia: 4:30am; Western Australia: 3:15am). Most days would involve riding for 1.5–2 hours followed by a break then breaks every 1-1.5 hours. Breaks would generally be 15–30 minutes and involve preparing more fluids and food for on the bike and in the support vehicle. It would occasionally include having a cold coffee and food on the side of the road. A critical part of the ride was making sure that my weight was maintained, which I was able to achieve (I love my food!).

The major highlight of the ride was the support of friends and families, as was the amount of support that the ride received on the road. It was amazing to see the flora and fauna of regional Australia. One of my most memorable sections was riding alongside the Great Australian Bight. It was also amazing to see the Wedge Tail Eagles in their natural environment.

Fortunately, I did not experience any major issues on the ride. I only encountered one flat tyre and an issue with the gearing system of the bike that Rod was able to fix at a local bike store in Kalgoorlie. The toughest part of the ride was riding through the Fraser Ranges (Day 14, between Balladonia and Norseman in WA).  My legs struggled with the hills, headwinds and heat. Fortunately, the following day was flatter and I was able to regain strength in the legs. Apart from this day the legs and body did not experience any other issues.

Arriving into Bunbury after twenty days of cycling was an unbelievable experience. My father is truly grateful for all the support that the ride received. He continues to fight MND as best he can although it is progressively taking away things that he loved doing. A highlight of the afternoon was to be able to see Dad laughing and enjoying life with his family and friends.

The major objective of the ride was to raise awareness and funds for MND. I believe that this has been achieved. Emily (also Media Manager for the ride) was able secure 6 live radio appearances, 5 newspaper articles (including a front cover) and a television appearance. The ride was able to raise $50,000 for the Cure for MND Foundation. This is beyond any of my expectations. The money will be used by Cure for MND to provide funds for state-based MND associations to care for patients with MND and also towards MND research. If you aren’t following Cure for MND already, please do so on (https://www.facebook.com/Cure4MND/) or subscribe to their newsletter (https://curemnd.org.au/) to hear about their developments in research and other activities they are involved with. I am honoured to be able to assist such a great organisation. 

Please find attached some images from the ride.

Please see below links to the television news article and a newspaper article;

WA today

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/man-bikes-3700km-to-spend-christmas-with-his-dad-in-wa-20151222-glto5c 

GWN 7 News

https://au.gwn7.yahoo.com/w1/news/a/-/local/30426564/a-gruelling-solo-ride-across-australia-for-a-cause-video/ 

Thank you once again for all your support. 

See you at training again soon!

Cheers, Joel

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