Retirement for most means enjoying a gentler pace of life but for septuagenarians, Del and Cindy Henley, cycling across Australia has been a long term goal.
In 2017, health problems sabotaged their plans to attempt the ride, but now both are fit and well. On 27 May 2018 they will begin a 7000 km cycle from Cairns to Perth, unsupported, towing their tent, food and belongings behind them in trailers – and praying for a tail wind!
On retiring, the couple took up cycling for exercise and soon began looking for longer, more challenging rides. After two month-long cycling holidays in France, they turned their sights on Australia.
The pair have since completed three lengthy rides in Australia over the last 5 years – Perth to Adelaide over the Nullarbor Plain, Adelaide to the Gold Coast via the Great Ocean Road, and Adelaide to Darwin through the outback.
“This next trip will be the most challenging yet,” says Del. “We’ll cycle through vast isolated areas with no cell phone coverage, or sources of food and water, so there’s been lots of careful planning.”
“For me it’s the challenge,” he says. “Everything’s impossible, until it’s done.” Not so for Cindy, though. “I don’t do challenges. I just go along for the ride – and to keep an eye on him,” she claims.
The pair will be raising funds for brain research and have opened a “Give a Little” page for donations to the NZ Neurological Foundation.
“Both our mothers, and several family members and friends have succumbed to brain disorders, including Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Stroke and Motor Neurone Disease.
We want to help our world class neurosurgeons to unravel the complexities of the brain and eventually prevent these commonly occurring disorders,” Cindy says.
Follow their blog on www.cairnstoperthcycle.blogspot.com
To donate, go to www.givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/cairnstoperthcycle