AFTER a year of study, writing a thesis and being stuck behind a computer, Sonia Ablett of Melbourne knew she needed to clear her head and regain her fitness, so she decided to ride a push bike from Casino on the NSW QLD border to Melbourne.
Sonia left Casino on January 18 and has been cycling about 60 to 90 kilometres a day, though when Narooma News found her resting at Narooma Library on Monday, she had only travelled 40kms that day.
“Dealing with the heat has been a big problem for me,” she said.
By the time Sonia had reached Sydney, the weather was really hot, so she decided to take a break there and stay with friends for a week.
“People were asking me what I was raising money for, which when I started out I wasn’t doing,” Sonia said.
“But then I thought if people were offering to donate money then I would use my challenge to raise funds for Oxfam,” she said.
“So when I got to Sydney I set it up.”
Sonia usually heads off around 6am in the morning and finishes cycling about 1pm.
“If the weather is cool, sometimes I cycle between 6 and 8pm.
“I’ve been staying in National Parks and caravan parks along the way and I have also made use of the Warm Showers website which is a free worldwide hospitality exchange for touring cyclists.”
“I’ve been meeting lots of really nice people around the campfire at night.
“I sit down with strangers who end up becoming friends,” she said.
“Not meeting up with people can be hard as well, that’s when I make lots of phone calls to family and friends.
“I eat out a lot, it’s a great way of meeting people and in turn they give me good advice about the route I’m taking and tell me about good alternative routes.”
“You have to be flexible,” Sonia said.
“Sometimes when I’m riding up a steep hill in the heat, I wonder why I do it and there have been a couple of hills I’ve had to walk up,” she said.
If you would like to help or keep an eye on Sonia’s progress, you can to that at https://www.oxfam.org.au/my/events/view/796
Sonia envisages that her solo bike ride should be completed within the next 10 days to two weeks.