Sunday, March 22, 2009

Final Thoughts

It's all over, and I am home; safely. And what a journey it has been! The ride was far more dangerous and more difficult than I ever imagined, and riding along the Esplanade in Melbourne was not the greatest of preparation. There were some very fit and fast riders in our group, with whom I never had a chance to keep up with, but that was OK; I knew my limitations. Had I just decided to take up bike riding, and join a group of riders in Vietnam, I would not have been up to standard. But this was a ride for Parkinson's so I make no apology for my lack of speed. My fitness certainly improved before and during the ride. This was a personal Challenge for everyone, and though I may not have rode all day, every day, I feel that I exceeded my expectations in riding. I rode every twice a day. Some times I rode up hills for over 30 km at a time.
I was not embarrassed to use the bus if I was tired or my toes curled. I am proud of my achievement, and I know that some on the ride were proud of me too. I think we all did very well. From the 3 of us with Parkinson's to those who were always in front, to those not to be in front, but to help others, (thanks, Leanne), to those who were 'middle' riders.
I met some fabulous new people and saw some wonderful places.
The accommodation and food were adequate to good, I certainly didn't starve, and bottled water was readily available.Our 2 guides were excellent.
But above all, I rode on this Challenge for Parkinson's. I raised in excess of $8,000, and raised awareness of Parkinson's throughout my friends and community. apparently as a group, we raised over $100,000, making it the most successful fundraiser ever.
Once`again I thank everybody for your help. From the donors, to the ticket sellers, to the people who supported me in my movie nights, to the people who helped with my garage sale, to those who hosted functions and gave the proceeds to me for my challenge, to those who kept me company and rode with me. You all know who you are. I am blessed with such fabulous friends.
Now that it's over, I may fall flat on my face. For the past 10 months I have been totally preoccupied with fundraising and getting fit. I hope that Ingrid, Claire and others will continue to take me riding; as I no longer can walk Molly as i once did, I need this form of exercise.
I suppose I will need another project to keep me busy, and I plan to revamp and improve
Whatever I do, I know that my family and friends will support me 100%. Everyone has their own problems and illnesses, or knows of others with them, so I doubly appreciate your generosity.
And my final word is to my wonderful husband, Yon (John);
Yon, you are the best husband a woman could have; kind, loving, generous. You have supported me 100% through this and all my missions since being diagnosed 6 years ago. I know that we both worry about the future, but I have taught you to live for today, and grab any opportunity that comes our way. I missed you very much this trip, and I mean it when I say that my days of travelling overseas alone are over. From now on we travel together. You are my best friend and the most compatible to travel with. We understand, trust, respect and love each other.

I'm all blogged out...




  1. WOW!!!! I am in awe of you and your adventure Karyn. It sounds exhausting, exhilarating and pretty damn scary in parts. Not sure how you managed to have the energy at the end of each day for your blog updates. But they were a terrific read.
    Congratulations on yet another remarkable achievement.
    Janice Roth

  2. I am sooo proud of you and inspired - really.

    Lots of love Anita xx

  3. you are a real inspiration.It all sounds amazing and who cares if you are last. will follow the rest of your adventure Haya

  4. Read all of your blogs sounds really good I should of come with you ( I know you told to too )
    Jeff Gott

  5. Karyn, you are truly amazing and inspirational and I salute you for your passion, dedication and ability to forge on regardless! Looking forward to your next adventure...
    Love, Claire (Pask)

  6. Karyn,
    I have read your blog and it's just astounding! You truly are a warrior and goddess in so many ways. The trip sounded amazing. I'm priviledged to know you and hope we get to see each other again, whether it's at the WPC 2010 in Glasgow or some other far-flung place!