Humans of MA: Julia Frowein
Most Sunday mornings are spent staying upright on 2 wheels traversing more km’s than the average person would do in a car and all before we have even pulled ourselves out of bed. An avid bike rider, this Sunday was no different for Julia except for the difference she was going to make, along with her team mates, to the lives of many young people at Triple Care Farm.
When not supporting Mission Australia Housing staff Monday to Friday, Julia is Team Captain for her other passion in life, extreme bike riding. “We are a bunch of riders who have acquired a preference for longer, sometimes all-day rides, preferably with lots of hills and pain involved.”
Known as the Sick Puppies, this ragged bunch of 8 middle-aged men and one middle-aged maiden (also known as The Dame) signed up to the challenging but rewarding bike ride up Jamberoo Mountain for the 145 Classic: Ride for Youth to raise money for Triple Care Farm and the brand new purpose-built detox facility, the first of its kind in NSW catering specifically for young people aged 16-24.
Like the journey for our clients at Triple Care Farm, the Sir David Martin Foundation 145 Classic: Ride for Youth was a test of power and endurance. It started with a 120km endurance ride from Sydney CBD to Kiama and ended with an optional 25km timed ascent of Jamberoo Mountain Pass to Triple Care Farm at Robertson. A total ride of 145kms!
“Hence our name, most would consider us a little crazy and immature. We are the Sick Puppies - raising money for sick puppies!”
The Sick Puppies were one of several teams and individuals (100 participants strong) who took part, and for Julia: “It was a tremendously worthy cause that I was proud to support, having two close friends whose sons have recently been afflicted by the scourge of substance abuse.”
It was the Jamberoo Mountain climb that worried Julia the most – “I knew that the landscape around Kiama is hilly, VERY hilly. In fact remarkably similar to the Lake District in the UK – same pretty stone walls, same steep, unrelenting, vertigo-inducing inclines. Enough to MAKE you hit the wall….!”
But despite this, as Julia tested her endurance, here are some of her memories of the day:
- THE HEAD WIND.
- The pitch black darkness as we headed into Centennial Park at 5.25am, rendering puny headlights useless and necessitating a dramatic speed reduction.
- The trouble free cruise through the airport tunnel with flashing light support vehicle closely shadowing the bunch; the large number of riders meant we were pretty much a juggernaut in itself, albeit a motor-less one.
- The frequent stopping for snacks, nature calls, map reading/memorising, or when we went the wrong way which was pretty often!!
- THE HEAD WIND ALL THE WAY FROM CENTENNIAL PARK TO KIAMA
- The banana sandwiches – awesome and a welcome addition to the usual diet of lollies and muesli bars provided en-route.
- THE HEADWIND RIDING FROM THE GONG TO KIAMA AND IN PARTICULAR THE BRIDGE CROSSING AT LAKE ILLAWARRA.
- The sheer number of wrong turns we took.
- The pervasive atmosphere of trepidation at the Kiama lunch stop for those about to climb Jamberoo for the first time!
- Light showers and strong headwinds adding to our sense of doom on the undulating road from Kiama to the base of Jamberoo.
- The glance upwards at the first RAMP, rising like a stairway to Hell as the climb up Jamberoo began in earnest.
- My capitulation half way up the first RAMP. The sight of a rider in front, off his bike and walking, kind of made the decision easier. The legs simply couldn’t turn anymore. This first walk ended up being one of several as the ramps just kept coming with no respite whatsoever.
- The disheartening sight of a sign indicating 6 KM TO GO when reaching a plateau and hoping that the climb was levelling off; instead turning a corner and seeing the road go skyward again.
- The feeling of utter and near complete exhaustion when walking beside my bike, with only the trees and nature for company. The odd car passing, some giving a wry smile of commiseration.
- The exhilaration of sensing the road at long last levelling out and the screaming leg muscles finally being allowed some relief.
- The joy of seeing the sign to Triple Care Farm and rolling up the dirt track to a warm welcome from volunteers, a hot shower, stunning views and a yummy BBQ dinner.
- Oh, and did I mention THE WIND…….?
Raising over $3,500 to go towards supporting the long journey of power and endurance for our clients at Triple Care Farm (the ups and the downs, the setbacks and the dusting yourself off and of course that sometimes over bearing HEAD WIND), Julia is adamant she will get back on her bike and do it all over again.
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