Schoolie cyclists finds life lessons on the road

Sam Anderson rode over 400 kilometres in five days to raise funds the West African Food Crisis.
Sam Anderson rode over 400 kilometres in five days to raise funds the West African Food Crisis.

SCHOOL may now be over for 18-year-old Samuel Anderson but the lessons in life have just begun.

Samuel spent his first week out of school cycling around the Darling Downs, raising funds for Oxfam.

He shunned the typical schoolies week experience and instead focused on doing something he loves and being proactive.

Over five days, Sam rode 401 kilometres, climbed 1500 metres in mountain ranges and spent 16 hours and 35 minutes in the saddle.

"It's really started to dawn (on me) how great the whole thing has been and how many people had been following my progress," Sam said.

"Taking to friends, family and the press has shown me how much the ride meant, not just to me but our community. I think I've changed a lot of lives already."

Sam is now determined to run the event again next year, and also open it up to other graduating students.

"I've learnt so much from doing this. It's opened my eyes to a larger world view and I'm more human because of it," he said.

Initially Sam set out with the intention of raising $300 and travelling 300 kilometres.

He eclipsed both goals by the end of the week.

He raised a whooping $2546 for the West African Food Crisis and travelled over 400 kilometres.

He even managed to honour one sponsor's request that he don a long pair of woollen socks for part of the journey.

People interested in joining Sam next year contact

Sam Anderson rode over 400 kilometres during schoolies week.
Sam Anderson rode over 400 kilometres during schoolies week.

Sam's wheelies week

Day 1: Toowoomba - Bunya Mountains. 130km, Five hours 40min, 700m climb

Day 2: Bunya Mountains - Toowoomba. 130km, Five hours, 250m climb

Day 3: Toowoomba - Cambooya (return) 60k, Two hours 30min, 250m climb

Day 4: Rest day, small ride in Toowoomba, eating a lot of food, really tired

Day 5: Toowoomba Range via Preston Peak approximately 60km, Two hours 10min, 300m climb

Sam's blog posts

Getting on the bike at 5:30am on Monday I was full of energy for the day, and sure I'd be just fine with the 130km that lay ahead.

Not so full of energy at the top of the Bunyas some seven hours later, it took everything I had to finish the climb on tired legs with heart rate up to the 200bpm mark I was trying not to think about tomorrow or the fact that this was only day one.

6am day two saw me loaded with my ritual peanut butter sandwich and ready for the decent.

The first 5km were not worth remembering; my legs just didn't want to do it.

Forty minutes later it was all downhill with a tail wind and one of the best set of riding conditions I've had.

Reaching home by lunch time I made silent vow to have a day's recovery, only to receive a phone call saying, "I hear you going on a ride tomorrow between 6 and 10am" what could I say but "yeah".

So Wednesday, day three and I was at it again, this time to make the 300km mark on a Cambooya return ride.

Day four REST! Couldn't believe I'd cracked the 300km mark so soon and spent the day trying to get people to give me money!

Day five, the last ride - can I make 400km? I really enjoyed this ride even if it was the Toowoomba range! I had a friend's dad who's a keen cyclist join me for the ride and the time and kms just flew by. It was a really great way to finish.

Sam's achievements

Rode 401Km

Climbed 1500m in mountain ranges

Spent 16 hr:35min in the saddle over the five days

Had an average speed of 24.4kmh over the week

His wheels turned 185,000 times 

Topics:  cyclist schoolies toowoomba toowoomba grammar school

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