River-2-Reef Success Story!

Some people diagnosed with a health issue likely to shorten their life choose to just ‘give-in’ and wait for the inevitable.

Not Anthony Moffatt aka ‘Moff’ – he wanted to do his part to raise funds for brain cancer research by cycling from the southernmost point on the mainland all the way up the East Coast to the northernmost point at Cape Tribulation.

And…73 days later… after peddling over a hundred kilometres a day – he made it, along with his chief supporter – his wife Arlene who drove their caravan with his extra bikes and monitored his progress every scary step of the way!

The challenge completed… Moff and Arlene stopped over in Hervey Bay on their way home, giving Brian the opportunity to quiz Moff how he felt the ride went and to ask...what’s next?

 

Prefer to read? - Full transcript here

 



Also check out Moff's wife Arlene's story here!

TRANSCRIPT:

BRIAN:
We're in beautiful Hervey Bay QLD, having met Moff and his lovely wife Arlene at the end of what was the River to Reef fundraising bike ride!... So what was the fundraising for?

MOFF:
It was for brain cancer research at the Alfred Foundation.

BRIAN:
Fantastic!... and you've now finished that and you're on your way back, so you dropped in to say good day to us so thank you!

MOFF:
Yes, of course we met last month (on our way north) and we thought we'll pop in and say hello before we continue our way south.

BRIAN:
Fantastic… Now, the obvious question to ask is why?, … but the next question is how? Like, what motivated you to do this? Are you a professional bike rider in the past?

MOFF:
No, just a recreational bike rider. I think where I was motivated from was when we did the Victorian bike ride in Tasmania, where we rode from Launceston down to Port Arthur and then back up to Hobart. And it was 100k’s a day for ten days with the rest day in the middle, and I thought, Oooh, I really like this, so one day I'm going to do this bike ride from home up to Townsville to see a friend.

And my vision was I'd be retired when I did that without of course, knowing what the future would hold… And then finish work and thinking, OK, what can I do with myself here?

So born was the idea of, okay, let's do it from the southernmost point up to the northern most point by road… And that's where it came from.

BRIAN:
Now, we've just had lunch and had a conversation about some of the trials and tribulations…
No pun intended for Cape Tribulation… So just go through some of the good moments and some of the scary moments.

Arlene, Kaye, Brian & Moff @ Enzo's Hervey BayMOFF:
Well, the good moments would be meeting people like yourself and Kaye, and the bad moments would be the traffic, the semis, caravans, no shoulder on the side of the road etc

One time I thought I'll go off road. It was about 3pm in the afternoon and there was a trail marked as a road, but a dirt road, so we swapped over the bikes. I got on the mountain bike, headed off to this dirt road trail and got into the caravan park at 10:30pm that night.

So that wasn't good!... And the track was bad. Flooded, washed out, overgrown in places. It had everything that you could imagine!

BRIAN:
We've told the story already about the dog attack or near dog attack, but you mentioned about some of the roads where you're coming perhaps to a bridge…. And this whole thing about keeping a metre apart – you know, drivers, please leave a metre for bike riders, et cetera, et cetera.

So you're a bike rider legitimately on the road and that’s fine, but there's nowhere to go, especially if the side of the road is crap if a car is coming behind you, or a caravan and trucks coming the other way. What do you do??

MOFF:
Well, the way I would deal with that is as I'm approaching that bridge, which as you say narrows off because the bridges weren't made for modern day with roads, with shoulders and so on, that I would, as I approach the bridges, slowdown, look over my shoulder to see if anything's coming.

Moff ... on the road again!And if it was a truck, then 100% I’d pull over… But even a car or any vehicle coming towards that bridge, whilst we're both thinking about crossing it, then I would just pull over, let those cars go past and then continue on my way, make a bit of a break for it and get to the other side.

BRIAN:
Fair enough… Now, with your diagnosis and whatever, is it going to slow you down, do you think, over time, or do you think you'll still be able to continue doing this activity because you look so fit and healthy? Amazing!!


MOFF:
I don't envisage getting to a point where I can't do things, so I think in my mind that I'm just going to live, you know, till whenever, and that I'm not conscious that I've got a brain tumour or letting it slow me down or stop me.

BRIAN:
So I've never let anything stand in the way of basically a good time, which is living each day to its fullest.

MOFF:
Yes, exactly… I think that's where I'm at!

BRIAN:
Now, let's get on to some important stuff here. The wife.  Arlene, she's been your 100% support team. I'm not sure how many days, months years you've spent together in a caravan or living close together, apart from being a husband and wife… How was that first up?... Come on, be honest…

MOFF: (big pause!)
It is challenging at moments!..., but I think even when we do have a moment, that we're very quick to recover from it and to let things pass. So, on that front, we're still good friends and the marriage is still going well.

BRIAN:
That's hopefully what marriage is about, being good friends, soulmates, et cetera, isn't it?

MOFF:
Exactly, yeah… So we've worked together since we met. We were in the industrial laboratory situation, sitting beside each other, and then we moved into doing my business in mortgage broking and she was working for me at that, and now we're travelling together, but we've always travelled each year overseas and domestically.

So, yeah, we've always been a little bit in each other's back pockets since the early 90’s.

BRIAN:
Well, what's been fantastic is that she's basically driven this caravan from way down south to way up north, and now she's mostly driving it back down I assume, because she's the one that knows what to do in the caravan, and when we saw her arrive here in Hervey Bay backing it in, it was like… ‘okay, you've done this before, right’?

Arlene's VERY good at backing a caravan!MOFF:
Yes… She's very capable of taking on new tasks, so she would never say she can't do something, so I don't think anything slows her down to the point where she'd be thinking, I can't do that.

BRIAN:
That's fantastic… and it's so wonderful that she seems so positive and everything. She's got a heart of gold, we know that, and I'm sure you appreciate that, but she's also got this very strong kind of ‘don't mess with me’ attitude as well, at times!

MOFF:
Yes,  (Brian Laughing!!) The… don't mess with me attitude certainly straightens me out when I cross the line, So I think in the end, that's what keeps us together, is that one person not tolerating rubbish from another one.

BRIAN:

That's good. You're obviously a strong couple, which is wonderful and given the circumstances, that strength is warranted. So any further plans? Any further bike rides about to happen? Or you're just going to take a break for a while?

MOFF:
I have been thinking about that since we finished the bike ride in Cape Tribulation, and originally I was thinking maybe I could do this again, but without the social media aspect, which would mean that I could leave earlier and get back in the daylight, and then on the way back, I was thinking, wow, this really is dangerous. And so then I thought maybe I could do running as an activity and aim towards doing marathons.

So I think that's where I'm at, at the moment, is to start along that pathway.

BRIAN:
Well, you've certainly got the leg strength, I would imagine, with all this cycling going on. The most commonly asked question is, have you got a sore butt from all this bike riding?

MOFF:
No sore butt, no sore back, no sore arms, no sore legs… It's all like on day one


BRIAN:
Fantastic!... Now we know you've raised some money. Do you know roughly how much at the moment, and would you like to say anything to the people who have donated?

MOFF:
Oh, everyone who has donated, Arlene and I are forever grateful for those donations
The Alfred Foundation is also extremely grateful for the money that's been raised…

Yeah, I think that pretty much sums it up!

BRIAN:
Fantastic… Well, thank you very much for your time and the efforts you've done, which hopefully we will help future people.. (Yes) and we look forward to your next adventure, so we want you to keep in touch. So you've got our business card? (Yes)… There you go!

MOFF:
All right, well, thank you, Brian and Kaye, of course who can't be with us right now.

BRIAN:
Well she's actually off interviewing Arlene, and we're just going to sort of compare stories here, so we'll see how we go. It's quite different… We'll just see how it goes (smiling)


MOFF: (Laughing)
Good luck with that!!

___________________________________________________________________

Moff's wife Arlene's story here!
https://mylifemystory.me/podcasts/wingman-even-better-warrior-woman-arlene-moffatt 

Moff's River To Reef Facebook page here:
https://www.facebook.com/River-to-Reef-Fundraising-Bike-Ride-114781857873984 

NEVER TOO LATE TO DONATE:! 
https://fundraising.alfredfoundation.org.au/rivertoreef 


© 2022 - Brian Pickering


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