Rick and Rachael met on the afternoon of April 28, 2004 and like her brother before her, she began her cycling journey not long afterwards on the kids seat on the back of Rick's bike. Once off the training wheels, they started going for afternoon and weekend rides around the local area together.
In 2013, when Rachael was 9, Rick discovered a new cycling event called the Great Cycle Challenge, where participants raise money for childhood cancer research. The idea of the challenge was to ride and raise as much money as you can throughout the month of October. Rachael signed up straight away and then proceeded to ride a total of 331 km and raising $621 during that October, all with Rick riding along side her and supporting her. Rides would include rides along the local M7 path through to overnight trips up in the Blue Mountains eating coco pops and Tim Tams for breakfast (much to Mum's disgust). In the past 5 years, with Rick riding along side of her, he has helped Rachael ride a total of 3,371 Km and raise $5,069.
These past 5 years have included many more kms. Each ride Rachael trying to outdo her Dad, winning a Slurpie whenever she beat him up a hill. She won two Slurpies last year when she beat him by 2 minutes in his one and only race (we have it on video).
When she was just 11, Rachael and Rick were asked to be the last riders for the BNSW Gear Up Girl event. She had never ridden 60km before, so they trained together for the goal and made it across the line on the day. Then in October the same year, when she was 12, they set a goal of 105 km for Spring Cycle, trained together, and of course made it! They even rode around the route in the local area for a couple of years volunteering putting up signs for the participants.
Rachael also started racing at the Western Sydney Mountain Bike Club. This year Rachael became an ambassador for Gear Up Girl as well as being made the March Sporty Sister for the National campaign “Girls Make Your Move”. Last year she became the first female to win the Junior of the Year with the Western Sydney Mountain Bike Club. This October she plans on riding 700 km for The Great Cycle Challenge (with Dad of course).
Rachael was fortunate enough to to meet Nash a few years ago, who has been a big influence on Rachael’s journey. Although too young at the time for the Western Sydney Sports Academy, Nash encouraged her to come along and train with the older kids on the side. This of course increased her love of the sport even more! Nash is no longer apart of the academy, but is still such a positive and encouraging coach.
Rachael is now racing both track and road and is in her second year of the academy, and loving it, all with Dad and Nash by her side supporting her. When officially joining the academy, she had to join a club. It was fortunate in that Parklife Cycling Club was just starting up at the time and with everyone we had met, it seemed like a natural progression, so they both joined. There are no regrets with everyone in the club being so supportive of her. There is no pressure, just genuine support of her journey.
Both Rick and Rachael love their Saturday morning club rides and often spend the afternoon comparing their Strava results. Professional Bike Rider in Training Rachael, hopes that one day she will be able to compete in the Tour de France, with Rick hoping for a free ticket over to watch her live the dream.