51 Year Old Legs


Saturday’s final day of the Ride for Hope was the most punishing of all. 107 kilometres from start to finish with lots of very serious climbing and one major descent. Add strong headwinds and you have a recipe for several grueling hours on the bike.

To be honest, I found the day rather exhilarating. While it was a very tough day, and I could have done with quite a lot more training before the event, my 51 year old legs seemed to remember what to do and carried me across the hills with far more ease than I had expected.

My bike computer tells me that from Monday to Saturday I cycled 528.3 km from Albany to Perth. I cycled with 29 other riders, supported by an incredible team of 9.

I enjoy the cycling part of rides like Ride for Hope but I love what they’re able to achieve. Thanks to some very generous supporters the ride raised over $50 000 between two very worthwhile causes, with around $27 000 so far headed to Compassion to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

If I could communicate anything to you about why I ride it would be that Compassion’s programs work. I know that beyond a doubt because I’ve personally seen it in five of the twenty six countries where it’s working, in both rural and urban areas.

I also know that the programs work because independent research that was released last year shows it very clearly.

Compassion child sponsorship works. Independent research shows that children who participated in Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program between 1980 and 1992 stayed in school longer, were more likely to have salaries and white-collar employment, and were more likely to be leaders in their communities and churches than their peers who did not participate in the program. Once Compassion sponsored children, these adults are now making a difference in their communities as mums, dads, pastors, teachers, doctors, even members of parliament.

The ride may be over for 2014 but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to contribute. While we’ve unpacked our bags, cleaned our bikes and put our feet up for a little while, poverty hasn’t stopped. You can still make a difference for those in extreme poverty by donating through my fundraising page. I hope and pray that you’ll consider giving generously.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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