One Year Today

On this day next year, the 18th of September 2021, I’ll start pedaling from Perth, Western Australia towards Newcastle, New South Wales. Ride for Compassion Coast to Coast will be my second time cycling across Australia for Compassion and my seventh crossing overall. I’ll be riding with around 30 other riders for a common cause.

We will arrive at Compassion’s head office in Newcastle, NSW on Wednesday the 20th of October, having cycled around 4,200 km. There’ll be 28 riding days and 5 rest days. The average riding distance for those riding days will be 150 km. Our longest day will be just under 200 km.

Why would I do such a crazy thing?

For decades, the number of people living in extreme poverty has been falling. There have been huge leaps forward in consigning poverty to the history books. There was still a long way to go but the trajectory was promising.

Then …. 2020. While COVID-19 has affected us all, it has hit the most vulnerable the hardest. The World Bank has estimated that between 71 million and 100 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty due to the pandemic. I find that absolutely heartbreaking but it also motivates me to step in and do something about it. I need to be part of the solution.

This ride is part of my efforts to bring a solution.

If you’d like to support my ride you can do so in two ways.

You can sponsor a child living in poverty.

Sponsorship gives kids safe places to play, the chance to see a doctor when they’re sick, education, and the opportunity to discover Jesus’ incredible love for them.

Sponsor a child. Give them a brighter future so they, and eventually their own children, can live free from poverty.

The other way you can support my ride is by making a direct donation. Your donation will touch the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our world through Compassion’s work.

Every child in poverty is vulnerable, but some children are at risk of the most deplorable situations in the world.

Children whose parents who have left, died, or are unable to provide for them, children exposed to exploitation and children with special needs are highly vulnerable. They often find themselves on the edge of extremely dangerous situations like child labour, gang violence, trafficking, and life on the street.

In the midst of these ongoing difficulties, COVID-19 has had a massive effect on children and their families. Now, more than ever, they need people like you and me to step in and play our part in showing them love, kindness and practical care.

Whether you want to sponsor a child or make a donation, just head to my fundraising page

Registrations for the ride close soon but if you’re interested in joining me on a bike or as part of the support team, head to the Ride for Compassion website.

I need to get fit. Really fit.

Over the next twelve months, I need to get myself into better shape than I have ever been. I’m going to have to be strategic and focused if I’m to drop a bunch of kilograms and put plenty of kilometres into my legs. I’ll need to be able to ride around a thousand kilometres a week for just over four weeks.

Taking part in the ride will take a huge effort.

But every effort I make to be part of the ride will be worth it because some things are unacceptable. It’s unacceptable that millions of children are living in extreme poverty. Next year I’ll put my body on the line to do whatever I can to make a difference for as many of those children as I can.

Will you help me give more children a chance to live, dream and hope? Please sponsor a child today or donate through my fundraising page.

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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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