The Why Not? Blog

At the tender age of 25 Dave started skateboarding. 14 months later he became the first person to skate the length of Britain. Another 8 months on he had crossed Australia on his board, breaking a world record & raising over £20,000 for three charities. Now, at 27, he's writing his first book, is a motivational speaker and a businessman, and he's only just gotten started on a lifetime of challenges which from the outside look just darn crazy. So, why? You know the answer, don't you. Why not?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Closing in.....

Fetching a cool glass of water before heading to bed to sleep away New South Wales and welcome in a new day of skating in Queensland, I stopped for a moment and peered through the blinds above the cabin sink. Despite the hum of the television and the general chit chat in the room, I could clearly hear the constant rising and falling chirp of the cicadas outside. Usually, this sound is a must in a Hollywood movie during a night scene in the country – the insect choir ensures that there is never a completely quiet moment, no matter how peaceful and sleep-inducing it is. Considering the leg-rubbing suspects are a couple of inches long and thousands-strong in the trees, it is a romantic soundtrack always given free. I remember listening to this tune as a boy holidaying in France and in my early twenties working and traveling in Africa, thinking to myself how funny it is that when humans go to sleep most other things continue as normal. Then, to aid the passage of normality, I headed to bed.

The Pacific Highway runs north from Sydney to Brisbane and beyond. It has been my main passage since mid December when I skated out of the New South Wales capital a fresh world record holder, and today, a month on from that momentous day in Sydney Olympic Park, I found myself still pushing along the Pacific Highway with a green road sign drifting past to my left bearing the message, ‘Brisbane 153’. Almost immediately, to my right, the driver of a truck heading in the opposite direction towards Byron Bay leaned out of his cab, extended a fist of salute and yelled, “You go Davooooooooooooooo.” His voice disappeared as he continued south and gave me some fresh mental fuel for the kilometers to come.

The tidal wave of support continues from passers by and motorists. Ash Grunwald, a cult Australian singer who I met when he supported Xavier Rudd in Sydney on New Year’s Day, pulled over on his way to a surf spot near Ballina and tried out his luck on Elsa. We talked a little and it didn’t take long for him to make an offer. “I’ve got a gig in Coolangatta on the 20th, come along and I’ll interview you on stage, if there’s room we’ll have a skate! We’ll donate $5 per CD to your charities and get the punters to put some in too.” He drove off, surf board in the back, leaving us all with huge grins. Some people can’t help enough.

The donations continue. Becs, Bev and Laura are driving themselves into the ground, bringing in $200+ dollars per day, which we’ll distribute between Sailability, Link and Lowe. Contributions also come in from people who pass us on the road – often the van logos are enough to persuade some pocket-dipping, as Bev well knows after she became 50% of what must be the fastest donation in history when she accepted a $10 note from a motorcyclist as they both drove at 100kmph along the highway.

My fondest moments of the last week have involved Simon. Often the class clown, Si is a remarkably determined lad when he wants to be. To honour the section of the journey bought by his mother and sister, Si decided to jump on one of our bicycles on a very hot day and peddle 45km to Grafton alongside me. By the end of the first hill he was gasping like a fish, the team were chuckling to themselves. On the second hill he walked a bit, by then I’d skated off and was waiting 15km up the road at a petrol station. But he pushed on, reached us, and then pushed further. To be joined on the road by a team member has been a rare thing for most of this journey – for one of the guys used to seeing me collapse in a ball of agony at the side of the road it made me immensely proud that Si was willing to go through the barrier and then some. 10km from Grafton little pieces started to fall off the bike (it’s older than our vans) and poor old Si had to ride the peddles and walk the final 5km. But he wouldn’t give up, much to the chagrin of his poor legs, which hurt so much he had to stay in the swimming pool all afternoon because he couldn’t climb out. What a star!


  • At 7:31 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Almost there Dave - Keep it rollin and hopefully we'll chat soon on the air!!

    Ryan - 6PR Breakfast Show in Perth.

  • At 2:57 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Good LUck!


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to Dave's Blog by email:

Delivered by FeedBurner