This website was the blog we kept...

The official website is here:

Also, my latest adventures are here:

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Film Enthusiast needed

We have a slight hiccup in the plan, Kevin the cinematographer has fractured his hand and cannot make the ride. If there is anyone experienced in shooting film please let us know! Only catch is you need to be self-funded... We can provide camera gear, a bike, and perhaps some meals/hotels here and there. Appy within!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Long Live Batavus!

Ever heard of Batavus? Perhaps not. It is the quintessential Dutch manufacturer of bicycles. It is the kind of bike I like to be seen on! And we will be seen on a Batavus we heard today.

Batavus ( has tentatively agreed to supply us with five AM-400 mountain bikes! Negotiations are continuing, but as you can imagine we are ecstatic to be supported by what I consider to be the bike innovator of the world. If only you could see their Dutch range of bikes! Makes me drool!

For our purpose these are the most suitable of their range and we look forward to putting them to the test!

Read all about Batavus on the wikipedia:

The next problem, a nice problem to have, is how do we equip the bikes to ready them for the trip? I am sure we will work it out and make the panniers fit the bikes, get a bell, some lights,... we will get this show on the road!

Cycle Jerseys coming up

David is arranging the cycle jerseys and a fine job he is doing. Check it out!

What a team!

Monday, June 25, 2007

How to shoot Documentaries

Yes, that is a good question. Filming is not something that just happens. It takes skill! We found this out on the weekend when I dragged people out to the bush on a cycle expedition and tried to film them. Also took Troy out on a local training ride for some filming.

Results were,... well, let's say 'predictable'. But there is light at the end of this tunnel, Tony Lomas from Heartland Media in Hobart has come to the rescue and offered to teach me how to shoot good footage. We have a date set! Tony has also provided good technical advice and offered to help with other aspects of our production once we are back home with mountains of footage.

In the mean time we have finalised airline tickets to get Kevin Shepit over from Canada. He is an accomplished cinematographer who was happy to come along and help us film for a few weeks! We are very greatful to have him come along and help us get good footage, and guide us in the right direction! He may also be involved with the production after the ride.

Finally a big thank you to Vanessa from Sydney who sent me the Idiot Guide to Filming! It inspired me to get some more books from the library and will give us something to read on the plane over!!! No seriously, I am reading already!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Walking for Air

My compatriot fellow Dutchman, man with CF himself and doing no less then walking across Europe with a backpack, Marc Bastiaensen has started his 2000 kilometer walking tour from his birthplace of Nispen, a small village in the south of The Netherlands, to Rome!

We only miss each other by a matter of weeks! What a coincidence it would've been had I run into him!

Marc is collecting money for CF awareness in India! Why not leave a message for him on his guestbook <here>.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Children Books donated for the COFE Auction

We have received a signed copy of 'A Devilish Tale' from Alice Hansen! A Devilish Tale is a children's book aimed at raising awareness and funds for the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease.

Alice is a Tasmanian writer who has recently written an article on The Great COFE for CF which will be published shortly in Bicycling Australia!

Why not visit Alice's website where you can purchase this book (in case you are not successful at the auction):

But this is not the only children's book on offer on the night!

Leah Orr is the author of Kyle's First Crush, the first ever Cystic Fibrosis children's book. Not just an all ages book that is child friendly, this is a children's book that covers Cystic Fibrosis. All the profits of this book go to The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: Kyle's First Crush is especially signed by Leah the author for The Great COFE for CF fundraising auction! You can buy the book on-line from amazon (USA) by clicking on the covers above and below. Or talk to me!

Karma coming my way

Guest speaker on July 8 at The Deck Cafe will be Brian Summerfield who has cycled 25000 kms to raise money for Tibetan children. His excuse for not coming to the Shrek movie was that he had more important things to do... See photo! Why not Google Brian and see what he did <click>.

Brian has real life experience cycling long distances, and it will be interesting to hear his words on Sunday July 8th! Bookings are going fast. If you are serious about wanting to come: Tickets are $60 please call The Deck Cafe ASAP on 03 6427 7188 to book!

And while I got your attention, here is the freshly designed postcard you might get in the mail one day if you are lucky! It will have sweat stains on it and a little circle to indicate where we are!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Preparation Update

We have ordered information cards for the ride! It is an interesting looking card with this website on it, a USA phone number that will be with us along the way and our mailing address. The card is not exactly designed by an artist, but it is the best we could do and carries the right information (we hope). Also, it did not cost a fortune...

The USA phone number is (571) 281-1426 and should forward to whatever phone we will have on us. You can also speak to us via Skype along the way using my ID: waltervanpraag This Skype ID should also connect to whatever mobile phone we have on us. We will turn the phone off when we sleep, so don't worry about the time difference.

The dotted guidelines won't be on the card!
The camcorders have arrived, and we are test-driving them. All sorts of other gadgets have arrived, like a hard disk drive for the digital camera footage, more gadgets are still on order; UV and polariser filters, wireless microphones... It is not cheap to get all the gear together!

Another 25 letters went out in the mail today to local businesses asking for items for the dinner/auction at The Deck Cafe Restaurant on July 8. If anyone has anything we can put in the auction please email me!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mad Bomber supporting The Great COFE

The Madbomber Hat Company has pledged their support for our ride and documentary! They are proud to be associated with a 'Mad Dutchman' riding a push-bike through Europe for Cystic Fibrosis Awareness and they are providing funds for us to ensure a nutritious diet and the occasional soft mattress for the team.

To further help us out they are sending us some Mad Bomber Hats for the dinner auction!

See my Amex Members Project

Click on the banner to see it.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ben Curtis performing at Dinner Auction

With the help of friends at the Tasmanian Ambulance Service we have secured Ben Curtis to play at our planned Dinner Auction: The Deck Cafe Restaurant.

Ben has been in many great bands, but now Ben has gone solo with his guitar and didgeridoo. Ben has played many high profile shows including Tasmusic showcase events and an Ozgreen Fundraiser.

Ben Plays an ecclectic style of indie infused with pop. His Melodies are catchy and his live entertainment is truely unique. Ben is volunteering his services for Cystic Fibrosis Awareness!

One of the songs Ben sings is called Breathe, that may just have to be the title track for the 'Coughing the Distance' documentary! Who knows he might even write one called 'Coughing the Distance'!

Ben music:

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

First Aid Kits from Freney

Our COFE Medic David has been given first aid kits from Freney First Aid.

The COFE Team is very proud to have an Australian company sponsor us, and we are very grateful for their generous contribution to the team.

Freney First Aid arranges First Aid and Trauma Management Training Courses in Australia. Visit their website:!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Patagonia Update

Patagonia on Board with The Great COFE for CF!
Yes, we have been offered Patagonia clothing! We are very excited and are busy assessing their Spring 2007 range for the ride. Will sure be looking good on that silver screen!

Also need to tell you that we are in negotiations with Kevin Shepit, an award winning cinematographer from Canada! If we can get him along to help us film and perhaps help produce we will be onto a winning documentary! Kevin has commitments in mid September so cannot complete the entire ride, but boy would we like his company. Kevin has just completed a documentary on homeless people in Vancouver, and he might just fit us into his schedule.

We made bookings for excellent hotels in Amsterdam (where we need to pick up our support vehicle) and Paris. We managed to get very favourable rates and are paying not much more then we would in a youth hostel! Great to see things going our way. We like to see one hotel chain offer us a deal on accommodation, that would be nicer then chasing up deals for each night! Recommendations would be welcome!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cindy Signs Up!

It has been confirmed that we have a spare support driver for the hardest part of our trip! Cindy Braz, Hash House Harrier from the Devonport Hash and hairdresser by day, from Turner's Beach in NW Tasmania will meet us in Vienna (27 August) and help us through Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria into Turkey to our final destination of Istanbul on Saturday 6 October 2007. Our entire proposed route schedule is <here>.

Having a spare driver means that Troy, the official driver/mechanic for the Great COFE for Cystic Fibrosis, can get on his bicycle and help us push up the hills! It also means an extra hand filming footage for the documentary!

Speaking of documentary, we are currently in communication with Kevin Shepit, adventurer and cinematographer from Canada, who may be able to join us for a month or so. Kevin may also be able to produce the documentary! He recently completed a documentary on homeless people in Vancouver.

I am one of the oldest!

Another article hits the press!

I never tell people I am one of the oldest, but it keeps on getting repeated in the press. Children born with CF in the 1990s statistically have a 50% chance of living over 35 years of age. When I was diagnosed in 1975, when I was 10 years old, I was not expected to live past my teens, so in that respect I have done very well. I do know of at least two people with CF older than me in Tasmania; take Mark Cage (past president of the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Tasmania!) he is in his 5th Decade and doesn't even look his age!

Cystic Fibrosis is one of the most common life-threatening inherited conditions. It is caused by a defective gene that clogs the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, with thick sticky mucus resulting in chronic infections and inflammation in the lungs and difficulty digesting food. In the Caucasian race one person in 25 carries the faulty gene, and if both parents carry the gene, a newborn has a 1 in 4 chance of having CF.

The life expectancy of CF patients has been increasing over the past 40 years. Studies show that life expectancy of children born today will exceed 40 years. Life expectancy of individuals with adequate pancreatic function can be more than 50 years.

In the UK, cystic fibrosis birth is about 1 in 2400 and 4% of the people are cystic fibrosis carriers(source <here>).

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Devonport Fundraiser success

The Devonport Shrek Movie was another awesome event. Thanks to the great effort people put into ticket sales we managed to get 150 odd people to come and made close to $1800 profit!! All people involved were fantastic!

Plenty of beer from Cascade and Boags, most groceries were sponsored by Woolworths, some food was donated by The Pizza Hut, Banjos and Bakers Dozen, a dozen bottles of fine Tasmanian wine were donated by Tiger Ranch Wines! Door prizes from Coles and Forestry Tasmania, chocolates from House of Anvers, sweatbands from Canoe 'n Surf, petrol vouchers from Rio Tinto... Cheese came from the Burnie Hash House Harriers!

And the press showed their face too!

More Press!

Big Week! Got into the RACT magazine for June!

And in the Sunday Examiner too!

Pretty amazing!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Fundraising Dinner and Auction

On Sunday July the 8th, starting at 6pm, there will be the last and final Fundraiser for The Great COFE for CF. Completely free of charge to us The Deck Cafe in Devonport has arranged for their suppliers to provide the food and the wine for three courses with matching wines. Even the staff is volunteering their night! My jaw dropped when Troy the owner called to tell me this!

The auction has attracted some excellent donation for auction. Amongst the list of items for auction we have:

New additions:

  • Power Inverter 1200 Watt 12V DC to AC power for the campers out there.
  • Manfrotto Tripod for cameras
  • Signed and framed photograph of Suzy Balogh - the first Australian woman to win an Olympic shooting gold medal!

Too many more to list for now! Keep an eye on the website (!

Tickets are $60 per head, and are selling much quicker then anticipated! Call The Deck Cafe ASAP to secure a seat. Phone: 03 - 6427 7188.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Hobart Fundraising Movie

The Hobart Fundraising movie with Shrek was a great success. We had a full theatre thanks to Rowan and Jenny from TACFU and Dace Shugg's organising and all the people that sold tickets, arranged door prizes, arranged nibbles and drinks, made sandwiches and bribed their friends to come. Door prizes and raffle prizes were donated by Rio Tinto, Forestry Tasmania, Judy Tierney, the Ball and Chain Grill,... Food was provided mostly by Coles and Cascade and volunteer sandwich makers, but also by Banjos, Boags and Woolworths!

It was a super event complete with Shrek cutouts for people to stick their heads in for photographs! Almost $2300 was raised by this event alone. Next on the agenda is the Devonport movie, on Sunday!