Sheila has a Lion's heart
Tuesday, 15th June, 2010
Western Australian Sheila Howard has decided that planes, trains and automobiles are way too relaxing to travel from one side of Australia to another, so she's opted to ride her bicycle instead.
Mrs Howard, decided to undertake the 36-day ride when she was invited to the Lions Club Convention in Sydney.
The 69-year-old grandmother, who is riding from Bunbury WA to Sydney with her husband, stopped off in Broken Hill on Sunday for a much needed rest.
It's the second visit the couple have made to the city and they both loved it.
"It's beautiful, very lush and green," Mrs Howard said.
Mr and Mrs Howard enjoyed lunch at Club Legion with local Lions members and were taken around town to local points of interest by Lions member Trevor Odgers and his wife Pam.
Mrs Howard has ridden her bicycle from Darwin to Adelaide, Rockhampton to Darwin, and even from France to Belgium and on to Holland.
She was also one of the torchbearers during the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
"The mental part of it is the hardest. When you get head winds and you're going 14kph its hard to keep going, but I do," Mrs Howard said.
She has faced extreme weather over the years, such as severe hail storms and extreme heat.
"There's no point looking at the weather, because you know you just have to do it no matter what."
Mrs Howard aims to ride close to 190 kilometres a day, which means waking up at 5.30am each morning.
Husband Norm drives along with her, towing their caravan.
"Norm heads off later after he has packed the van, and I've usually done about 40km's by then, then he catches up to me.
"You may as well do it now while you can, because you're a long time dead," he said.
The Lions Cancer Institute that the couple are raising money for, has been performing free skin cancer screenings for WA residents for the past 20 years.
Shortly after arriving in Sydney, Mrs Howard will reach another milestone, turning 70.