I think it is important to make one thing clear right now. I am not doing this just to prove to myself that I can. My main reason is to raise vitally needed funds for The Roald Dahl Foundation, The Parkinson's Disease Society  and Parkinson's Victoria. For Australians who want to sponsor me - please see the Donations page for their link. I have bought all the necessary equipment such as purpose built bike, trailer, tent, sleeping bag etc. Ideally. it would be wonderful to get a sponsor on board, and to that end, I am extremely grateful that Qantas stepped in to confirm that they would help with the airfares and transportation of my bike and equipment to Australia and back. Without their help the idea would have been dead in the water.


Roald Dahl Foundation www.roalddahlfoundation.org
I have had a long association with this charity and over the years have watched it provide more and more grants to charities, hospitals, and individuals. Now the foundation has grown and raised its profile, more than ever it needs support to meet the increased demands placed upon it.

Parkinson Disease Society www.parkinsons.org.uk
This is very close to my heart as a member of my family has been diagnosed with this illness. It is a progressive, neurodegenerative, movement disorder that gets worse over time. The most prominent symptoms of Parkinson’s disease affect movement, although many other symptoms may also occur, some of which can be even more disabling than the movement symptoms

Parkinson's Victoria www.parkinsonsvic.org.au
For those Australian visitors to the site and to continue the theme above, I have teamed up with Parkinson's Victoria.

You can find more information about each of these on the Donations page of the site.

Who Am I:
My name is John Vaughan-Fowler. I am 49 years old and have spent most of my years living in and around rural England with my wife and daughters.

Whilst most men my age, when they have a mid-life crisis, go out and buy a flash car, I decided to buy a bicycle and go "walkabout".

Parkinson's Disease has touched my family directly and having seen the damage it can do, I am most keen to do whatever I can to assist in its demise and provide help for sufferers. At the same time I have seen first hand the good work that the Roald Dahl Foundation does and felt compelled again to contribute to their ends in any way possible.

However, leaving the girls for 6 weeks for a "holiday" in Australia didn't sit too well with my family, so I decided to couple my walkabout with a fundraising mission for a couple of worthy charities that are very close to home. As such, on my 50th birthday I plan to ride up to my sister's front door in Melbourne - I hope she's in - (having set out from Darwin) to greet my wife and four daughters having raised £50,000 for those charities.
The trip has been 10 months in the planning, which may not seem much, but has meant trying to fit in all the preparation and training, whilst, at the same time, running my financial advisory company and trying to carry on as normal a family life as possible - not sure I have got this final part quite right, but I have an amazing long suffering wife!  It has not been easy, and there are still a few things to sort out, not least hundreds of more miles on the bike before I leave. However, I know that all being well, I will reach my goal on Dec19th.

I plan to leave England on the 15th November, get up to Darwin ready to leave there on the 18th/19th November, arriving in Melbourne on December 19 – my 50th birthday with the one aim of raising at least £50,000 in total for the above charities – notice the connection 50 years old and raising £50,000. So rather than buy me huge wonderful pressies I would love you all to support me on this amazing journey by helping me reach this ambitious target, which in turn will enable us all to help these charities carry on their much needed work. Do remember that every penny makes a huge difference to these dedicated teams

With my start date is fast approaching, your support now for these charities will give me compelling encouragement to continue my training for the ride and to ultimately complete my own personal and long bike ride!

As I mentioned earlier, this is slightly longer than your average sponsored bike ride. I am really hoping for people to be as generous as possible with their sponsorship so that by the time I arrive in Melbourne we will have hit Ithe magic £50,000 target. And of course don't forget to Gift Aid your donation as the extra contribution from the taxman here in the UK would be an additional huge bonus for the selected charities.  Thank you fo your help and support.