Darko Pucek

Couldn't resist this one!!

GO Poppy - I'll take that. The title for my next chapter. Thanks Lili

The End of the Challenge Ride - a fitting end to a Chapter

WOW! what an extraorinary day. Perfect conditions, sunny, cool, a light breeze and the roads jam packed with enthusiasts. The atmosphere festive and friendly, everyone anticipating the excitement of the pro's arriving at the finsh line in Strath. We had a front view, 25 metres from the finish line. 

We met two wonderful people from Canberra, who engaged us in a conversation, having noticed that I had trainer wheels on my bike. The young man had had some form of accident or stroke and was left with disabilities similar to, but a little more severe, than mine. He was a keen cyclist prior to his episode and had only just received a new bike a month ago (some one gave it to him after someone else had stolen his. - the new one was exactly the same as his old one). He has only riden it once so far as his carer is ensuring he can manage it. We exchanged our stories and we all left enriched by the experience.

During the ride from Goolwa I came to the realisatiion that a chapter was ending in my life, not regrettably but with a sense of victory, launching us into a new phase for our lives (Sally nad I). I first rode in the Challenge tour in 2006 from Goolwa to Yankallila. it 93km and 42o. 2007 it was Stirling to Victor Harbour 128km and it rained the whole day. I always wanted to do 1 more ride and today was it. After the stroke in March 2017 I embarked on journey that would help in a restorative, rehabilitation process. That phase of the process is now completed and I can move on to the next Chapeter. I'm excited about that! I plan to stay active but it will take a different 'shape' a new 'form'

Thanks heaps to Richard Ziebarth who looked after me today and has been a good friend.

Thanks to all my facebook friends and sponsors

A special thanks and love to my children, Joshua, Reuben and Sarah

To my 10 grandchildren and the one on the way

and lastly but first of all to my dear wife, best friend, biggest fan and faithful supporter - Sally-Anne who just seems to carry it all, I love you heaps.


BREAKING NEWS...the FINISH line is in sight

With the welcome change in weather comes the welcome of the last Goal in our Challenge together for this challenge tour.

As sponsors of my ride you have all completed your stage with great enthusiasm and successs. NOW  its my turn to complete my stage.

Reluctantly, I have had to make a change to my ride start from Myponga to Goolwa.

Of course, the final goal is knowing that those for whom these events are undertaken, will ultimately derive much benefit and assistance from the money raised.

To my good friend Grace, I  hope you will take some encouragement from the expressions of love dispayed by so many fellow Australians who have chosen to show thier support for yourself and so many in similar situations, by what we see through the efforts of the bCancer Councio's Ride For A Reason.


What an extraordinary event the Tour Down under is

I'm amazed at how many people are influenced by, and come together for, this one event and what it means to our State. Apart from the Pro’s, no one else is in competition

I feel privileged to make my own small contribution, certainly not in competition, but sharing in the overall success and goals of the event. The Tour Down Under (especially through the Cancer Council’s ‘Ride for a Reason’) has given me the opportunity to share and participate in, its purpose and vision. For me, I see it as ‘Ride for Purpose’. As someone recovering from Stroke, this has been a welcome Purpose – I’m a beneficiary as well as a contributor.

This is an event that brings so many people together, throughout our State, our Nation and the World, in a variety of ways to create a great atmosphere of generosity, hope, prosperity and encouragement.

The humble bicycle – What an amazing ‘vehicle’ for health, vitality, success, camaraderie,  prosperity, excellence and purpose.

 I don't know all the stats facts and figures but what I  know of,  amazes me:

  • more than 7,000 riders
  • more than 100,000 local spectators,
  • numerous businesses - from the small to the large,
  • countless volunteers,
  • numerous professionals, including the Media,
  • a variety of local communities throughout the state,
  •  myriad of charities and not for profit organisations, 
  • many donors and fundraisers.

 What an amazing mix of ordinary Aussies coming together in Unity for this one event – each one making their contribution, each one a ‘superstar,’ in their own right.

 It's what Aussies are really all  about - things that unite us rather than divide us.

 It’s not about the sport, whether we ‘like’ it or not, it’s what brings out the best in each of us.

I’m looking forward to posting a final update before the ride, in the next week and the last post for the challenge tour after the ride, to conclude my story.

Ten weather report Today highlights TDU Challenge Tour

Priveleged to be part of the weather report on Channel Ten with Kate Freebairn and the crew from Channel 10, along with fellow riders in this Year's Challenge Tour. A good 'unofficial plug  for the Cancer Council's RFAR.via my wearing the official RFAR Kit 

Thank you to10 News, wonderful crew and Boccelis Cafe Wakefield St.

Check out the report here


Just over 7 weeks to go

We've got less than 4 weeks 'til Christmas and 8 weeks to ride day.

Time is running out to sponsor the ride and complete the goal to raise the hopes of family and sufferers over this Christmas time. 

It's a time when supporting families need a boost of support and encouragement as they too, should be enjioying the festivities and the enjoyment of family comfort and companionship.

I have less than $500 to reach my goal.

Can I impose upon your generosity a little further and ASK YOU TO SHARE THIS PAGE WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES if you have not already done so.

Thank you again for caring and for your support.

Update on my progress

I’m so pleased with the fundraising results and grateful for your support.

I’ve had some challenges since I first started that threw me off my game for the past 10 weeks.

I started off for the first time since my stroke, riding a challenging 2.0km!, at the end of May. Over the next 3 weeks and ten rides I fluctuated between 3 and 14 km’s. In early July I installed 1 toe strap on my good (left) foot and 2 weeks later installed the second on my right foot. A few days later I had my first fall, nothing serious just embarrassing.

In early August I purchased new riding shoes with cleats and the pedals to suit. Over the next 4 weeks I managed to fall off twice.

My confidence was shaken and I became fearful of being ‘locked’ in to my bike. I had managed to ride a total of 439km to this point since beginning.

Being off the bike and the thought of not achieving my ride goal was even more discouraging. I began to think about how I could overcome the problem and it came to me, that if I maintained an open, flat pedal on my right foot I would no longer be ‘locked’ to the bike. On the 7th Nov I made the changes to the bike and rode a comfortable 13km. The transformation was extraordinary. The fear vanished and confidence took its place. To date I’ve ridden a total of 526km since first beginning.

I’m looking forward to finishing my Challenge Tour Ride.

A tribute to a good friend

Derek was more than a friend he was a brother in Christ, a faithful minister of the gospel, a man of great conviction and courage. Recently gone to his heavenly reward, we celebrate his life.

Even in his last weeks’ Derek served others with passion and fervor. He has generously sponsored my ride, which is dedicated to he and his family. Derek was a firm believer in a core principle of life that says ‘it’s not what happens to you that matters most; it’s what you do with what happens to you that matters most.’ When a loved one is hurting we also hurt.

I guess that’s what ‘Ride for a Reason’ is all about – bad things happen but we can make them serve us, so we can rise up and make a difference for those unable to help themselves!

Derek's story

My journey started with skin cancer when I was twenty eight years old, and for the next thirty seven years I have had many removed with surgery.

Two years ago after a close examination with a skin specialist they discovered that the skin cancer had gone deeper and I now had squamous cell cancer and chronic lymphocytic    Leukaemia.

Over the two years I have had major surgery, resulting in long hospital stays and follow up treatment with three different types of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy, with little response other than an extension of months in life expectancy as there is no treatment as one cancer fights against  the other in treatment.

The only answer in treatment for me is that they discover a new treatment. Until then I will fight with a positive attitude and trust in my faith in God

My proposed ride - Myponga to Stratalbyn - 102 Km

I'm Riding for a Reason in January

For my good friends, Derek and Grace

I'm excited by the opportunity of riding in the 2019 'Challenge tour' to raise needed funds for the Cancer Council, as part of the Ride for a Reason challenge. This is my story.

At 64, it's been 12 years since I last rode in a challenge tour. I've had many challenges since then, not the least of all having had a stroke in 2017.

As a result, I've been left with an ataxia (motor restrictions) of my right side (I'm right handed). Even so, I'm gratefull on many counts but three in particular;

1. In spite of the limitaitions of the stroke, I still have the ability to get on my bike to enjoy something I love to do. Over the past 11 weeks I've managed to ride a total of 375 kms having started by only riding 2 km.

2. To God who inspires courage, faith and patience within me, to seize hold of this precious gift of life inspite of the frustrations, challenges and disappointments that the stroke has brought.

3. To all my family, friends and Church family for your love, support and encouragement.

 Whether you've been set back by cancer, or stroke or other physical disability - maybe you're a carer or a loved one or possibly both - take heart - people care about you.

This 'Ride for a Reason' is for you! To put it in a cycling context, we who are riding in this challenge are like the 'domestiques' in professional riding, making the way for you - the real heroes - to take us all to the win.

Don't underestimate the power of hope, you may even get healed.

To those reading this page  will you join this team of 'domestiques' showing your support for our fellow Aussie heroes to win their race, by generously sponsoring my ride?

Domestique - Wikipedia

Jump to In track cycling - In road bicycle racing, a domestique is a rider who works for the benefit of his or her team and leader, rather than trying to win the race. In French, domestique translates as "servant".

 Watch for my next post for the word of a real hero Derek and his journey with cancer.

My Achievements

Changed Pic

Shared Page

Self Donation

Reached $ Target

Reached my ride goal

10 Donations

UV Sleeves – Raised $80

Jersey – Raised $500

Knicks – Raised $1000

Raised $1500

Earned Full Kit

Thank you to my Sponsors


Stephan Pucek

Hi Darko, I am very proud of your efforts and you are a winner already.


Reuben, Christelle, Lily & Macy

Well done, we are so proud of you! It’s for a fantastic initiative for a great cause. Good luck on the ride.


Phillip & Elisa Colak

Well done Darko, a fantastic cause for amazing people


Derek Bodycote

"Go Darko" you can do it and I believe you will raise even more, so come on friends let's get behind Darko and break that goal.


Rock Social

All the best Darko, we’re confident you’ll smash your target. It’s an honour for us, like many others to be able to support you in such a worthy cause. You dedication to giving to others is an inspiration in itself. All the Best from the team at Rock Social!!!



Go Darko you will smash this out and dominate “Like a BOSS” awesome to see you putting yourself out there for such a good cause!!! The BOSS family are right behind you.


Phillip & Elisa Colak

Well done Darko, you are a such an encourager and an inspiration.



You are an inspiration, God bless you as you go and may His strength be yours today and always



Dark yr life smashed to the ground but what did you do? Get up and think of someone else. It's ppl like you and our dear friend Derek that make the world wonderful, in spite of everything .


Integrity Massage


Euride Campbelltown




Scott & Lynda Thomson

You are an inspiration Darko. Scott and Lynda Thomson


Silvio Fantasia

You can do it dad (Darko)


Terry Williams

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


Yasna And Les

Glad to support the work of the Cancer Council through your ride.