Cycling through France earlier this year gave Beverley Peet all the practice she needs for an upcoming charity bike ride.
The avid cyclist and Francophile spent four weeks following the Tour de France in a camper van and on her bike, winding through picturesque French villages and lush farmland.
From Corsica to Brittany, Peet and a friend tracked the progress of the cyclists throughout the country, breaking up rigorous hill climbs with stops at museums, castles and churches.
"It was quite funny, because sometimes we would be riding ahead of the pack and people would be on the side of the road cheering for us," she says.
"It's just so incredibly exciting to be there, just the atmosphere created by the people is great."
While her next bike ride won't feature quite so many exciting moments, the cause is one close to her.
The Sydney Ride to Conquer Cancer is a two-day, 200-kilometre ride from the city towards Camden and Macarthur and back again to raise money for the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse cancer care centre at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
Peet is completing the ride with her close friend Margaret Ossington to remember her late father, who died from the disease, and to experience a new type of cycling trip - an overnighter.
"I've always loved cycling long distances, but when Margaret told me about this one I was keen to do something I haven't done before," she says.
"My father was always a keen cyclist through his life and did a lot of cycling throughout his youth, so that was probably initially where my love of it came from."
Peet, who was the president of Alliance Francaise of the Illawarra for 13 years until she stepped down from the role at the beginning of this year, is also holding a French film night to raise money for the cancer care centre.
She says she has been fascinated by French culture since she learnt to speak the language of love at her Ballarat high school. A trip to Paris when she was 18, when a few months turned into four years, cemented her fascination with the country and the people.
Now an English teacher to the hundreds of international students who pass through the University of Wollongong each year, she returns to France annually to visit friends or to ride around the countryside with other Aussie cyclists.
The French film night is at Greater Union Wollongong on November 8 and features 2010 film Copacabana.
Tickets are $22 and can be bought at stickytickets.com.au.
The Sydney Ride to Conquer Cancer is on this Saturday and Sunday, starting at 6am. Donations can be made online at conquercancer.org.au.