Gra Nomad Wanderings

Thursday, December 18, 2008

BIKE FOR BIBLES 25th ANNIVERSARY










THREE CYCLISTS SENT TO HOSPITAL!
VETERAN CYCLIST REQUIRES OPEN HEART SURGERY!

The headlines are somewhat alarming – but we could also have written:
FORTY CYCLISTS DO 25TH ANNIVERSARY RIDE. Or
$60,000 GOAL FOR LITERACY DEVELOPMENT AT INDIGENOUS COLLEGE.
Maybe: KEAST HERDS CYCLISTS FROM SYDNEY TO MELBOURNE DESPITE WEATHER, MISHAPS AND TERRAIN.

From 6 – 13 December I was a roadie for the 25th Anniversary ride of BIKE FOR BIBLES. Fancy that! 25 years ago Bob Forest, (see first photo) his son and a friend rode from Sydney to Melbourne. They raised about $2,000 for the purchase of Bibles through the Bible Society. This ride expects to raise up to $60,000 to support Wontulp-Bi-Buyu indigenous college at Cairns in Northern Queensland. The rides over the past 25 years have raised in excess of ten million dollars for literacy development throughout the world. While there are rides in other countries (eg Canada and India) most rides have taken place in Australia.

Being a roadie for the A team meant driving behind about 12 riders (with signage and flashing lights) and supplying them with water, nibbles, track pump, encouragement, wet weather gear and other maintenance necessities. (see 2nd photo) There were two other teams of riders, a tandem and 2 recumbents. About 30 riders. It took us 8 days. Yes, there were 3 casualties: one with a heart condition, one with a damaged shoulder joint and one with a damaged left elbow. Those 3 were unable to continue riding. Riders and roadies came from Ulladulla (1), Dubbo (1), West Wyalong (1), Narrabri (1), Orange (1), Port Macquarie (1), Melbourne (3), Nowra (4), Newcastle (4), Canberra (4), Central Coast (5) and Sydney (18).

Distances each day between 80 and 160. At each place we visited we would stay at a school or a church hall or a church or a sports hall. The roadie pair provided breakfast, morning tea and lunch. Evening meals were provided by local church communities mostly and sometimes by an RSL club.

Jim Blaxland did a fantastic job (as usual) in organising the ride. He is the ride coordinator with the Bible Society. It was great to have Bob Forest (one of the original riders) have a cameo role by riding on day 1 and day 7. Bob is over 70. There was a tribute given to Bob and his wife Betty at the end of the ride.

It was my first BFB ride as a roadie. I did enjoy it although I managed to sneak off when we reached Benalla and have a 21 km ride using one of the bikes. Whether I am able to ride again or not…. God only knows. I have indicated a desire to do the Cairns to Melbourne ride commencing April 2009. It’s over 3,000 km. Time alone will tell. And yes, I will be seeking sponsorship next year to the tune of $6,000! Gonna support me? Again?

Thanks to all those who have been my support team both this year and in past years. Much appreciated. I’m glad to have made a small difference in the lives of others less fortunate than myself with your help. I rode in the Mulga Bill ride in July, the Dubbo Coffee Shop Easy Ride in September and then roadied in December for this 25th Anniversary ride. I have been truly blessed.

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4 Comments:

At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bles to all and well done Roadie!! Alwasy have followed in your footsteps for many years, finally good to have you following in mine!

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Keasty said...

Guess who???? Good onya ACK. Seeya soon.

 
At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Erica said...

Loved the retirees, which one is the Rev Armstrong's son, I think I know just from the photos. How is his big sister Shirley going, she taught me all the best tricks in first year at goulburn High. Great memories of Goulburn days. Now this retirement business is great as long as you have lots to do that is why I have my little book shop at Bataemans Bay and why I have been to China eleven times and the UK six. I think people can retire much to young. I have a cataract in my left eye and have to wait ages to even get into see about it in Canberra next Tuesday thank goodness. I bet Mr Rudd would not have to wait months to get attention to his eye. Good luck with the bike ride. Erica

 
At 6:10 PM, Blogger prolix said...

whatever it is we need tweaking until you put the aero bars on the bike. If your road set up is aggressive, you might need minimal tweaking.. Bikes Canberra

 

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