Sydney to Brisbane 2018 1000KM Cycle Challenge for suicide prevention charity RUOK?
The 06:00 alarm was our latest of the week. It was a real effort to fall out of bed and go through the same routine one more time. Force-feeding ourselves porridge and "lubing-up" for the day ahead!
Not so ready to roll. Day 8, here we go...
Now would be an appropriate time to mention our unsung hero Mr Ian Hales. We asked Ian to drive our support truck. This he has done magnificently. But that's only a fraction of his contribution to this event. Each day, he kicks our lazy arses out of bed. Then he makes us all breakfast. Then he loads up the truck with all our bags so that we can save our energy for the ride. He makes sure the esky is filled with cold water and ice. He's our photographer. If we have a mechanical issue he's there with the toolkit, track pump, spare tubes, tyres, wheels. He's basically a swiss-army driver. And he does it all unpaid and without ever complaining once. And I promise you, when we are hot, and cranky and sore and exhausted, we can be little bitches. It's water off a duck's back to this man, who just calmly carries on with the task in hand, giving us the best chance to do what we all need to do. He's an invaluable member of our team, and we could not have done this without him. Take a bow son, you are a legend.
We departed from our overnight stop and it was already warm. We all knew today was going to be a hot one. Our plan was to meet the six guys from RedEye at the Varsity Lakes rail station, where they had come down from Brisbane to meet us. Thanks to some unfriendly locals we were late arriving. I'm not sure what kind of intellect it takes to think that throwing drawing pins in the cycle lane is a smart idea, or what it is you might hope to achieve by this. Possible derailment of a charity bike ride raising awareness and funds for a charity for people with mental illness? Seems to me whoever did this could probably benefit more than most from what we are trying to do. Anyway, thanks for your efforts mate - all of us picking up a flat at the same moment was a great start to the day - hope you feel pleased with your efforts.
Three new tubes fitted and we were back on track. We rolled up to the station and the rest of the gang were pretty much ready to go. Just enough time for a quick team photo.
The RedEye Gang.
With six willing helpers, we were able to take it a little easier than the other days. We'd not had anyone else to ride with since leaving Sydney, so the company was very welcome indeed. And the effort these boys made to join us was not lost on us either - not only giving up their Sunday morning, but one of them having completed a half ironman the day before. Fair effort mate.
Special thanks also to RedEye Co-Founder and CEO Wayne Gerard who has been instrumental in supporting this challenge ride and associated fundraising. Your contribution is hugely appreciated.
The RedEye Express in full flight. Next stop Brisbane.
With the RedEye train flying along on the pan-flat route we made great progress, passing Surfer's Paradise along the way as we finally entered Queensland's world famous Gold Coast. But what we gained in support and lack of gradient, we lost in Celcius, as the temperature crept up to 41C. We were forced to take regular drink stops to stay hydrated and cool off.
After we crossed the Coomera River we started to head inland, following the main highway. We eventually picked-up a great cycleway on the outskirts of the city, which helped keep some distance between us and the traffic. As the highrise blocks of Brisbane came into sight it started to occur to us, we'd nearly made it.
A nice gesture from the RedEye lads was to sit up for the final 1KM and let us 3 come to the front so that we could arrive first to our destination on Brisbane's South Bank. Here my bro and Mr Tillin were met by a huge group of cheering friends and relatives. The RedEye crew were well supported too, some of them were not regular bike riders, and the 90KM or so they had covered was an achievement in itself - well-done guys - we picked a pretty hot day to do this!
1,000KM Cycle Challenge Sydney to Brisbane 2018 - DONE.
Brisbane's South Bank.
For a link to today's ride please check Strava.
With the hard work done, just a moment to reflect on why we did this with suicide prevention charity RUOK? Some of you may know we lost a mate last year to suicide. We didn't know it then, but Ed Skuza had struggled with mental illness for 18 years. Perhaps, someone taking a moment to ask RUOK? could have made a difference. Here's what RUOK? say about their own mission:
R U OK? is a national suicide prevention charity whose vision is a world where we are all connected and protected from suicide. Our mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life.
After we arrived at my brother's place in Brisbane, we got showered and fed, then opened a couple of cold ones and put our feet up. We then got a call from our old feller, congratulating us. My brother explained we were just shy of our $10K fundraising target.
Just after we had hung up the call we took another look at the fundraising site at: Everyday Hero . An anonymous donation had coincidentally taken us to our $10K target. Thank you, whoever you are. ;o)
There's already talk of another event next year, but for now, I'm happy to put my feet up and enjoy a rest day, exploring Brisbane with my bro.
In loving memory of our lost friend Ed Skuza.