Inspiration from family

Fund raising: the Beechworth Bakery cycle team aims to raise funds for the Special Development School. Photo: Roger Fuller

Fund raising: the Beechworth Bakery cycle team aims to raise funds for the Special Development School. Photo: Roger Fuller

There are many reasons to get on a bike and ride long distances. It could be for recreation, fitness, social, fundraising, a challenge, or all of the above and even some not mentioned.

After not riding competitively for more than 15 years, in 2004 Roger Fuller purchased an older Norco bike from a work mate with the idea that it would increase his fitness and drop a bit of weight. Getting hold of an old helmet and some plain bike clothes and an old pair of bike shoes Roger rode out of the drive, around the corner and up the very small hill with the realization how unfit he really was. However over the two months with perseverance and commitment in being consistent,  fitness increased along with the enjoyment of riding.

One Sunday morning Roger rode past a group of cyclists at the Sternberg roundabout who were about to set off on their ride. Plucking up the courage to stop and see if he was able to join them, which Roger believes is the best riding decision he has made. The group (which he still rides with today) made him more than welcome and he picked up many cycling tips along the way.

Cycling has been a release from day to day pressure for Roger. In 2003, Roger with his wife, Andrea, had their second son, Bailey. At the age of 4 months he was rushed to the Royal Children’s Hospital following a number of prolonged seizures. After many visits to both the Royal Children’s and the Bendigo Hospitals, Bailey was finally diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, which is a life shortening illness that requires full time care. Bailey is now six years old and attends the Special Developmental School at Kangaroo Flat, who are fantastic and are performing wonders with him.

Following a ride one day his good friend, Ken Spofforth,  invited Roger to join his team of six local guys and girls to ride in this years Port to Port. This a 400km ride over two days from Mildura to Echuca. This is the  sixth year the group will be participating.

After meeting with the six core riders agreement was reached to attempt setting up a new cycling team which would be able to ride in a number of events throughout Victoria and Southern NSW, to raise funds for different groups, schools, charities, and organisations.

On the sponsorship trail numerous letters were sent out one being to a gentleman who grew up on the banks of the Murray River, in Roger’s home town of Tocumwal, Tom O’Tool the founder and major shareholder of the Beechworth Bakery. Tom arranged for the Managing Director Marty Matassoni of Beechworth Bakery to inform the team of their desire to be the major naming rights sponsor.

Since then they have also had local livestock handling equipment manufacturer Kattle Gear Australia Pty. Ltd., Steelforce, CYKL -cycle street wear, and local transport company B.S.C Transport all come on board as sponsors.

The Beechworth Bakery Cycle Team was born and has already grown to 12 riders and ground crew of with all shapes and sizes and ages. The youngest team member is 23. The driver and ground crew member leading the team is 75. The team includes past state level riders who competed in last weeks World Masters Games in Sydney and a rider who rides just now and then.

On Saturday 24th October 2009 at 10.00am, there will be launch of the Beechworth Bakery Cycling Team at the Beechworth Bakery in Bendigo. This is also be an opportunity for people to donate to the team’s cause for the Port to Port: the Bendigo Special Developmental School. The team members are hoping to raise $1,000 and would love to see a lot more go towards this great school and the work they do for the kids.

Ken and Roger, both have a child who attends Special Development School, and did not think twice of who they would be riding for. They found inspiration to not only ride 400km but to also set this team up to help others and at the same time enjoy what they love doing, riding bikes.

All they need now is for the general public and local business to get behind their team and make a donation or just come down to the Beechworth Bakery this Saturday at 10.00am and wish them luck. Or for any more information please call Roger on 0400 336 771.

See you on the road soon God willing.

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