Community unity shines bright

14 bicycle riders lined up with their support crew

All in a good cause: the Bendigo to Narromine crew and riders.

There would not be many cyclists over the years that at some time have not had to face adversity that has challenged their commitment to keep on the bike.  With encouragement and mateship they generally find the will power to get back on the bike a lot of the time with renewed enthusiasm.

Some months ago two cyclists were out the road sharing about another adversity that somewhere at some time we all alike have a family member, a close friend, colleague or neighbour that has not be touched by the threatening disease of cancer. Such was the case that a family member at a very early age was suffering and had need of support. From a heart of compassion came the thought that a bike ride could well have had the potential to raise a few thousand that was much needed.

The first thought was why not ride the projected distance of 800 odd kilmetres in two days from Bendigo to Narromine a great challenge and a statement of courage, commitment not to mention endurance required. Cycling offers many annual events that are a measure of endurance. The Murray to Moyne 520 km in 24 hours a relay ride, but there are some tough riders that ride the whole way. This requires some 440 km to be achieved before reaching Hamilton for a rest break and then onto Port Fairy.  Bicycle Victoria’s Bay in a Day with options of 210 km and 250 km as a challenge which has a reasonable long break in the middle of the ride with a ferry ride. The Port to Port leaving Mildura  Port on the Murray to Echuca over 2 days with 250 km the first day to Swan Hill and backing up with a 150 km the following day to Echuca no hills but flat with wind and heat all making it a challenge. There are the Audax and others Alpine type classics of 200 to 250 km three mountains to be conquered.  Each year there are more and more endurance challenges coming forth but not many over 300 kms.

What was being considered with what was to become the “Tina’s Ride Bendigo to Narromine” was double and then some taking most recreational riders that were considering attempting the ride into new complete uncharted territory being billed as 845 km. The cycling community embraced the concept and no longer was this to be a glimmer of thought but a reality and a sound concept but now over 4 days and not two.

Within the cycling community there are very gifted people with skill sets that complement the fund raising aspect being embraced with an unbridled passion. Drawing on all the networks of business, cycling and wider community links 2 major functions became the core of the fund raising taking the original funds thought to be raised to be increased tenfold.  The recipe was now set with the right ingredients for success, a ride challenge, fund raising purpose and all for a needy cause along with an opportunity to share the road as a core group, making another testimony that much can be achieved with unity.

There were protocols of road usage in two states that needed to be addressed and a set route to be followed which consumed many hours of negotiations. Support crews were required to meet the road permit conditions. Accommodation and food were another key element to make the ride a success and a pleasant memory and not a nightmare. Again the appropriate people came forth to fill the bill with their skills and desire to make things the best they could be for all participating. Four months of planning and many meetings with food and a nice red came down to 4 days on the road being the icing on the cake.

In summary the statistic were as follows for the 14 odd riders

Day Riding time Distance Average speed (kph)
Wednesday 8hrs 16mins 266 km 32.2
Thursday 5hrs 58mins 196 km 31.7
Friday 8hrs 17mins 264 km 31.8
Saturday 3hr 37min 105 km 29.1
Total 26 hr 13 min 531.4 km 31.2

Each day had its own challenges that group riding can bring with environmental and geographic conditions mixed with the diverse personalities on the road as tiredness creeps in. Success was realised with many emotions flowing freely when Narromine was the end destination. Well done must go to all Bendigonians who supported the seed of thought to make it a force to be reckoned with.

See you on the road soon God willing.


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