Well, we have been busy lately trying to get ready for the ride.
Currently, I am doing combined training of 400kms per week on road together with indoor training of another 100kms. Also doing weights daily.
Certainly have some good news here. My wife Jenny and Sallee Harman will accompany me, providing my support and as I can be quite demanding, I’ll need both of them in top shape. Both Jenny and Sallee have experience in doing this before. Jenny on the first Mountains to the Reef ride, and then again for part of the Perth to Sydney ride, until she got sick. Sallee was with me for the Darwin to Broome part of the ride last year. Sallee will go right through to Port Douglas with me. At Charters Towers, Bill Pixton will take Jenny’s spot and do the busy part of the trip through to Townsville, Cairns and onto Port Douglas. Bill would have gladly done the entire trip again but as he is providing care for his daughter who suffers from Huntington’s Disease, it was simply too long away.
Bill, Sallee, Bob & Jenny The Last Leg Crew
Our support vehicle is a motor home fully sponsored by Mr. Bill Dong of B & E Foods Pty Ltd
. Bill has been a great supporter of mine over my previous three rides. Bill is a very good friend who came to Australia with his family about 15 years ago, set up a business and now employs 200 people. Sydney City Lexus has donated money to cover the fuel. Other sponsors have also come on board like Epirb Hire who are providing us with a sat phone for emergencies. Salsa Bar and Grill in Port Douglas are there for us too.
Feelings about this ride
I am feeling very fit and looking forward to this next ride from Darwin to Port Douglas. At the completion of the ride, I will have ridden 15,000 kms over 4 years, so should be getting the hang of it by now. We call this ride The Last Leg which suggests this is the finish. We will see. I will be very excited to get to Port Douglas for a well earned holiday with Jenny. Sallee and Bill will be around for a few days so thats good.. A couple of our friends from our Rotary Club, Margie and Ken will also be there.
MND and HD
My passion has developed enormously over the last 4 years – I dedicated my first ride to my cousin Judith O’Brien who was diagnosed with MND in February 2013 . A week before I completed my ride from the Three Sisters Katoomba to Port Douglas I received the news that Judith has passed away – it was Christmas Day 2013. Since that time I have lost a good golfing mate to MND – Mal Grant, who showed great courage in the face of this terrible disease and I saw first hand the effect it had not just on him but the whole family. The spirit they all shared on the journey has definitely had a big effect on my passion and motivation in helping to find a cure. Also my great friend Bill Pixton has been greatly affected by Huntington’s Disease which has struck his daughter and through him, I have learned a lot about this disease as well and I have dedicated my last two rides to raise funds for both MND and HD. Bill recently sat in on a carers group at Huntington’s NSW and was blown away by these wonderful inspiring people who provide care for their loved ones.
Huntington’s NSW & ACT and Iggy Get Out
We have worked previously with Huntington’s NSW & ACT
on the Darwin to Perth ride. Our efforts last year helped fund a youth social worker. We are very proud of that contribution. They are a well-run organization who provide so much support for those suffering from HD but also for their carers. We will talk more about this later. Thanks to CEO Robyn Kapp OAM and Fundraising Manager Pauline Keyvar. Nothing is too much trouble for these two. On the MND side this year we are working with Iggy Get Out
. This innovative, well-credentialled research organisation is trying to join the dots with MND research. Through my association with Iggy Get Out I have met Peter Schutzinger who was diagnosed with MND about 6 years ago and continually displays great courage and resilience in the face of this disease. Robyn Yeates OAM and founder of Cancer Wellness in Leura who is a friend of ours was recently diagnosed with MND and is also showing great courage. Both Peter and Robyn will be my inspiration and motivation for The Last Leg.
Bill and I are both members of Upper Blue Mountains Rotary
, and they have always given us great support. Also in our travels, we will meet many other Rotarians who without fail, are welcoming and generous. On our trip there are a handful of Clubs in Darwin, a couple in Mount Isa, and then from Townsville to Port Douglas, there are some 14 Clubs. We will be looking for all sorts of promotion opportunities not only with Rotary but with other community groups and events. At Port Douglas, we will participate in the Golf Day on 19th August.
Over the past four years we have raised around $150,000. We are just starting on “The Last Leg” but have about $15,000 from the Blackheath Golf Day and other contributions. With a target of $100,000, we have plenty of work to do but we’re up for it. Anyone reading this and who would like to help you can DONATE here.
Thanks from Bob
25 June, 2018