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Events

Riding across Australia to break the cycle of poverty

Bicycle Queensland members Nellie and Richard Logan embarked on a bike ride of more than 4000km over 28 days, to help raise funds for children facing poverty. Read the recount of their amazing journey below:

On 17th September 2022, Richard and I headed out with a team of 22 cyclists and 15 support crew from Cottesloe Beach, Perth to begin a 28-day ride across Australia. Our final destination was Bar Beach in Newcastle NSW, 4200km away and our goal was to raise $1 million for Compassion’s Critical Needs Fund and see 150 children sponsored.

We were an odd assortment of riders from all over the country, some had done this ride previously and others had never ridden in a group. A few cyclists used to race in their younger days, one even at an elite level. One man had ridden across a few continents. Then some had never done a multi-day ride before training for this event. Our backgrounds varied from businesspeople to teachers to physios to working in IT, we were a mix of ages and sizes.

Team riding

The accommodation was also a bit of a mix. We would find ourselves in caravan park cabins, or roadhouse motels (sometimes squished in because there weren’t enough rooms to accommodate us). Many times we would be bunking down together in church halls or sports centres. Occasionally we got billeted out to locals. We stayed in a few delightful old buildings, such as the Catholic Convent in Coolgardie, a beautiful 120-year-old plus property in Muswellbrook, and the town hall at Burra that is now a museum.

There were many tests along the way, headwinds of 30kph, crosswinds up to 50kph, sickness, rain and rain mixed with coal dust (we were filthy dirty that day). Even icy winds coming straight off the Southern Ocean. There were long days in the saddle, sometimes arriving just as the sun set. We dodged kangaroos, emus, and snakes on the roads, we came across the occasional cranky truckie who would decide to pull in a little too soon after overtaking. There were plenty of highlights, seeing the beautiful landscapes, like the green rolling hills near Burra, meeting the townsfolk who would openly welcome us and feed us.

Each morning Richard would give us the numbers for the day, distances to each stop and the elevation report. We’d also get a weather report and a reading of a child story. These child stories would tell us of the hardships faced by children living in poverty and how Compassion has made a difference in their lives. These child stories were powerful reminders to us of why we were riding.

Riding along the highways and through the towns sparked plenty of interest. Truckies would honk in encouragement, some would even ask how to donate. Caravanners would come and visit us in the evenings, telling us they had passed us along the way and would then give us a donation to the cause. Sometimes people would even pull up on the side of the road to pass on a donation. Richard had a local come and chat with him one lunchtime. The guy told him not to leave town just yet, the fellow took off and came back 10 minutes later with some cash in his hand. In Port Pirie, the local bakery donated pallets of bread and donuts to the team after one of the team members popped in for a pie and told them what we were up to. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of people and their kind hearts.

We met plenty of characters along the way. 10-year-old Ethan from Minnipa was quite enamoured with what we were doing, he rocked up on his bike the morning we were leaving Minnipa. One of the team gave him their jersey, Ethan put on his new jersey, jumped on his bike, and led us out of Minnipa, despite the rain. We later heard from his Mum that Ethan had been saving for a phone but he would now like to donate his savings to the children of Compassion.

Then there was 84-year-old Doris. We met Doris in Parkes at a church meeting, and she also came down to see us off. Doris was on her red push bike, and once again led the team out!

Ethan
Doris

One of the most heartfelt was meeting Linda from Kenya. She told us that her brother had been sponsored through Compassion and proceeded to tell us how it had made a difference to her brother and their family. We also found out that this woman was born in the same town as one of our support crew. Wow, to hear first-hand the work of Compassion.

Our last days were our biggest in elevation and some of our longest in kilometres. We had to cross the range to reach the coast, and what a welcome we received as we road into Bar Beach! The footpath was full of friends and family and all the Compassion Staff from all over the country, there to greet us and cheer us in. It was a very emotional moment. We had done it, we had made the journey across Australia. We fostered awareness of the great work Compassion does in developing nations, and we had raised much-needed funds for children living in poverty. We aim to reach $1 million, the current tally is almost $950,000.

Thank you Bicycle Queensland and members for your support.

Nellie and Richard are keen to reach their target by the end of 2022. To help break the cycle of poverty you can sponsor a child or donate to Compassion’s Critical Needs Fund.

If you’d like to become a member and help support more people riding more often, join us here.

Nellie and Richard
Burra Town Hall
Categories
Events

IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast

Our very own Amanda Hernandez, Membership Coordinator completed the IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast on 11 September 2022. A swim that started on the beautiful Mooloolaba Beach, followed by a fast and furious ride and a picture-perfect two-lap coastal run. What an amazing effort, below you can read Amanda’s recount of the day.

Last year I rode the bike leg of the IRONMAN Sunshine Coast 70.3, and I thought anyone who runs a half marathon after riding 90km had to be crazy. Then I thought, I wonder if I could do it? I had run a few half marathon distances on road and gravel. Next minute, it was on my goals list for 2022! I needed a swimmer and luckily I knew a good one who kindly stepped up. Learning how to swim is also on my goals list for this year!

I knew nothing about how to train. I didn’t understand the training plans, they were all about the length of time and effort. I normally work on distance, and go as fast or as slow as I feel like on the day. I asked a few people who had done Ironman events for advice and devised a plan. I started using gels and Gatorade, a change from post-ride hot chocolates and pastries. Most of my training was done solo, and with early winter starts, it was tough.

While I’m a confident rider, my main concern was not being able to fix a flat, and not making it to the run leg. I knew the steps involved, but my hands are not overly strong or dexterous, and I’ve always needed help to get a tyre off and on the rim. I didn’t know how to take the rear wheel off a bike – also on my goals list! A week before the event, I managed to take the rear wheel off and put it on. Once you understand the mechanics, there’s no turning back. Three nights before the event, for the first time, I installed new tubes and tyres, front and rear, all by myself with supervision and coaching from my bike handler.

Race day nerves weren’t present, because I was a little stressed about my delay in arriving at transition. I had to pump my tyres and unpack my gear bag before transition closed. Then, I lost my swimmer after dropping off the pump – so many wetsuits, everyone looked the same, and I didn’t have my glasses. Off to the beach I went to wait for the start and hoped to see her run into the water. Once I thought I saw her I went back to transition to prepare for the ride. The bike leg went well although I rationed my fluids too much. I hit the same small patch of glass and pothole on each lap, at least I was consistent! I couldn’t stomach a gel until I was 12km into the run leg, and that was the only one. The rest of the leg was done on water and Gatorade. I need to work on different nutrition for the next 70.3.

That’s right, the next one. There will be another 70.3 on my goals for next year. Challenge yourself and step outside of your comfort zone. You will learn and grow.

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Education Partner News

White Cloud Foundation Partnership

Bicycle Queensland would like to announce an exciting new partnership with White Cloud Foundation. White Cloud is a charity organisation that provides free tele-mental health services to Queenslanders struggling with anxiety and depression. White Cloud also provide an incredible meals for mums service which support women at risk of or experiencing perinatal depression.

This partnership enables Bicycle Queensland members to access support without a diagnosis, no referral, and at no cost. White Cloud’s services include mental health nursing and counselling, psychology, social work, dietitians, and exercise physiology.

White Cloud was created to remove the barriers to accessing mental health treatment, identifying that getting access to early support when you have the speed wobbles is incredibly important.

BQ CEO Rebecca Randazzo said, “We know that some of the reasons why we ride a bike is for that social connection and wellbeing and we are really excited to partner with White Cloud and bring about great outcomes for our members”.

If you need support, you can access White Clouds service by calling 07 3155 3456

Find out more about White Cloud

Adam Scott Chair of WCF with BQ CEO Rebecca Randazzo
Categories
Events

Annual General Meeting Results

The Bicycle Queensland (BQ) board and members gathered online on September 22 for the Annual General meeting. The Annual report can be accessed here.

BQ welcomes Richard Buning to the board. Richard has a love for all things cycling. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise both as a bike rider and academic expert in active lifestyle. In his role as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland Business school, his research interests reside at the intersection of physical activity, travel, and events. Outside of work, Richard can be found pursuing his passions of mountain biking, running, rock climbing, and hiking. 

The board thanks departing directors, Rob van Manen, Audine Bartlett, and Craig Davis for their years of service to BQ. The board wishes to acknowledge the leadership, care, and commitment of Rob van Manen who has served as a management committee member, President, and Chair of BQ over the past four and half years.

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Advocacy Uncategorised

Bridges section of Boyne-Burnett Inland Rail Trail opens

Opening of the Mt Debatebale to Mundubbera rail trail.

The Boyne-Burnett Inland Rail Trail (BBIRT) is a great success story of grassroots actions by communities a long way away from the seat of power. Last weekend a second section was officially opened, 30km of trail from Mt Debateable to Mundubbera.

This is the “Bridges” section of the BBIRT, as the rail corridor runs beside the mighty Burnett River, and crosses the many creeks feeding the river as they run off Mt Gayndah and the Binjour Plateau. The bridges which cross these creeks are listed by Engineers Australia as being of heritage significance.

Unfortunately floods have seen off two of these bridges, Reid Creek and Philpott, making it difficult for the rail trail to run along the corridor the entire distance from Gayndah to Mundubbera. At present, the trail starts 10km out of town in Mt Debateable siding, as the Reid Creek crossing prevents the trail from connecting into Gayndah. However, there is a detour around the site, where the bridge across Philpott Creek once was, adding a few kilometres to the journey.

Like many Queensland rail trails, this is an adventure experience. There are sandy sections, bumpy sections, and a few steep pinches out of gullies. The trail is best suited to a mountain bike (e-mtb is becoming popular too).

But for the adventurous who attempt the Bridges section of the BBIRT, you are rewarded with great views, and several plaques marking historical sites of interest.

Packs and Pedals’ runs a shuttle service on the BBIRT, and they can help you explore either the Bridges section or the Tunnels section from Kalpowar to Ubobo in the Boyne Valley.

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Advocacy Uncategorised

Gold Coast recycling hub idea takes shape

Wouldn’t it be great if regular bike riders (such as Bicycle Queensland members for instance) had somewhere local that they could drop off for recycling those consumable items of bike riding, such as tyres, tubes and chains?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a central location for people who are interested in low-cost bike riding could access second-hand parts, especially those items such as cranks, saddles, seat posts, and wheels which often have a useful life long after they are no longer the latest and greatest.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was somewhere for mums and dads (such as Bicycle Queensland members for instance) to be able to donate children’s bikes and even adult bikes which are no longer needed but still have plenty of useful life ahead of them?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a central training location in our largest regional city for bicycle shops to send trainee mechanics, which also had the side benefit of fixing up low-cost donated bikes to go to worthy recipients?

The City of Gold Coast is looking at all these ideas coming together in a cycling/recycling hub. The City’s Water and Waste team hosted the first public discussions on the idea this week, and Bicycle Queensland’s Director of Advocacy Andrew Demack was there to support the concept.

Also represented in industry and community meetings were bike retailers and manufacturers, as well as groups such as Men’s Sheds and community bike repair groups.

“Bicycle Queensland’s members have so much to contribute to this type of Council-led project,” Demack said.

“We are enthusiastically supporting this project and hope to see it move from concept to pilot as soon as possible. I am sure that there are local groups in Brisbane and all the major regional cities which would love to see councils engage in proactively promoting a circular economy approach to the bike industry and many other industries.

“Bikes are well-suited to be ahead of the curve on this because the bike riding community is already very engaged on sustainability and recycling,” Demack said.

Categories
Advocacy Press releases

BQ Joins Global Pro-Cycling Campaign With Big Results

A global campaign led by the European Cycling Federation (ECF), which included an open letter to governments at COP26 signed by 350 organisations worldwide, has helped achieve a last-minute recognition of active travel in the official COP26 Transport Declaration on 10 November.

Protesting the near-exclusive focus on electric cars and total absence of active mobility in the official Transport Day agenda and the draft transport declaration. A global coalition of civil society organisations led by ECF called on world leaders and governments to recognise the importance of cycling to reach climate goals.

The last-minute inclusion of active travel (walking and cycling) and public transport in the “Glasgow Declaration on Accelerating the Transition to 100% Zero Emission Cars and Vans” was a direct result of the joint advocacy efforts by ECF and its 349 allies. While the reference to active travel and public transport is a far cry from what’s needed to cut transport emissions and reach climate goals, it’s an important recognition that will be built upon at the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

The coalition’s open letter was first published on 2 November and called on governments at COP26 to boost global cycling levels to cut transport emissions quickly and on a massive scale. Initially signed by over 60 organisations, the letter ultimately clocked 350 signatories from all over the world.

Bicycle Queensland joined other signatories including the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), PeopleForBikes, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), International Association of Public Transport (UITP), World Cycling Alliance (WCA) and Greenpeace. Together we have campaigned to urge governments to recognise cycling as one of the best solutions we already have to combat the climate crisis.

Bicycle Queensland’s CEO, Rebecca Randazzo, “BQ advocates strongly on the role bicycles can play in combating climate change”. Substituting a car trip with a bike trip represents one of humanity’s greatest hopes for a shift towards a zero-carbon future. Riding your bike produces zero emissions, delivers far-reaching positive societal impacts and relies on technology that is already widely available today.

We can all influence and play a role in combating climate change. Over the past couple of weeks, the letter’s signatories have grown and helped raise awareness for the importance of more cycling to cut transport emissions and reach climate goals. Our joint message was simple: “the world needs much more people riding bikes if we are to combat the climate crisis.”

If you would like to write to your local councillor to ask what they are doing to reduce carbon emissions from transport, click here.

Combating Climate change by bike