CareFlight Base 2 Base 250km Fundraising Ride
Leading up to the ride this year I thought I wouldn’t be able to take part, due to the Tour of Malaysia which was taking place during the scheduled event date. 2 weeks out however, Malaysia was postponed and I was thrilled to travel up to QLD and support CareFlight (Helicopter Rescue Service) who saved my life in 2011. Starting at the Toowoomba CareFlight Hanger, riders set off on a 250km route riding through the Lockyer valley heading for our destination of Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast. Sponsors play a big part in any cyclists career and today, I knew that thanks to Diadora Asutralia, I was wearing the most comfortable cycling shoes, accompanied by Champion System Cycling Clothing, and my Avanti Corsa DR road bike which all ensured my feet, arse and body would be looked after for the next 8-9hrs. With a 5am start, lights were needed for the first couple of hours and with some added light rain, the first descent from Toowoomba down Flagstaff hill was a little slippery. Thankfully everyone bar the duo on 1 of the 2 tandems arrived safely down the challenging descent. Piloted by former Super Bike GP Rider Troy Bayliss and well-known Paralympic rider Bryce Lindores on the back, they came off on one of the sharp corners but escaped the crash safely into the grass with the tidy skills from Troy leading the way. Back on the road, it was nice to ride in the bunch and meet new people, each with a different story about how they became involved. A highlight would have been talking to the VIP’s on the ride this year, Robbie McEwan, Troy Bayliss, Matt Rogers and Courtney Atkinson who all were welcoming to a conversation or two. Along with the sporting stars, the Gold Coast Sun’s and Gold Coast Titans CEO’s joined us, Cold Rock Ice Cream QLD’s Owner and Mantra Hotel’s Boss who all added to the profile of the event. We made good time all the way too our lunch stop in Beaudesert, 180km’s into the ride. Being greeted by one of the CareFlight Training helicopters was a great sight too and this spurred us all on towards Lunch. After lunch, 75km’s remained and despite feeling pretty bloated from the Subway, Fruit Cake and Torq Nutrition Bars which I inhaled at the lunch stop, I pushed on through these difficult times, haha. Everyone on this years’ ride (40 in total) were either riding for the great cause to raise much needed funds for this not-for-profit service OR riding as a past patient to support the cause who saved our lives (5 of us in total). As Robbie McEwan told us before the ride, It was like a 250km Team challenge with everyone supporting each other the whole way, “starting as 1 and finishing as 1”. I might have been bloated but others were hurting in the legs. With thanks to a few of my fellow NRS riders, we made sure all riders feeling the ‘pinch’ were comforted and supported at all times. It also gave us some resistance training on the climbs which was also a good workout. We were like the Base 2 Base domestiques, riding from bunch to support car with banana’s, gels, fresh bottles and bars which for us was good practice and for everyone else, good service! With the finish in sight, we briefly stopped and thanked all of our support crew and the Police who kept us safe the whole day. 8hrs was a big day in the saddle but for a worthy cause like CareFlight who saves lives every day, we’d all do it again! A total of $80,000 was raised and we couldn’t have been anymore delighted with that achievement. A big thanks to Fiona MacAnally - organiser of this event, Kerry Stubbs – ride director, the QLD police, Brad Solomon – one of CareFlight’s Paramedics and an avid cyclist, plus the whole CareFlight team who save lives every day. Moving forward, next race for me is the 2013 Victorian Road Championships where in the past, I have been very successful. Following this, I fly to Adelaide to ride the NRS Tour of Adelaide with my Huon Salmon – Genesys Wealth Advisors Pro Cycling Teammates. Stay tuned for my next blog report, cheers Brenton.