A maximum of 15 people are selected each year to take part in the incredibly grueling 8 day event that is called the Bridge to Bridge Cycle Charity Ride. The ride, to raise awareness of brain tumours, and to raise money for researching treatments and cures, is an annual event which commenced in 2009. The ride itself is approximately 1100km long, starting from the Story Bridge, Brisbane and ending at the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The cyclist stopped at schools and councils along the way, building awareness throughout the broader community of the need to tackle this dreadful disease. The percentage of people surviving brain tumours is very low; 1,100 out of 1,400 people diagnosed each year in Australia die prematurely from this cancer.
Randall Bishop, who led the 9 men and 3 women, had a daughter that died in 2009 from a brain tumour and the other participants all had their own personal stories and reasons for riding as well. For someone to be eligible for the ride, they must raise at least $1500 for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. The ride requires a degree of fitness, as almost every day covers more than 100 km.
For the 2015 event, the RRT was situated at 3 locations throughout the ride, to give the cyclists and their backup teams a break from sourcing food. Before daybreak on Saturday the 2nd May, a small group from RRT Brisbane provided a hearty breakfast for the bike riders at the Story Bridge.
The first day covered 160 kilometres, from the northern end of the Story Bridge to the Golden Harvest Motel in Warwick. This day took the cyclists over the grueling Cunningham’s Gap and they slept well that night!
The following day started with an escort of other cyclists in the community as far as Stanthorpe. After that they crossed the border into NSW and following an afternoon of riding, reached their destination of Tenterfield where they dined and stayed at the Royal Hotel overnight.
The third day’s ride was from Tenterfield to Glen Innes. After a morning of riding, the cyclists stopped in at the Glen Innes Public school to talk to the students.
The fourth day the riders biked from Glen Innes to Armidale. This scenic part of the ride also had some tough climbs, and the ride itself covered 98 km. At Armidale the team stayed at a hotel for the night before being treated to a hot and filling breakfast the following morning, by the RRT. With yogurt and muesli cups, bacon and egg rolls followed by fresh fruit and cakes, RRT made sure the riders tanks were filled for the next leg of the event. This day they covered 111km from Armidale, via Kentucky school, to another New England centre, Tamworth.
After 3 more days of riding, through northern NSW and Hunter Valley towns, up and down hills and mountains, while enjoying incredible scenery and dodging traffic, the cyclists finished with 22 kilometres of Old Pacific Highway into North Sydney …. And finally… the Harbour Bridge was in site.
Tired and aching, the riders arrived at their destination on Saturday afternoon. There to meet them were their eagerly waiting families and friends and the red, white and blue of the RRT flags. What an amazing effort!
RRT had a final meal ready to feed the riders and their families with a choice of chicken or ham & salad rolls.
The Bridge to Bridge riders were all very appreciative of RRT’s support. “RRT’s support was fantastic” said ride organizer Randall Bishop, “we usually have to fend for ourselves with food.”
The Bridge to Bridge riders have raised over $40,000 for this cause in 2015 and RRT were glad to support this great cause in some small way.