It’s one thing to be moved by the suffering of mankind. It’s entirely another to answer the call to action. Participants in the ‘1200kms for Kids’ charity ride have actioned their passion for the cause of sick kids with an annual bike ride between Sydney and Brisbane.
This event was initiated in 2005 by two friends who were motivated to give back to the institutions which had nursed their sick children. The gruelling challenge befits the cause, with each rotation of the pedals representative of the pain and suffering children endure during illness, and the calibre required in overcoming many medical conditions.
The 2014 ride was monumental for more than the not-so-simple fact that 45 riders completed the rugged 1200km journey in just 9 days; this year the $1million milestone was marked and surpassed. Buoyed by this, the group has selflessly set its sights on the $2million mark.
RRT, impressed by the dedication and drive of this group, took up their cause this year and stationed teams from Gosford, Singleton, Tamworth, Armidale, Warwick and Brisbane at seven of their nine stops. Ice, water, refreshments, a cooked meal, caffeine hit, chocolate bars, fresh fruit and more were waiting for the cyclists and their support group when they wheeled into their ‘pit stops’.
One rider commented, “Sometimes I was so close to quitting and then RRT would turn up…….kept me going throughout the whole ride.” Another mused that the great service of the RRT had made the decision to ride again next year an easy one.
RRT members were impressed by the personal sacrifice involved on the part of the riders. Bruised and welted hands from constant jarring on rugged roads, violent storms, mountain ranges that challenge even a car and sheer exhaustion were all part of the everyday. “The elevation we have climbed is in excess of 11,000m” one participant remarked. “We have more than climbed Mt Everest on this ride”.
The group took the time out this year while passing through Armidale, to present the Armidale Hospital with a defibrillator monitor worth $11,650 for their maternity/paediatrics ward. This is just one of their many contributions over the years, and solid testimony to their determination to make a difference.
One of the riders casually commented, “Most of us are just a group of fat old blokes that jump on bikes so we can truly make a difference, change the lives of sick kids”. They have indeed directly improved the chances and influenced the outcomes of many critically ill children and for that very reason deserve the enthusiastic support of the community in their 2015 quest. For donation and to find out more, please visit http://www.1200kmsforkids.com/