On Monday the 3rd of January 13 enthusiastic cyclists and 5 roadies left Burnie
to make our way to Poatina, some 168 kms away. We encountered slight
headwinds for most of the day. At Sulphur Creek, Kyle Perry (my son) had the
first breakdown of the ride with a snapped gear cable. This year we had a very
high number of punctures and other mechanical problems, and we appreciated the
work done by Mike Cranny in fixing these problems. At Devonport Phil and Ivor
left and Mark Hardwick joined us. At Poatina we rented two houses and supplied
our own meals.
Next morning we were up bright and early thanks to Norm & Loris Garwood and we
headed off to Evandale for lunch. While there we caught up with Detlef, who
rode with us many years ago. He disappeared for a while and reappeared riding a
penny farthing. He then proceeded to explain the history of the bike and gave a
demo of how to ride it. Some brave souls even went for a small ride. After
lunch the weather, which had been threatening rain, took a turn for the worse.
It started pouring and at one stage just before” The Sidling” it started to
hail and visibility was down to less than 20 meters. The” Sidiling “is a very
windy section of road, even by Tasmanian standards. We climbed up the long side
then those of us still riding had the task of negotiating “The Sidling” with
skinny tyres and a wet, slippery road. The hairpin corners and steep descent
made life very interesting. We all made it safely to Scottsdale and really
appreciated the hot showers and fine food provided by the folk from the
Wednesday was just a mere 101kms to St. Helens. Before we left Shantelle
Perry(my daughter) had her fingernail removed, it had been caught in the car
door. The Weather was cloudy and despite the dark clouds it only rained after
we finished. I’m sure that Mark set a new world record for descending the
Welborough Pass! This pass is longer than “The Sidiling”with around 7 kms of
down hill; the only problem is the climb up the other side! That night we
shared tea with a group of young people who were doing a beach mission for
Scripture Union. They slept in the hall while we were billeted.
Thursday was quite sunny as we left St. Helens and wound our way up the St.
Marys Pass to morning tea. After leaving St .Marys we meet David Boon and his
entourage walking down the road. They were raising money for cancer research,
how would you like to drive a support car at 5 km/h ! My main memory of that day
was the ever present head wind, all the way to Conara Junction, where Dave
Robson left us. We turned off the highway at Epping Forest and the wind was
back in our faces. Mike and I kept each other going. At the 150k mark my left
knee started to make polite inquires as to how much farther and my right knee
was showing interest in the answer. Finally after 177kms and 8 hours, 17 minutes
in the saddle we arrived back at Poatina. Janine Cranny now holds the record
for driving around Tassie in the slowest time.
Breakfast Friday was a very quite affair with most of us having aches and pains
in places we never knew existed before. We finally rolled out of Poatina for
Westbury and the omnipresent headwinds. We turned on to another road and praise
the Lord we actually had TAILWINDS. Sam & Greg Braid reached over 60 km/h
coming into Westbury on a slight downhill. On our way back to Poatina we meet
up with a cattle drive and had to wait on the side of the road until they
passed, for the rest of the way we had to dodge where they had been with
recycled grass everywhere. It made drinking from our biddons impossible.
Saturday was the best day weather wise of the entire ride. Coming down the hill into Chudleigh Cassandra Perry (my daughter) had a close encounter of the 4WD kind.
A 4WD Ute passed her at the same time as a car was coming the other way; this
meant that the 4WD went by with only a few centimetres to spare. Cassandra was
riding at 50 km/h at the time, so going on to the gravel was not an option. I was
riding just 15 meters behind her and felt helpless & very angry, as I saw what
was happening. Cassandra kept it all together until Mole Creek 10kms away, where
she let out all the emotions she had stored up. This incident highlighted the
danger that we face each time we ride. When people to pray for our safety we
really do appreciate it and see the results. We always knew that riding from
Mole Creek to Sheffield over the Gog was going to be tough but for the first
time in 17 rides I got off and walked part the way up both the Gog and another
very steep hill. Greg, Sam, John and Mark conquered the climbs with strength
and determination. At Sheffield we welcomed back Ian & Jenni who had left us at
Evandale. From the Paloona dam the 11 remaining cyclists rode the final 20kms
into Fairway Park in Ulverstone, to a very warm welcome from the members of the
St. Andrews Presbyterian who provided a very much appreciated BBQ.
We rode 860kms in 6 days with our longest being 177kms and our shortest being 101kms.
The primary purpose of Bike for Bibles is to raise money, with this year for
Zimbabwe. Bike for Bibles is much more than just a fundraising exercise, the
friendship, fun and fellowship between all the members of the team is something
to treasure. This year all 6 members of the braid family came with Greg,
Rosemary, John, Sam, and Liz riding with Jessie driving. I would like to
thank Heather Perry (my wife) for all her hard work and effort before and
during the ride. Heather’s role as head roadie keeps her busier than the
riders. Thank you to all riders and roadies for giving of your time and effort.
We also appreciate all the church’s that provide meals and accommodation along
the way. We thank God for the safety we experienced this year and I trust
that we never take His protection for granted.
Tasmanian coordinator Bike for Bibles
Geraldton Ride, July 2005
Monday morning starting point Gingers roadhouse upper Swan 8.30am. 6 riders sharing the bus driving and roadie duties.
Morning was a little wet but it fined up in the afternoon and arrived in Moora about 4.30pm 135km. Escorted into town by horse and carriage. Tea and meeting in the evening at the Moora Baptist Church.
Slept overnight at Carter's house. Both Ruby and Lyall Carter were riding with us.
Day 2: Early start, very cold week. Nice sunny day, 141km to Three Springs and a stayover at the local hall. Radio interview 98.5 in morning live.
Day 3: Wednesday, Three Springs to Dongara, short ride approx. 100 kms. Stayed at the Anglican church building adjacent to church. Small meeting at night.
Day 4: Thursday, Dongara to Geraldton approx. 90km via Walkaway and wind farm. Early morning 6am radio interview on vision fm across Australia 200 stations.
Day 5: Arrived in Geraldton 2pm. Stayed in Geraldton Baptist church buildings for the next 3 nights.
Friday appointment with newspaper in town. Pictures and article. A bit of riding around town and afternoon off.
Saturday drove bus up to Kalbari and went out to the gorges. Late lunch in Kalbari and drive back via Port Gregory and back to Nothhampton to Geraldton. Decision made about extending next years ride to Kalbari via Port Gregory, same week first week of the school holidays. Checked out road conditions on the way back from Kalbari with next years ride in mind.
Arrived back in Geraldton 6pm. Fueled up for Sundays trip home.
Saturday last night sleeping on the floor in the creche at Geraldton Baptist Church. Church at 10am next morning. Packed up and ready to go after church. Finally leave church just before 12 noon.
Lunch in Dongara and back to Moora to drop off Ruby and Lyall via the Brand Highway. Arrived in Moora about 4.30pm. A quick stop and then off to Perth. Everything going well until 427km from the 440 Roadhouse in Geraldton, bus runs out of fuel 1 km south of the Brand Highway turn off.
Phone a friend of the Bible Society. They are there in less than 15mins. A mechanic is also with them and helps bleed air from fuel pump. On the side of the road for only 30minutes.
Drop off last passenger Tim about 7.30pm. I make decision to go start to a doctor friends house because I had MAJOR splinter under finger nail from 7am in morning.
Splinter finally removed about 8.30pm and drove home. Bus parked 9pm Sunday night.
Ride over. Approx $2500 raised. 5000 young lives touched with scripture by 6 riders and supporters.
God is good.
0412 089 884
The Mid West Mail, July 14th 2005
The following article was printed in the Wid Mest Mail, July 14th 2005, page 11.
[Click to enlarge].
A team of cyclists who took four days to ride 460km from Perth to Geraldton laugh at motorists who make the same journey by car and moan that it takes for or five hours.
A Bike for Bible team of six cyclists made the journey to raise money for Bible Society literacy programs in Africa.
For one team member the journey was a familiar one, though a bit slower than the trips he has made in the past. Several years ago Matt Barrett-Lennard lived in Geraldton and worked as a pilot for an air charter company. He now lives in Lake Grace and made the tip to Perth to join the Bike for Bibles team because he loved cycling and wanted to support what he said was a good cause. He joked that the worst leg of the journey was his left one. The rest of the team agreed but said their biggest challenge was the winding road at Slippery Hill near Bindoon which they tackled on day one of the ride.
A welcome treat came when they were welcomed on the outskirts of Moora by a Baptist Church parishioner driving a Clydesdale horse and cart.
Team coordinator David Kingston said the group was provided with accomodation from Churches in Moora, Dongara and Geraldton. He said they were also thankful to the Shire of Three Springs who allowed them to use Shire facilities.
The Bike for Bible team has received pledges totalling $2000 which could provide up to 4000 reading books for child literacy programs in Kenya and Uganda.
"We will be supplying what they call the early reader program which helps people break the illiteracy cycle in their generation. They can get a job, get money and break the cycle of poverty. We take it for granted that we can all get a level of education in our country, we are so blessed." David said.
The Bible Society has been supplying Christian scriptures to communities within Australia and beyond since 1817. For information visit www.biblesociety.com.au.
-- Anita Kirkbright.