This time four years ago I was thinking very seriously of never riding a bike
again. In December of 1999, I was hit by a 4WD whilst training for a Bike for
Bibles ride around Tassie.
As a result of this collision, I spent 10 days in hospital and came home the
proud owner of 2 plates and 10 screws in my left arm and 4 screws and a plate in my
left shin. I also had a knee reconstruction, among other things. As you can
imagine I was very wary of going back on the road but finally my passion for
cycling overcame my fear of 4WD's and their drivers plus I don't limp on a bike.
As we left Perth I was filled with feelings of anticipation and apprehension. When
I left home I told my family and friends that if I could ride between 2,000 &
2,500ks that would be enough for me, by the time we arrived in Hobart I had ridden
3,350ks at an average speed of 23.5 K.P.H. and an average daily distance of 129ks.
As with any event of this size there are always highs and lows. I missed my wife
and three children more than I thought I would. Thankfully mobile phones have been
invented which meant we were able to make contact every day.
The terrain across the Nullarbor was completely foreign to what I was used to in
Tassie. I really struggled at times to come to terms with the long flat stretches
between Norseman to Ceduna. Riding in a team was certainly better than riding
across Australia by yourself, but even that couldn't stop the awful feeling that,
most days my nice padded seat had been replaced with a bolt. It's a sad state of
affairs when the only comfortable seat around is the toilet seat!
By riding as a team we were able to have conversations with each other
and tell some jokes, all this helped to pass the time, as there was not a lot to
see, apart from the occasional live kangaroo, snake and eagle. One morning we had
about a dozen kangaroos hop along side us for about 2ks. Eventually they crossed
the road in front of us.
After Ceduna it seemed strange to be back into civilization with fences and
houses and towns etc.
The day we rode from Horsham to Ballarat was a terrible day, head winds, rain
and cold. That morning my Achilles tendon (on my good leg) was twice it's normal
size and very tender. Because of this I drove a station wagon all day, feeling
guilty that I wasn't out in the elements with the team. Coming in to Ballarat that
evening it was dark and the tail lights on the bikes were shining out against the
black sky. It was amazing to see just how hard and far the riders pushed them
selves that day.
In Tassie we went to a small country church and shared in their service. The
singing was tremendous but we noticed some of the local ladies crying. We found out
later that they were simply over come with emotion, at the sincerity and volume of
the singing. After, they gave us a fantastic lunch and a donation. The warm welcome
and enthusiasm of this and all the other church's along the way never ceased to
Total strangers welcomed us into their homes for the night. It seemed strange to
be back in a house after spending so much time in church halls and sports clubs . A
real privilege for me was having the whole team come to my church for lunch.
Arriving in Hobart brought a tremendous feeling of Achievement. We had finally
finished! Looking back it was amazing how in a month we had gone from just names
on a team sheet,to being a family . The way we looked out for and encouraged each
other had to be seen to be believed. In Hobart we had a dinner and presentation
time. At the end of the evening we sang” Great is thy Faithfulness.” I believe that
this great old hymn summed up our appreciation to God for watching over each of
Why did I do it? To get my name on a polo shirt. I can read and I enjoy riding
my bike, so if by doing what I enjoy, others can learn to read, why not ride across
To any one contemplating a ride like ours my advice is give it some very careful
consideration and then go for it. Just remember that various parts of your anatomy
will hurt, at times (mostly when you on on your bike) but they will come right.
Bruises fade and cuts heal but the results will last forever.
Well what can I say about the ride, but it was an AWESOME time and I loved
it heaps. It took me a while to start enjoying myself but God had everything
in control. It was great to learn so much about God and see him work daily
in our lives. God taught me lots but one main thing is that I am worth it. I
get all my worth from Christ not from anyone else.
One other main thing that
stuck out to me was that the only reason I got up every morning, put on the
Lycra and hopped on the bike was for God. It was the least I could do him.
He sent his son to do die for us and me putting myself through all the pain
for 32 days was nothing compared to what Christ did for us that one day on
the cross. Over all I rode 1171km out of the total 4284km. I was very happy
with that but I know that when the next big marathon ride is on I will be
there and prayerfully ride more.
I started out a little nervous about the unknown but also had a feeling of
anticipation and excitement about what we were all about to undertake. What
an opportunity to serve Jesus whilst having so much fun and being able to
see our country at close hand, seeing much of it that I had never seen
before. It was a very leisurely pace in "Chucky" the food van and I was
able to appreciate Gods creation from a whole new perspective. I was also
aware that whilst it was leisurely for us, at times it was a great struggle
for the riders who underwent discomfort from both long hours in the bike
saddle and some very difficult terrain and weather conditions.
I was also amazed and blessed to realise that although we mostly all came
together as a group of strangers that a bond of family came about naturally
after a few days. Everyone was looking out for each other and when
something went wrong it just made the bond stronger. Its amazing what being
of the same mind set (faith in Christ, Jesus) can achieve.
The people we met along the way were fantastic. Generous, giving folk who
went out of their way to feed a ravenous bunch of cyclists. I am sure they
have never seen a spread of food disapear with such speed and gusto. Some
of them also opened their homes to us for a warm comfortable bed, a hot
shower and the use of their washing machines/dryers when the weather was
To see a crowd of school kids with banners, balloons and whistles going
absolutely nuts over "Film Star Brad" and welcoming him and the rest of the
team to their town was, to say the least, a bit like being at a school
sports day and listening to them cheering their team to victory. I think
everyone felt like a winner that day, it would have been hard not to. They
As a roadie you get to see the determination, perseverance and dedication
each rider brings to an event such as this. I know that I was well suited
as a roadie and that there is no way I could love my bike to the extent of
riding 8 hours a day! I do know that I can make breakfast, lunch and when
required dinner. I can get someone a drink, muesli bar or UP & GO. I can
give someone a hug when they need it and listen when they want to talk. So
if anyone wants the opportunity to serve Jesus, raise some funds to help
further God's kingdom and help others learn to read, not to mention the
opportunity to have a great time and meet some truly amazing brothers and
sisters, then I can't recommend the job of a roadie highly enough.
The one thing that I came away with was that from living in such a cocooned
environment for five weeks or so, I had the opportunity of witnessing a
little slice of what I think heaven will be like. When you get there, even
though there will be a lot of folk you have never met before, they are ALL
your brothers and sisters and they accept and love you for who you are ---
warts and all. How great is God's love for us?!!!!!!
I finished the marathon feeling sad that it was over and that reality would
soon return with the usual pressures of daily living, but very blessed and
thankful that I now have more family than any one person could ever hope
for. They are Great people and very dear friends.
The Bike for Bibles 2003 Perth to Hobart ride is one of the most memorable and inspiring experiences of my life so far. . . . mind you, had you asked me half way through the ride and you would have received a very different story!
This ride report is a personal insight into how it affected and changed me. I hope that it may inspire others to become involved in future Bike for Bibles events, maybe even the next ultra-marathon event in 2006!
I decided to take part in the ride because I had wanted to ride across the
Nullarbor for a number of years, and I saw this as a perfect opportunity to do
so. Not only that, but I moved to Perth from Tasmania in the early 90's and
saw this as a bit of a homecoming journey. I was motivated maybe for selfish
reasons, but this ride completely changed my motivations.
The ride began with great excitement and anticipation. Finally the day was
here after almost a year of training, fund raising and preparations. For the
first 5 days we made our way to Norseman, the Western end of the Nullarbor
stretch of road. We were filled with adrenaline during these first 5 days and
so pushed ourselves pretty hard. As a consequence of this, by day 5 my legs
were starting to feel sore, and one of my knees was starting to worry me. But
day 6 was a rest day, plenty of time to recover . . . . famous last words.
Day 7 and we headed off for 7 days of riding across the Nullarbor. It was
during these 7 days that things started to go pear shaped! The first day out,
I was quickly reminded that my knee had been playing up on day 5. I had
forgotten about this, because it had not troubled me during the rest day. For
the next 4 and a half days my knee pain progressively grew worse, until I
finally could pedal no more and had to resign myself to the fact that I would
have to ride in the support bus.
This was the low point of the ride for me. I was angry, at the others for
peddling so hard, at myself for not giving into my pride and dropping back to
the slower group to rest my knee, at God for allowing this to happen after
having put in so much time, effort and sacrifice to prepare for this ride. I
took out this anger on our ride leader (to whom I have since apologised), and
on God (to whom I have also apologised!). I didn't want to be there any more,
couldn’t see the point if I couldn't ride, may as well be at home (sitting in
the garden eating worms!). But little did I know that this was the beginning
of being taught some important lessons in life.
I spent the next 3 ½ days off the bike, including a rest day in Ceduna (what an
amazing sunset over the water!). I began to learn how to serve others,
becoming a roadie during this time. Being a cyclist I knew just what the
riders needed and enjoyed being able to make their lives a little easier. I
also experienced the care and support of other Christians who helped me both
emotionally and physically.
One of the other riders had similar knee problems during training, and so his
advice on strapping, and anti-inflammatory tablets allowed me to get back on
the bike after the Ceduna rest day. This in itself was a minor miracle, as
this was not the first time I have had knee problems, and previously it had
taken over a week of complete rest for my knee to heal, and even after this I
needed to be very cautious in my recovery. But here I was, after only 3 ½ days
riding almost 150 Kms in a day! I was also no longer too proud to ride with
the more sedate group (officially they were the fast group and the other group
was the very fast group!), and discovered a whole new culture within this
group. The very fast group (the Mavericks) had an air of friendly
competitiveness, heads down, bums up and predominantly just got on with the job
of peddling, and being a bunch of males, there were also other things, related
to a particular bodily function, frequently in the air! The fast group (the Y?
Team) were more gregarious, talking, singing, watching the sights go by
(although at times the sights didn't change particularly rapidly!) and enjoying
the ride at their own pace. They were also somewhat more civilised than the
Mavericks! I came to enjoy the company of both groups, but at this time I still
preferred to be with the Mavericks. My ego was still controlling me. God
still had some more work to do on me.
It wasn't until day 25, Ballarat to Melbourne, when we experienced the second
day of constant rain and freezing wind that my ego was broken and the ride
became more about others than about me. On day 24 I had to drop out because of
hypothermia. On day 25, we awoke to more of the same weather and I
rationalised that I would be back in the same situation I was in the day before
after an hour or two, so I chickened out and rode in one of the support
vehicles. But that morning as I sat in warm and dry comfort, I watched my
fellow cyclists struggle through pouring rain, freezing winds, up hills, with
dozens of trucks drenching them every time they passed. I also watched with
growing sadness and guilt as our ride leader began to ride slower and slower
because of knee pain. That was it, if they could keep going, through all this
hardship, I needed to be out there to join with them and to offer support where
I could. So at the next rest stop I got back on my bike. I couldn't care less
about the cold and the wet and my own discomfort any more, this ride was about
team work and supporting others when they were suffering, just as they had
supported me during my times of hardship.
The remainder of the ride was spectacular as we rode our way around Tasmania,
with every bend in the road presenting a new and fantastic view, and I enjoyed
the company of the other team members (riders and roadies) as we supported each
other through our ups and downs (hills and emotionally!).
What struck me the most about this ride was how this diverse group of people
with the common link of a belief in Jesus Christ, had become so close and
supportive in such a short space of time. I experienced a greater sense of
family closeness with this amazing group of people than I do with my own
brothers, sisters and parents.
Would I do the ride again? Absolutely, but this time with an entirely different
motivation. Next time my motivation will be to participate as an active and
supportive part of a very special family. Hope to see you in 2006!
Threatening skies loomed as
we began the journey from
Perth to Hobart. Two groups
formed on the first day, The
Y?’ team, and the ‘Mavericks.
As I have crossed Australia on
a mountain bike and now a road
bike I think it's fair to comment
while road bikes are quicker and
easier to push along, they are
less comfortable on the old
Most people scored at least one puncture (including myself) with Kelvin from Albany holding the record of 8!
A few little accidents occurred en-route. Near Coolgardie, Philip Bray from Sydney copped a flying rock from a passing road train, injuring his right leg.
Near Eucla, Margaret Radbone (68 years) came off her bike and scored a haematoma on her forehead and also abrasions.
She continued riding after Ceduna, but Phil had to conclude his ride in Melbourne. The weather was very kind across the Nullarbor, but between Nundroo and Ceduna we had our hottest day of 37 degrees.
Between Ceduna and Port Augusta `snake on the road'”was part of our road lingo as we saw 2-3 snakes each day.
We enjoyed many lashings of food, mostly all demolished. Crystal Brook gave a really special welcome for Brad Everett. Rosemary Stanton would have a coronary if she knew how much we cyclists eat!
For most (including myself) the hardest part of the journey was Horsham to Melbourne. Rain all the way with head and crosswinds took its toll. Fighting off hypothermia was not easy. Some did have to ride in the bus for
part of the way, trying to warm up.
From Melbourne we did a day crossing on the ferry. Well! I was NOT WELL. In Perth it was Greenmount! Adelaide - Greenhill Road! The Ferry - David Greenface!
Tasmania was really beautiful with many excellent views. Plenty of hill climbing and perhaps a little cold (6 degrees maximum in Hobart on arrival). A special thanks to all who made this marathon happen, to the many kind billets and local churches who looked after us and fed us, and also to families left at home to keep things going.