A Son's Tour
Cyclists Rylan Bird (14) and, his Grandfather Ray McNamara set out from the Sydney Opera House on Thursday 29th September and completed approx 1031 kilometers to Geelong. The marathon ride concluded at the Belmont Criterion Track on Saturday 8th October at approx 12.30 pm. The ride is part of fundraising to enable Rylan’s father Don Bird to receive life-saving surgery in USA.
To Sponsor Rylan and Ray please contact your ride coordinators
THE BIRD FAMILY (03) 5243 5511
DON BIRD 0434 358 434
KYLIE BIRD 0414 729 493
This ride proudly sponsored by
Edge Glass Production, Powercor Australia, Jayco, Fruit Property, Warings Auto Electrical
South Barwon Lions Club, Cannibal Bike Clothing, Mid City Press, Living Memories Video
Dean Bateup Photography, Falcon Signs, Coles,Arnotts, Safeway Highton and Arnotts
Completed Ride Diary.
Day 1 (29-9-2011)
Our Team of Riders and Pilot Drivers started off Wednesday 28-19-2011 at 5.00am bound for Sydney. Martin and Kylie driving both Edge Glass Nissans and have requested next car to be the same, as they are comfortable and very relaxing to drive which is good as is long way home. Ray who is not a real good passenger,handled the fantastic Jayco Rv through the Ring road and out Hume Hwy with Michelle as passenger. After short drive Ray finally handed over the keys and Michelle drove. Ray noticed that something wasnt quite right with Michelle's sunnies but thought must have sore eye or something so didnt want to offend.( See photo in Gallery). Sydney and first night accommodation found. Beds must have been hard as Rylan found only good spot to store new bike on not sleep in. Start Sydney Opera House 8.00 am on 29-9-2011 .Photos and start ride. Travelled to Casula to start riding and battling through very busy city of Sydney. Dons Google maps were bloody useless and we got lost in hills and surrounds near Bargo,Colo Vale and Mittagong area. Very hilly sections and high winds in late afternoon made life tough for Ray. Rylan is on a mission and powered up all hills. Some local advice useful and others told us where to go in other ways. Don spoke with team last night and all in fine spirits and looking forward to next day. Check Out Photos in Gallery section under heading A Son Tour For Don. Also included is newspaper article from Geelong Advertiser featured on 28-9-11. Travelled approx 85 Kilometers today in strong winds and cold conditions.
Day 2 (30-9-2011)
Stayed overnight at Mittagong caravan park lovely statues even found one called Kylie. Headed into hilly section towards Bowral, Mossvale and Sutton Forest. The hope for better weather was not answered and a strong head wind met the Boys all day. Uphill sections all morning and a stop at Tallong for lunch and then a ride to Goulburn in vehicle around the Hume Hwy. Due to weather and hilly conditions the team had two rest stops in afternoon to ease the sore backs and legs. Bungendore was finally reached after 145 very tough kilometers. In vehicles again to stay overnight at Canberra before returning back to Bungendore in the morning. No reports of being lost on the roads. At caravan park get well deserved massage, hot shower,good meal and long sleep. Total distance travelled so far 229 Kilometers.
Day 3 (1-10-2011)
Stayed overnight at Canberra and returned to Bungendore to start at 9.00am. Rylan and Ray now greeted with rain but wind has eased off slightly. They made stop at Parliment House for photos on forecourt and showing Geelong Cycling Club Kit. Headed off along yass valley hwy to Yass. Major vehicle smash and all traffic diverted around on dirt roads( so much for nice clean cars) Boys had less riding due to detour on dirt road and have made up kilometers out from Wagga Wagga. Finish at Yass for day and due to accomodation not available travelled to Harden. Told by team not great facilities at Caravan Park but result of Grand Final watched at Pub helped raise spirits and generous donations of patrons $100. Boys legs still sore from really big second day and hope eases off over days to come. Massage and walk to shower/toilet block for hot shower some relief. No reports of being lost today. Total 60 kilometers travelled today. Total distance travelled so far 291 kilometers
Day 4 (2-10-2011)
Stayed overnight at Harden and backtrack to Bowning to start morning ride. weather conditions sunny and slight winds. The boys find going to be little better and road conditions flatter, but rough and smooth surface hard on bike and sore back. Travel to Wallenbeen for lunch stop and then off to Cootamundra. Joined by Jo & Kate Hammond and Nicky Angus who have travelled up from Geelong to join in riding and pilot vehicle duties.Martin Brayshaw makes his way back home to Geelong via stopover at Tarcutta. (thanks Martin). No reports of being lost today either (might not be telling me).Total 91 kilometers today. Total distance travelled so far 380 kilometers.
Day 5 (3-10-2011)
Stayed overnight at Cootamundra accomodation better than Harden so team bit happier with me. Travelled from Cootamundra to Junee with two new riders Kate Hammond and Nicky Angus both on fresh legs. Roads and weather finally nice on all accounts and uneventful pedal to Junee for lunch. Junee to Wagga Wagga nice ride with only couple large hills but light winds and Rylan still has speed up over hills this far into event. Ray still keeping pace and hopefully new girls will take it easy on him as he is bit weary in legs after early part of ride. Arrived at Wagga Wagga and RV found Caravan Park okay, Pilot cars got lost and Riders went 18 kilometers out other side. Everybody finally accounted for as longer ride helped make up part missed near Yass. Rylan found swimming pool okay and all is forgiven on the accomodation side of things Hot showers and massage from Kylie helped too.Total 112 kilometers travelled today. Total distance travelled so far 492 kilometers.
Day 6 (4-10-2011)
Stayed overnight at Wagga Wagga nice start to day and fine weather again. Headed out along Olympic Hwy towards The Rock and lunch stop at Henty. Roads smooth and not too hilly so riders enjoying better conditions. After lunch continue to Gerogery and Table top Railway station for last ride of day. Interview with Local newspaper about ride and they helped arrange interview on Albury Prime tv. Riders stopped at Ettamogah Pub for photo and then by vehicle to Wodonga for an overnight stay. New recruits arrived today by train and joined party Jenny and Emily Edwards. Girls have pilot duties sorted and covered approx 120 kilometers. Total distance travelled so far 612 kilometers.
Day 7 (5-10-2011)
Stayed overnight at Wodonga nice cool morning and good sleeps. Now in Victoria riders are allowed to travel along Hume Highway. Set off along highway towards Wangaratta and light winds and cloudy conditions make easy riding and arrive at Wangaratta well ahead of time. Down to the Main st for tin rattling. Off to local Lions Club Bbq site for lunch provided by Wangaratta Lions Club ( Big Thanks ) and generous $100 donation. After long break all riders keen to get back into riding and set off for Benalla. Jayco Rv goes ahead to Benalla for interview for local newspaper, before heading to accommodation. Riders and Pilot cars arrive shortly after 3.00pm and riders find conditions on Hume hwy easier. Nice long massage for aching muscles, hot showers, great meal and will get much deserved rest before heading off tomorrow. Greeted by Lions Club of Benalla and another generous donation of $100 and Lions Cake to boot. ( Big thanks) Generous donation of $50 from stranger who was property was burnt out in Kinglake fires. ( Big Thanks) No reports of being lost but did have trouble with Park At Wangaratta. Riders covered approx 110 kilometers on smoother roads. New recruits helped with pilot vehicle duties and cb operation even had radio talk 10-4 rubber duckie going. Total distance travelled so far 722 kilometers.
Day 8 (6-10-2011)
Stayed overnight at Benalla cool start to morning and all keen to get going to warm up. Road to Euroa smooth and it is true it is downhill from Sydney to Melbourne. Had great ride and made it to Euroa for an early stop for lunch. After rest stop back to important business of reaching Seymour early for overnight rest.Seymour was reached early afternoon and Ray picked up puncture first one for trip to date. Large ride awaits team in the morning so all glad to have finished early to have long massage from Kylie and have lovely meal prepared Jo Hammond, Michelle McGarrigle, Jenny & Emily Edwards for tea. Young gun Jamie-lee Edwards travelled by train to join the team at Seymour and will help the team up and over hills into Lancefeild Gisbourne area. Team covered the 103 Kilometers today which brings total travelled so far to 825 Kilometers.
Day 9 (7-10-2011)
Stayed overnight at Seymour with nice but cloudy morning. Started riding approx 8.00am from Seymour >>> Broadford >>> Lancefield for a lunch stop at approx 12.00pm. Pleasant ride with only a puncture and hills to tackle. Riders still very competitive on hill climbs with some riders using old tricks passed down through the family. kylie enjoyed rest from Pilot car duties to have Champagne to celebrate birthday. Happy Birthday Kylie from all. After lunch stop Lancefield >>> Monegeetta >>> Gisbourne rain clouds turned on team and they raced towards Bacchus Marsh but couldn't outrun storm which drenched riders. Nicky Angus was lucky to avoid serious injury with slippery road and few scrapes to show for her trouble. Bacchus Marsh was soon reached and greetings from family to meet the team helped warm cold spirits. Bacchus Marsh Lions Club arranged accommodation and BBq Tea at Football Club. A few sad farewells to family going home without loved ones but everyone knew ultimate acheivement was in sight. Team travelled approx 138 kilometers today which brings total to 963 kilometers so far.
Day 10 (8-10-2011)
Stayed overnight at Bacchus Marsh Football Club thanks to Bacchus Marsh lions Club for Tea and Breakfast in morning. Riders strated at approx 9.35 am with arrivals of Geelong Cycling Club Members to help the team across the line at Geelong. Cloudy start to day but with rain all night before hopes for better weather were answered. Riders this far into the event seem to be cruising along and set fast pace to reach Corio Police station ahead of time. Stop for drinks and group stories exchanged amongst all riders and support team. Motorbikes arrive to escort team and give Don a lift along side of riders. Finally team is allowed to take off as didn't want them rushing home to early to spoil party. Don is cruising on Kel's motorbike and has tears in his eyes not from wind but of joy and a sense of pride. The bunch come along La Trobe tce and turn into Barwon Heads rd.The large crowd that was gathered cheered and applauded the team as they arrived.Channel 31 grab Rylan and Ray for quick interveiw Rylan and Ray did lap of honour of Criterion circuit with an Australian Flag each to finish and tick over the 1031 kilometers trip. While on their lap Channel 31 attempts to interveiw Don and he cannot put into words how he feels and what it means to him. Their journey was not always a lonely one with help from very strong riders in Kate Hammond, Nicky Angus, Jamie-lee edwards and Club members. After short congratulations we attended Geelong RSL club for after ride drinks and Raffle draw. Snacks were generously donated by RSL club and all who attended enjoyed stories of ride, accommodation and travel. A speech about ride by Don outlining some "awards" given during the ride. Best new CB operater- Jenny Edwards Best Dish dryer and support staff- Emily Edwards Best Lollie wrapper hider and Rv driver- Michelle Mc Garrigle Best Handyman - Martin Brayshaw Best swearer - Ray McNamara Best Camp cook - Jo Hammond Best Tin Rattler- Kate Hammond Best Stirrer and text machine -Kylie Bird Best Princess and young gun- Jamie-lee Edwards and Best kid- Rylan Bird Many thanks to Kel & Deb Pearse & Geelong RSL Club for End of ride celebrations. Many thanks to all committee, Families of people in Ride, Big thanks to Rob and Rhonda Watson for the great DVD of ride finish. All Sponsors and public for a great finish to ride. The Major Raffle was drawn and winning details can be found on the Fundraising page. Many thanks to all who sold and purchased raffle tickets. A fantastic amount of $13500 was raised for the event but a photo afterwards showing two mates who just had a ride will be a memory they will have forever and that may be worth more.
A Celebration party was held afterwards at the Bird Household to Celebrate a wonderful acheivement by all of the Team and also Kylie's 40th birthday. A story on the Channel Seven News was watched and the DVD of ride finish was played also. The party continued late into the night and a great time was had by all. Many thanks to all who attended for making this a special event for our family which we will remember for many years.