Rider Profile – Nikki Waldron

Why were you inspired to take part in last year’s B2B?

My grandad passed away at the beginning of 2018 having suffered from Alzheimer’s for many years. Watching such a strong person deteriorate from this disease is heart breaking for all those who love them, so the opportunity to raise funds for an organisation that supports research into a cure appealed to me.

Having moved to Sydney from London in June 2017 I started cycling more and so when I heard about B2B it sounded like the perfect challenge for me whilst allowing me to support a cause that is close to my heart. It also felt like a fantastic way to say my own goodbye to my grandad, having not been able to fly home for the funeral.

How was the day?

The ride itself was fantastic. I cannot speak highly enough of the ride captains and the organisation that went into supporting this ride. The wind could have played a bit nicer but at least it didn’t rain!

How did you find the organised training rides?

The training rides were great – each one was a new longest ride for me and increased my confidence both in riding as a group and in my own ability.

Did your riding and fitness improve from taking part?

Most definitely. As I mentioned above, each training ride was a new achievement for me and the confidence and riding fitness that I gained has enabled me to enjoy cycling more than before.

Are you taking part in the 2019 B2B?

I am registered and I’ll be doing the ride again this year! And I’ll be keeping a keen interest in the Bondi2Brighton ride as my partner Pete is joining this crazy crew riding to Melbourne!

How did you raise money for the ride?

Last year I just asked friends and family to sponsor me as it was a large challenge for me… this year I’m taking advice from some friends and hosting a fundraising dinner (as I can no longer use the longest ride card!)

Would you recommend the ride to others?

I would, and have, recommended this ride to others as it is such a well organised and well supported event that raises money for such an important cause.

Rider Profile – Lisa Cox

Why were you inspired to take part in last year’s B2B?

Having seen firsthand with my grandmother and other close family friends how devastating this disease can be, I wanted to be part of the event to help raise the much-needed funds and awareness to assist others now and into the future.

Watching your loved ones disappear in front of you is heartbreaking, and if the money we raise during B2B can help with finding a cure, and prevent others from one day having to go through that then it is totally worth it. 

How was the day?

The day was tough with lots of different conditions, but so much more rewarding than I had anticipated. Starting in howling wind with grey and overcast skies and some rain was not ideal, but everyone still had smiles on their faces ready to take on the challenge. The support from those in your ride group, the support vehicles, or those at the check points was amazing. Everyone was so encouraging of each other and made the day so enjoyable. 

How did you find the organised rides training for the event?

The training rides were great to get some confidence, meet others doing the ride and get some good training kms in. The best thing about cycling for me is the social aspect of it and being able to chat with others, and hear about their story and why they were taking part. 

Did your riding and fitness improve from taking part?

It certainly did. Unfortunately, I had a few injuries leading into the ride, but I definitely felt there was a fitness improvement. Having the organised training rides really means you have no excuses to not get fitter and stronger. 

Are you taking part in the 2019 B2B?

I am registered and I’ll be doing the ride again this year with my husband, its been so nice to be able to take this on together. We are already putting in the hours on the bike to make sure there are no injuries this year. I’m really looking forward to it and keeping everything crossed for great conditions.

We’ll also both be heading down to Brighton (flying not cycling!) to cheer on those who have taken on the epic challenge of riding Bondi to Brighton, what a huge effort. I can’t wait to cheer everyone in and say congrats on an amazing achievement.

How did you raise money for the ride?

Last year and this year has been about reaching out to friends, family and work colleagues. Most people have been impacted by the disease and are so supportive and willing to contribute. This year I am hoping to do some bake sales at work, as well as a Christmas in July themed dinner. I have also used social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn and will be more active on Instagram as the months go on. So far its worked and I’m off to a flying start. 

Would you recommend the ride to others? 

I would absolutely recommend the ride to anyone who feels strongly about supporting Dementia Australia, or who want to complete a challenge with like-minded people whilst checking out some amazing scenery on the way. The ride is challenging enough without being undo-able, supportive, fun and for a great cause – why wouldn’t you want to do it!!

Rider Profile – Tom Chard

Why were you inspired to take part in last year’s B2B?

After my mum was diagnosed with Dementia (Early Onset Alzheimers) I quickly became absorbed in learning about the disease and what it is.

By being a part of this ride, I get to put my body on the line to help raise much needed awareness and funds for such an incredibly under-funded disease.

Without my mum I wouldn’t be here and when we received the diagnosis we were shattered. But she is dealing with it so well that I am doing anything I can to help her and Dementia sufferers elsewhere.

How was the day?

It was a dark and cold morning where I had three punctures before 6am!! Although it turned out to be an incredible day.

At times it was quite cathartic and sombre especially when stopping in towns such as Kiama but overall an overwhelming positive experience.

The bike ride itself is challenging, although the fantastic people you get to do it with is the best part.

How did you find the organised rides training for the event?

The organised training sessions are fantastic, mostly to meet the other legends you’ll be riding along side with.

Did your riding and fitness improve from taking part?

Definitely, too often it’s hard to find reasons to get outside in the cold and go on a long gruelling ride, although once you have some structure you quickly notice improvements in your fitness (not just on the bike either).

Are you taking part in the 2019 B2B?

Yes and I cannot wait!! I registered as soon as I was alerted to the ride. I am lucky to have registered for the Bondi2Brighton 1,200km 8-day adventure this year and I am absolutely pumped!!

How did you raise money for the ride?

Fundraising is a tough one, especially these days with so many fantastic causes all competing for your dollar.

I’ve been able to spread the message through my friends and family, especially on social media, to raise awareness as to what I’m doing and why.

Would you recommend the ride to others? If so why?

Even if you don’t know anyone with dementia right now, it doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Dementia Australia and the fantastic cause aside, it’s just a bloody good day out on your bike with like-minded people.

Get involved if you haven’t, you won’t regret it.

Feel free to add in anything else?

Once you learn more about Dementia and the Dementia-related illnesses, it’s hard not to become passionate for the cause to raise awareness and funds for research into this disease. To see how this has affected my mum to date and thankfully she’s still dealing with it all really well has ignited a fire inside me to learn more and educate others.

Even if you’re unable to or don’t like riding a bike, think of those loved ones around you and around us that may need the help that Dementia Australia can provide.

Rider Profile – Kim Wilson

Why were you inspired to take part in last year’s B2B?

I was inspired to take part by my father who had died in November the previous year. My father had lived with Alzheimer’s for seven years before his death and I wanted to do the ride to honour my wonderful dad and to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s research and support for carers.

How was the day?

Brilliant! The wet and windy weather didn’t impact on the event. All the training rides had done the job of making the ride so much easier and the team spirit was strong. The support from the organising team was excellent – with cars following and leading the groups, refreshments provided along the way and an excellent stop and presentation in Kiama.

How did you find the organised rides training for the event?

They were invaluable! When I signed up for the ride, I had never ridden in a bunch before. I had no idea how to follow and what things like ‘rolling’ meant. The ride captains patiently helped us gain those skills, giving us the confidence to ride in the bunch on the day. The other thing that was incredibly meaningful was sharing our stories as we did the training rides. I made some really good friends – there were such lovely people taking part.

Did your riding and fitness improve?

Yes – enormously! Once we had got over 100km in the training rides, every ride set a new record for me. My ability to spend longer in the saddle improved enormously and I gained some really good bunch riding skills (although I still have a lot to learn!).

Will you take part in B2B again this year?

Yes, I am looking forward to taking part in the B2B this year – just trying to twist the arms of my support crew (my best friend, Joanne and my husband, Andrew) to join me again.

How did you raise money for the ride?

I raised funds by using social media (regular updates on Facebook as I completed training rides and LinkedIn). I also put a tag at the end of my email signatures to help get the word out. Finally I talked to close friends and family who were all happy to contribute some money to Dementia Australia in honour of my dad.

Feel free to add in anything else?

Since doing the ride, I have had two of my closest friend’s parents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This year I would like to dedicate my ride to their battle – to Stasia Franken, Hugh and Fenja Clarke.

Would you recommend the ride to others? If so why?

I highly recommend this ride to anyone who has been touched by Alzheimer’s or knows of people who have. It is a ride with an important mission – to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s research. The organisers are amazing and it will be an event you will never forget.

Rider Profile – Gretchen Masters

Why were you inspired to take part in last year’s Bondi2Berry?

My main motivation was to make sure that I kept riding consistently through winter. But once I started training and going to some of the events, I realised that the benefits were bigger and better than that.

How was the day?

I loved it. I found it easier than I’d expected and really enjoyed the group I was riding with. The stops made it less intimidating than it could’ve been and it was great rolling around chatting to different people in the group. Then there were a few beers in Berry.

How did you find the organised rides training for the event?

To me, they were the key to enjoying the ride. They forced me to consistently improve my fitness and I met plenty of the other riders, so I knew who was who when we rode to Berry. The rides always felt safe and well organised, with ride-captains dedicated to each group.

Did your riding and fitness improve from taking part?

Definitely. I was the fittest I’ve been in years by the time the event rolled around. And it made me enjoy cycling more, because I kept improving.

Will you take apart in Bondi2Berry again this year?

Probably. And if I don’t, it’ll be because I’m looking after my two kids while my husband does the ride.

How did you raise money for the ride?

I put out a few requests online and put on a paid morning tea at work. I’m not great at fundraising, but the target isn’t too high, so people shouldn’t let the need to fundraise put them off participating.

Have you been touched personally with any personal connections suffering from dementia?

No. But working in health as a Wellness Manger I’m well aware of its prevalence and think we all need to work towards funnelling more funding this way.

Would you recommend the ride to others?

Definitely. It’s still the longest ride I’ve ever done and I could only achieve that because of the support with training rides and the event that B2B provides. I’m so glad that I did it and am sure that the other participants would feel the same way. It’s a beautiful course and you can finish up with a night in Berry – what’s not to love? And it’s a great fit for everyone from beginners to cycling superstars, because you only need to stick with your allocated group.

Bondi2Berry 2018

Bondi2Berry 2018 is complete for another year. 80 riders, 155km, 28 volunteers and over $130,000 raised for Dementia Australia. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and contributed to the success of this ride. Shout out to Hattie Morgan 52 Flicks for the awesome video and Arnaud for the drone footage. See you in 2019!

Wingin’ It with Jason Roberts on Studio 10

Shout out to Studio 10, chef Jason Roberts, the lovely Natarsha Belling and Ita Buttrose, for talking about Bondi2Berry on the program today. Natarsha and Ita are ambassadors for Dementia Australia and work tirelessly to help raise awareness of dementia. Check the link for the full segment, and Jase’s recipe for the chicken wings!