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!