Last March Brad Lawrence, Jade and Chad Buckman rode 360km from Griffith to Cobar over three days in strong winds and bad weather to raise $5,000 for charity.
They are going to be doing it again in a fortnight but this year they have decide to up the ante by adding another 20km, a few more hills and a fundraising target of $10,000 for the 2018 Wines2Mines charity ride.
Brad, a former Cobar local and now resident of Griffith, was the instigator of the first Wines2Mines ride last year calling upon his best mate Jade and his son Chad to join him.
Brad decided to do the ride to honour his late mother Wendy who passed away from Cancer in March 2015.
The $5,000 proceeds from last year’s ride were shared between the Cancer Council and youth mental health support group, Batyr.
This year the aim is to raise $10,000 to be split between Batyr and MS (Multiple Sclerosis).
“The first year was a personal challenge for Brad and the idea for the second year was to add new riders to challenge themselves,” Jade told The Cobar Weekly.
They will have a peloton of eight riders this year with Joel Parisi (who rode part of the way last year), Luke Griffiths, Scott Brown, Trudy Griffiths and Bonnie Buckman, all signing up to join Brad, Jade and Chad this year.
There’s no doubt this year will be a real challenge for all of the new riders, but it will be especially taxing for Bonnie who suffers from the neurological disorder MS.
“Every aspect of your life changes because the symptoms are so extensive,” Bonnie told The Cobar Weekly about what it’s like living with MS.
“I keep telling myself even when I really don’t feel like training, you don’t know until you have a go. As frustrating as it is, you have to try, life is a gift, even on the tough days.”
Bonnie’s training plan hasn’t been going to schedule as she’s recently had a bad period of six weeks with the disease and is trying to regain her strength to participate in the ride.
Training for Chad and Jade was also interrupted for eight weeks with Chad having a hernia operation and Jade was off the bike with a broken collarbone.
“We are behind in our training, but we are still confident we’ll be ready,” Jade said.
Bonnie’s also hoping they will have much cooler weather for the ride in a fortnight.
“Heat is my kryptonite and makes so much of my body feel heavy, weak and burning and weird electrical buzzing or jolts. (Just a slice of the symptoms list.)”
Bonnie is however adamant she will be joining her husband and son and the other five riders this year.
“MS or not, this ride has purpose and my support because what I have learnt is this disease does not discriminate.
“So brave face on and focus on what we can do as human beings,” she said.
“I read once, ‘The purpose of human life is to serve, and show compassion and the will to help others’. Please support so this cause can one day help MS sufferers live a life they can only dream about.”
This year’s ride will start in Yenda (20km east of Griffith) and the riders will pass through Rankin Springs, Lake Cargelligo, Euabalong, Mount Hope and finish in Cobar.
People who want to donate to the charity ride can make a direct deposit to the Wines2Mines account.
Details can be found on the Wines2mines Facebook page.
More information about the ride can be found at www.processhouse.com.au.