Long time mates Jade Buckman and Brad Lawrence, along with Jade’s 12 year old son Chad, have committed themselves to a 360km bike ride this weekend to raise funds for charity.
The Wines2Mines tour was Brad’s idea as a way to honour his mother Wendy who passed away from cancer in March 2015.
Brad, a former Cobar resident who now lives in Griffith, said he wanted to complete the ride to give back to the Cancer Council and to also support mental health support group Batyr. He planned for the ride to coincide with the two year anniversary of his mother’s death.
The challenge of the tour is also part of a lifestyle change for Brad. He said he wants to set a good example for his kids.
“I want my son to say that his dad did some good things once,” Brad said.
As part of having a healthier lifestyle, Brad bought a bike and joined the Griffith Cycling Club.
He rides 50km each day in summer and has been doing 100km/day on the weekends to get ready for the Wines2Mines ride.
Brad used to drive the Griffith to Cobar road for two years while living in Griffith and working at CSA and said to himself that he would ride the trip one day.
When the idea came to him to make the trip a charity ride, Brad contacted his mate Jade to see if he wanted to join him.
“Initially I wasn’t going to take part,” Jade told The Cobar Weekly.
“It’s a big commitment and a big challenge but when Chad asked if he could do the ride, I thought about it more and, given the personal significance for the ride for Brad, I was in,” Jade said.
The ride will see the trio depart from Griffith (the vines) this Saturday morning to ride 360km over three days and arrive in Cobar (the mines) on Monday.
The official ride will finish at the rest area in front of the Cobar sign.
Then Brad will continue and finish at his mother’s grave side at the Cobar Cemetery.
A BMX racer and triathlete, Chad has proven he’ll be up for the Wines2Mines challenge after riding a 50km leg of the Ocean to Outback charity ride last September.
Chad and his dad have been training in preparation for the 120 kilometres they will need to ride per day to complete the trip.
“We ride when we can. On weekdays we try to ride 30kms a day then on weekends we ride 50kms a day,” Jade said.
“We have a full schedule trying to fit the rides in with work, school and other commitments but good planning and preparing will give us every chance of success,” he said.
The furthest they have ridden together in one day was 110km, which they recently completed in training for this ride.
“We have since done another ride of 105km,” Jade said.
The trio hope to raise $5,000 to support the Cancer Council and Batyr, with the money being evenly split between the two charities.
Locals who would like to donate or find out more about the tour, can visit the Wines2Vines Facebook page.
“If we make the target, Brad will also shave his beard off,” Jade joked.
Brad said he would like to make it an annual event and hopes more people can join them for the ride next year.