Charity Trust Bike Ride 2011

Charity Trust Bike Ride 2011 participants competing in the event. The Annual Tasmania Police Charity Trust Bike Ride for 2011 was hailed the most successful event yet, raising $40,000 for the Menzies Research Institute.  The funds raised will be utilised to assist the Institute to continue its vital research into childhood illnesses including cystic fibrosis, neurological repair, leukaemia and lymphoma.  The Tasmania Police Charity Trust is thrilled to be able to donate these funds to the Institute, and this fundraising effort represents the largest donation by the Trust since its inception in 2006.

The 2011 Bike Ride was the 5th year that this event has been conducted and each year it has grown from strength to strength.  This year, there was a record 60 participants all committed to not only train for the event, but also to raise at least $500 each for the Menzies Research Institute. Participants included many Tasmania Police personnel, members of the public and teams, including a Vodafone team – all avid cycling enthusiasts.  One of the Vodafone participants, raised $1,238 alone and this was matched dollar for dollar by Vodafone.  Our appreciation is extended to all of those who contributed to this worthy cause ensuring the success of the event.  It is noted that all cyclists cover their own costs, so 100% of the monies raised goes directly to the cause.

Constable Richard Douglas was nominated for a Pride of Australia Award in 2011 for his efforts in coordinating this massive event year after year.   Below is his summary of the event.

The route this year was from Cradle Mountain via Queenstown to Hobart.  The riders all arrived at Cradle Mountain looking nervous but fit. They knew the West Coast was going to be hard so training had been done in readiness for the hard uphill sections.

Friday morning (18 November 2011) saw dark clouds looming in the distance.  Following a quick briefing, the 60 riders (all looking resplendent in their new Charity Ride uniform) rolled away from Cradle Mountain Chateau to pedal the 148kms to Strahan. Then the rain came. It was only a gentle rain at first, but once the lightning flashed and the thunder rolled we knew it was going to get worse. So there we were on the Wild West Coast climbing the Mountains and getting rained on, but still the riders smiled and said they were having fun!  Lunch at Rosebery refuelled everybody and the support crew treated a couple of scrapes and provided encouragement.  The final riding into Strahan was magnificent, with views of the ocean, a couple of bumps to negotiate and a real sense of achievement to have completed a hard day on the bike in trying conditions.  The buffet at Strahan Village took a real pounding Friday night.  The chef was running to keep the food up to a group of very hungry riders.  Everybody was well fed by the end of the night.

Saturday morning (19 November 2011) saw the riders bussed to Queenstown to start the 136km day.  A shorter day, but there were some serious ‘bumps’ between Queenstown and Tarraleah that would test everybody and the sun had come out.  We started with a climb up out of Queeny, through the ’99 bends’ as the locals call it, that really spread the bunch out and got the hearts pumping.  Then a long descent on the Lyell Highway around lakes and through wilderness, over the Franklin River and mind blowing scenery took us to lunch at Derwent Bridge. The riders were doing well, a couple of mechanicals to fix, a support crew that urged us on at all times and a general feeling of unity saw everybody rolling out well fed and happy to finish the day at Tarraleah.  We just had to get over the big hill at the end. The descent down in to the Tarraleah Power Station saw big smiles and yells of enjoyment coming from riders, but of course we then had to climb up, up, up out of there to get to the township of Tarraleah. It was long and winding and worth the effort.

The accommodation at Tarraleah was first rate and saw riders and support crew just milling about talking up their exploits and astounded that they hadn’t been there before, but would definitely be coming back. The mood was great amongst the participants and donations were still rolling into the Charity Trust bank account.

Sunday morning and the riders were keen, only 125kms to Hobart, and a tail-wind to help get us there. Fast descents, short climbs, slippery train tracks, sheep on the road. This ride had everything you could dream of.

At Granton the bunch all got together for the final leg into Hobart, and what a sight it was as the support crew guided everybody safely to Marine Division at North Hobart. A well-earned BBQ was under way while a final tally of dollars revealed that we had raised $40,000 to assist Menzies Research Institute Tasmania with their vital research into childhood illnesses. As always with the West Coast, it’s bigger and better than anything else and that inspired the ride participants to raise a record amount.

In 2012 we’re going to do it all again. We will be supporting two organisations for this event; Down Syndrome Tasmania and the Heart Foundation so both can continue to support Tasmanians in need. The course will take riders from Devonport to Poatina, to Campbell Town and Triabunna with it finishing at the Police Academy. It’s only 400kms, should be easy!

The Tasmania Police Charity Trust extends its gratitude to Constable Richard Douglas, the volunteers, support crew, sponsors and participants of this event.  The Charity Trust would also like to thank the many contributors and to all of those generous people who donated funds along the way.

If you would like to participate in the Annual Tasmania Police Charity Trust Bike Ride, please contact Constable Richard Douglas, Event Coordinator, Burnie Police Station, email: Richard.Douglas@police.tas.gov.au.

(November 2011)