AU – RRT supports the 2016 Pollie Pedal 1000km ride throughout regional NSW
It was a cloudy Autumn morning in Canberra on Federation Mall at Parliament House as the inviting aroma of freshly cooked bacon and egg rolls, along with a selection of fresh muesli and cereals, juices and coffee from RRT’s marquee. The Pollie Pedal support team prepared the lycra-clad riders for the start of the 19th annual Pollie Pedal. A truly iconic event where over $3 million has been raised in recent years – this year the proceeds are going to Carers Australia.
To support the brave Pollies on their ride, RRT had their support team providing everything from bottled water to barista coffees, for the long and gruelling road ahead, all 1000kms of if throughout the regions of New South Wales.
About 40 riders along with RRT and a volunteer support crew made the journey, starting at Parliament House Canberra, passing through Yass, Cootamundra, West Wyalong, Forbes, Orange, Oberon and Goulburn before returning to the national capital.
This ride is to traverse a huge variation in terrain from the monotonously long straight roads in the Central West to the challenging and steep country between Oberon and Goulburn, a long and testing ride!
Each day the RRT support crew were up and preparing breakfast for the riders at 5:30am ready for their 7:00am departure, and the big day ahead. Following the departure of the riders, the RRT wrapped up breakfast and moved on ahead of the riders to provide refreshments at regular intervals. Each day the riders were treated to a healthy lunch, decent nourishing meals and refreshments needed to give every rider the energy for the miles ahead.
The Pollie Pedal was the brainchild of former Prime Minister Mr Tony Abbott, and some former colleagues. It was designed to take MPs to out of the way communities they would rarely visit.
Every year since then, the 1000kms ride transverses the country, taking a different route each time. This year it included an RRT support van, generator, catering trailer with BBQ and a dedicated barista van.
Pollie Peddlers range from executives of some of the sponsoring firms to a band of riders who have ridden and assisted with the organisation. Many riders return year after year to enjoy the camaraderie on the bike, and conversation over dinner in the evening and this year, over a freshly brewed cappuccino or latte from RRT’s mobile barista van.
Usually the peloton breaks into 3 or 4 groups, allowing each rider to travel at a speed they can manage for the average of about 130kms each day. The toughest day of the whole ride was along the Newell Hwy from West Wyalong to Forbes, the temperature climbed and so did a strong head wind turning this leg of the Pollie Pedal into a test of sheer determination and passion to do the best possible for the beneficiaries of this great event.
Along the way, the riders met with a variety of community groups, including carers in the small towns and villages passed through. It is a chance to learn firsthand about the issues and challenges that Australians living in rural and regional areas experience. But above all what drives these brave riders is the compassion in their hearts towards the thousands of unsung heroes, the carers that are charged with the immense responsibility of caring for a parent or other family member, providing support for siblings or those less fortunate than themselves.
On the 2nd last leg of the journey the riders were joined by the community at the Goulburn Multi-Function complex where Pollie Pedal officially recognised RRT for their huge contribution to the 2016 ride totalling a very generous figure of $27,500.00.
To quote Graham Northey, the event organiser for Pollie Pedal “One thing’s for certain, that after the massive effort and quality support that we have received from RRT wherever Pollie Pedal will be in the future will be where we can get support from RRT”