Counting Shaynae’s Ride, a Brisbane to Sydney charity ride under the auspices of the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation has been conducted eight times so far. Each trip has provided a number of learnings (as summarised) that have improved the management and enjoyment of the ride.
Firstly, it is recognised that each ride will be different from each other in terms of the dynamic between the riders, the conditions, the relationships with local media, etc. Having small numbers on the ride offers a degree of flexibility to go part of the way of meeting the needs of each particular group.
Generally the ride follows the route described with a refresher stop every 25km+. However small changes to the route and arrival schedule can be accommodated so that participants can enjoy the various sights and venues.
We try to involve local communities, councils, businesses and the press. This involvement may lead to small ceremonies or addresses. With input from the participants (some of which have had strong connections with the communities visited), these episodes will be coordinated within the event.
While the ride is not a race, it is recognised that participants have varying travel speeds. Once the relative capabilities of the riders are established, the group tends to adopt some informal procedures to accommodate all. One practice is to send the slower ones off earlier, leaving the faster riders to catch them at various points during the day.
Riders are encouraged to take photos and videos of the various stages of the ride and pool them at the end. A video is produced and traditionally placed on YouTube. It is particularly important to take a good range of photos on the first and last day. These days always seem to miss out on snaps.
Don’t forget to bring adequate kit. It has gotten cold and wet on previous rides so bring woollen gloves, warm riding clothing and a waterproof jacket.
Bring a front torch, as least one rider has finished the day in the dark before (not a standard practice though).
Also plenty of high visibility gear, flashers and reflectors. We want to be seen from a distance.
While the support vehicle will have spares, tools and pumps, it is a good idea to carry some ‘bits and pieces’ among the groups riding along. In particular, carry a couple of tubes each – we will have our fair share of flats.
And take care. Look out for narrow bridges, soft road shoulders, loose gravel and corrugated roads on declines. There will be a relevant briefing each day, referring to the guide published on the site, so as to alert to group to hazards that may have been experienced previously on forthcoming sections.
See yourself as an ambassador for the charity ride. Press releases will be drafted around the story contained in this folder and flavoured by the various events that happen along the way. While there will be on site discussions with the press, schools and dignitaries by the various ‘hosts’ in the group (i.e. those that may have a special connection with a community or issue), be prepared if asked to give your version.
It is just as good as anyone else’s.
By way of assistance, referral to this website is a good place to start.
Finally, don't forget to have fun.
As we have said before, the ride, among other things, should be a celebration of life. Enjoy the opportunity, that participation in the ride affords. Be thankful that you are able to do it. Beside the background buzz that you are away from the workplace or whatever, doing something different and worthwhile, you will probably also enjoy relaxing with the team at the various pubs, cafes and clubs along the way.
Some pretty harmless ride traditions and award ceremonies have developed over the years. Embrace them. It adds to the fun..
The Rob McGlinn Training Plan
Member of the B2B3 Advance Guard (and anointed 'Spirit Guide' for subsequent rides), Rob McGlinn, has put together a training plan - attached PDF.
Following the plan, although not guaranteeing to get you to look like Michelle Bridges, should get you to Sydney.
Rob has put quite a bit of thought into the plan with helpful comments regarding suitable equipment and activities undertaken pre and post training.
Aspiring and veteran B2Bers are encouraged to parallel the plan in the lead up to that Saturday morning in April/May.