The last week and a half has been extremely busy, first with a trip to Port Hedland, the gateway to the Pilbara in Western Australia. I was invited up to be an Ambassador for Bike Week up there and to speak to the local kids about all things Paralympic and bicycle safety. I was up in Port Hedland last year a bit later in the year and boy could I tell! The temperature was forecast for 40 degrees each day, but I swear it got much hotter each and every day, plus throw in the humidity and it was extremely hot. Port Hedland is the busiest port in Australia and one of the days there were just over 50 ships waiting to come in and load up with Iron Ore.
Port Hedland is an intersting place with a population that is constantly changing because of their “Fly In, Fly Out” or FIFO as it is known, work force. These men and women who go to Port Hedland to work certainly work hard, but I can also tell you that a few of them then party pretty hard!
It was an amazing week speaking at 4 local primary schools, The School of the Air, two community centre groups and the Community Day held at the Civic Centre. We were able to reach just over 2500 children with our safety messages and spoke with disability groups about believing that anything was possible. I rode with people of all ages on the Community Day, a 15km ride for older riders and then a 5km ride for the families. Even had time for 2 radio interviews one with ABC radio and one with Spirit 1260 in Karratha.
We had a great team that went to each of the schools, Officer Sophie (our local police officer), Elise our wonderful MC (who also moonlighted as an ABC radio reporter), Matt – The Bicycle Bloke (who happened to be Canadian and from Toronto!!!), Greeney (President of the local BMX club), Schmitty (for a couple of schools – Head BMX Coach WA), Dan (BMX Hedland), a number of kids from the BMX club and Izzy (Road Safety Mascot for WA). This team and the week was put together by Kellie Williams from the Port Hedland City Council and what an awesome job she did!