The MS Celebrity Red Ride starts tomorrow and because I am not only riding a small portion of it but also helping with the Media and Press throughout the week, I headed down to Torquay with Bade Stapleton (Connect Sport Australia) to set things up for the riders who would be arriving later this afternoon.
It will be a very tough ride for them 1000km over 7 days through country Victoria and some very harsh terrain. There will be the problem of dealing with the weather which could get very hot and even the possiblity of flooding and/or bush fires. There are however plans in place if any of this should occur. We are hopeful that it will be uneventful in regards to the weather and just a lot of fun, albeit with a bit of hard work thrown in! Who am I kidding, alot of hard work!
I have met the support crew and the riders tonight over dinner and we were very lucky to have Shane Perkins join us tonight. Shane is a multi world champion cyclist on the Track and a bronze medallist from the London Olympics. After dinner Bade interviewed Shane and it was fantastic to hear all about his cycling background and experiences at an International level. We also heard from our MS Ambassador Steve van Ruyven who despite living with MS will attempt to cover 700km of the 1000km, which would be an incredible feat.
We were told that every night someone from the team (support or rider) would be awarded the Monjon Yellow Jersey. Not because they were the fastest on the day but from their support during the day to the rest of the team. Because they had 7 jersey’s Bade was awarding one tonight and it was awarded to MS Ambassador Steve, for the amazing fundraising he has done so far (over $22,000) and the fact that he was attempting the ride.
So as the night comes to a close I think that everyone is just chomping at the bit to get out on the road. We leave via the local Torquay College with 900 children, 50 staff and parents to send the riders on their way. They will hear a few words from me about MS and winning a medal in London and also from Shane about his amazing career and finally from Bade about bicycle safety. A colouring competition draw will see one child from the school win a bike, so with all this happening it will be an amazing start to a fantastic ride!
I am hoping to post each night to let you know about the days riding, but I wish all the riders the best of riding and hope the wind is at our backs….especially when I’m out there riding!!