no politics...just ridin'

Ride For A Cure

I did ride on Sunday which was a first for me - I took a paying pillion on a ride through the Gold Coast Hinterland out to Jimboomba and then back to the Sharks Footy Club for lunch. The good thing is that the money that my pillion paid was donated to the Leukaemia Foundation.

Got a call from Eddie on Saturday afternoon asking if I wanted to do a ride with him, Lyn and John in the morning. He didn't tell me too much about it other than we would meet at the Sharks Footy Club, Southport at 7am and that the ride itself was a fund raising ride for the Leukaemia Foundation. Sunday morning started overcast but warm - I made my way up the coast to Southport arriving at the club just after 7 and at the same time as the others. We rode in and were asked if we would like to take a pillion - a pillion?? It was then explained to me that the Ride For A Cure was all about providing non-bikers the opportunity to get on the back of a bike and experience some of the better roads on the Gold Coast, for a fee. This donation of $125 would cover their breakfast, morning tea and lunch as well as a tee and cap - the remainder of the money would go to the Leukaemia Foundation. Now I thought this was a great idea, so I volunteered to take a pillion and registered.

We parked our bikes and headed towards the food, grabbing a snag on bread (with lotsa onions) and a drink. I was surprised by how many blue vested volunteers were helping out with the food, drink and merchandise. We wandered around the lot checking out the bikes and chatting to a few people. All bikes that were taking pillions were parked away from the others - all up I think there were about 70 or 80 - and there were all types, which was great for the pillions as it offered a bit more variety from which to choose. I was a little surprised at how few bikes & paying pillions there were, but I don't think they had marketed it right - I am sure you could have easily doubled numbers if word had gotten out. I had heard nothing about this ride until the day before, and I try to make myself aware of what is going on.

Anyway, after greeting, eating and wandering about, the organisers called us all in for a pre-ride brief. We were to head out to Jimboomba via Canungra and then return via Tamborine and Eagle Heights. They took a few photos of us all together and then we headed back to the bikes. This is where I met my pillion, Sylvia. She seemed very at ease and mentioned that it was the fourth time she had done this event, so I need not worry too much. She had come along with her daughter, who was participating in the event for the first time. I had to find a helmet as I had come along not expecting to be pillioning - I managed to find a spare from one of the other riders and we then geared up, jumped on the bike and were ready to roll.

The ride left Sharks at about 9am, and what a relief it was to be on the road at last! After about 5 minutes of riding, I could tell that Sylvia knew how to sit and lean on the back of a bike and so settled in for the ride. Now the ride itself was nothing spectacular to me, as I regularly ride these roads - the Smith St motorway onto the M1 to exit 73, on to Canungra then out via Mundoolun Rd to Jimboomba. I was more concentrating on riding in the group - some of these riders, mainly on cruisers*, were starting to worry me, riding way too close and taking my line. I eventually decided to move away from them and position myself elsewhere in amongst riders who I felt more at ease with.

We rolled into Jimboomba and out onto the sportsfield for morning tea - and it was impressive. Donuts, cakes, fruit, drinks - just about all you would need after a long ride, let alone the short squirt we had just completed. But I would never knock back a free feed!! After about 40 minutes the call went out and we hit the road for the return run.

The ride back was a lot more fun - through Tamborine, then the climb up the mountain which although slow was still good, along past the Eagle Heights Pub and then down via the Tamborine-Oxenford Rd to the motorway. I hardly even knew I still had a pillion on the back - I thought she handled the ride very well. We arrived back at the Sharks Footy Club just on midday. Sylvia got off the bike and told me that she had a great time and really enjoyed the ride - I was happy with the result of being able to take a usually non-riding pillion for a squirt whilst raising money for a worthy cause.

Unfortunately I was unable to use the voucher for lunch at Sharks I was given as I had something organised - I caught up with Eddie, Lyn and John, passed on the voucher to them and took off for Kat's place. I will be doing this one again next year for sure.

*Now for you cruiser riders, I'm sure you all realise that the comment above was not a swipe at you - I ride regularly with people who own cruisers and feel very safe amongst them. It was about the skill level of a few of these guys, especially when I had someone on the back of my bike that I really did not know. I did not feel comfortable being hemmed in amongst them whilst they were treating it as more of a race than a leisurely ride - it just so happens that these guys were on cruisers and appeared to me to be the weekend-warrior type, so I took it upon myself to get away from them.

I must be gettin old coz I reckon I'm over the close group runs.



Blogger KT Did said...

Don't feel bad about taking a stab at us cruisers... You have to get away from those trouble spots and ride where you are comfortable, if you don't, its your own recipe for disaster. Great ride through the forest and great cause!

3:09 AM  
Blogger Earp said...

Hey Breaker, I don't mind close stagger if I know the riders in front and behind but with an inexpirence pillion I would have felt the same as you. The worst thing about these rides is those jokers that go by a cruiser with matching coloured gear and ride once a month if they are lucky and see those of us that ride more regularly doing the stagger and think they have the skills and knowledge to do the same.

Great write up, and keep the good work comming.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Beaker said...

KT - good to see ur back from ur trip - hope it was good. Sad to hear about ur best mate though. I have picked up something for you for all the trouble you wnet to - just gotta send it!!

Earp - you hit it right on! Quite a few of these guys looked like the fairweather, every so often types. I did an advanced riding course on a lot of these roads only a few weeks ago and picked up heaps, especially on positioning, and these guys just did everything they tried to discourage.

11:24 AM  
Blogger IronChef said...

If in doubt then I always pull over pass depending on other bike or car behavior.

I encountered a particular group of bikes from Sydney on my Moto-GP ride one day and they were dangerous riders that made me pull over more then once to wave them
past. A mix of bike styles from race rep to cruisers but all hell bent on going flat out even if that meant wrong side of road on blind mountain corners.

Now people say I can corner quickly but I never cut corners or go outside my lane - that to me means your either going too fast for the unexpected and/or insufficient route knowledge for that pace.

Annoying thing with that group was I'd sail by them when they all pulled up more often than me only to get them going 3 wide past me on a blind crest a bit later - really spoiled a bit of that days riding.

11:14 PM  

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