News and Events
RTA Bike Ride - 20th - 28th March
The RTA BigRide is a nine day cycling adventure that each year visits new and exciting areas of NSW, with this year's ride starting at Gloucester and finishing at Berowra, via Forster/Tuncurry. The ride raises funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and involves over 1000 cyclists.
Participants ride mountain/hybrid-road and racing bikes. They also ride tandems; birdie's, triples, bikes with trailers and bikes with children's seats fitted.
Men, women, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers, dons, daughters, teams, husbands, wives, "Old" racing cyclists, touring cyclists and those new to cycling assemble.
RTA BigRide was pleased that the HVC could help recruit volunteers for this special event and they hope to have more interest next year.
In March 2004 Paul Burns volunteered to assist with the RTA Bike ride the following is his story Insert Paul's Story
Hunter Volunteer Centre deployed me to support the cyclists and the management teams. On Tuesday I was told "bring a sleeping bag, foam mattress, toiletries, eating utensils and a change of clothes. Report to the Newcastle Bus Interchange at 7.00am next Saturday. We will see you in 14 days!" And that was it; I was off on a 10 day adventure and what a fantastic adventure it was.
My job on the BigRide was the installation and removal of all electrical power and lighting wiring for the tent city which we set up and pulled down each day. It was hard work but rewarding. Other volunteers did food preparation, water, and drainage, winery/beer sales, MS stand, information tent, bike handling and security, race marshals, trash removal, tent erection, and other campsite services. A real team effort!
We stayed overnight at Gloucester, Tuncurry, Bulahdelah (2 nights), Newcastle (2 Nights), Bateau Bay, Mt Penang and part of a day at Berowra. Upon our arrival an oval would be transformed from bare grass into a sea of marquees, tents, bicycles, trucks, buses, cyclists and volunteers, complete with international flags. Local residents would gather around the perimeter, jaws opened amazed. The tent city supported the cyclists with showers/toilets, entertainment, food and drink, and bicycle maintenance and support services.
The camaraderie was fantastic; I did a lot of dancing to the bands. The wine was great, and the companionship was super. Cyclists are a great bunch, and adaptable too. We all got drowned when we encountered a cyclone at Tuncurry and Bulahdelah. Bulahdelah opened their hearts to us. We were drenched, as was our gear, and the city accommodated us. Our support city, catering, wash-up, entertainment, coffee, toilets, shower and winery/beer sales were set up in the towns sawmill for our 2 day stay. Great dancing in the sawmill at night.
Between work, dancing, sleeping through the rain, I was exhausted by the time I reached Berowra, but what an adventure.
Thankyou to the Hunter Volunteer Centre for making me part of the RTA's 2004 BigRide. What is my next assignment?