Ride into the hori­zon

Cross-coun­try bike trip raises money for group that men­tors lo­cal young girls

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Tony Bos­worth

AFTER 40 days and 40 nights and more than 4000km cy­cling across Australia from Bun­bury in Western Australia to Bondi, Michael Shaw will pour a bot­tle of wa­ter plucked from the In­dian Ocean into the Pa­cific to sig­nal the end of a mam­moth fundrais­ing tour.

“It’s been an as­tound­ing ride,” said Shaw, 44, who grew up in the Blue Moun­tains and went to school in the Pen­rith area.

Shaw de­cided to go on the mega bike ride after friend the Rev Mel Macarthur reck­oned it would be a good idea to cy­cle to raise funds for Broaden Hori­zons, a men­tor­ing group for young girls from dis­ad­van­taged back­grounds set up by Bidwill Unit­ing Church.

“It res­onated with me be- cause I’m the fa­ther of three girls,” Shaw said. “I lost my fa­ther at 14 and I’m lucky that Glen (McCaf­fery, the ride’s pub­li­cist) men­tored me as a young man and that made a huge dif­fer­ence to my life. These young women de­serve the op­por­tu­nity to be men­tored too, and that’s what this is all about.”

Some of the funds raised through the cy­cling trip will go to­wards Bidwill Unit­ing Church tak­ing four lo­cal girls on the Over­land Trek in Tas­ma­nia in De­cem­ber.

Shaw be­gan the ride with Mr Macarthur on Au­gust 8 but he had to cut his jour­ney short due to a fam­ily emer­gency and Shaw con­tin­ued alone. On most days he cov­ered around 82km.

“I’ve thor­oughly en­joyed the ride. I’ve had a sup­port ve­hi­cle with me and you could say I’ve oc­ca­sion­ally sought refuge in Unit­ing Churches as we’ve gone along, so there’s al­ways been some­where to stay.”

Shaw said there was some mem­o­rable mo­ments on the ride. “The first sight of the Great Aus­tralian Bight … en­ter­ing NSW and hav­ing a real feel­ing of com­ing home, and the com­pany of 20 ea­gles above me on the Hay Plains … There’s just noth­ing can beat that,” he said.

Pic­ture: Peter Kelly

Michael Shaw with Joz­ica Crncec and Bec Reidy of Bidwill Unit­ing Church.

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