Ride into the horizon
Cross-country bike trip raises money for group that mentors local young girls
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.
Michael Shaw with Jozica Crncec and Bec Reidy of Bidwill Uniting Church.