Heroes reach Adelaide
After setting off at 7am on a frosty Sunday morning, a group of cyclists and support staff triumphantly finished a gruelling ride from Barooga to Adelaide on Saturday.
The 803km trek by the Hills Heroes group helped raise money for beyondblue.
Crossing the finish line after six long days of riding was both emotional and a relief, organiser Tyron Hill said.
‘‘Everyone was relieved to get there, as you can imagine.
‘‘Everyone held up quite well, although there were a couple of slight niggles throughout day three or four to the last day, but we cruised into Adelaide,’’ he said.
So far the group has raised more than $31,000 for beyondblue, but Mr Hill said donations were still being tallied and expected the total to be around the $35,000 mark.
Two fundraising nights at the football clubs in Lameroo and Jervois helped bolster the totals, with the Mallee Football League donating $2000 from extra gate takings.
Despite only crossing the finish line on Saturday, the group is already thinking about its next trip.
‘‘They’ve all been talking about how much they miss it already, so we’re thinking maybe we’ll do something similar next year,’’ Mr Hill said.
‘‘I’d also like to thank all the local businesses — Zitos, Tuscany, Mantos — for the fresh fruit and vegies, and all the people who donated or offered messages of support.’’
Day three of the ride saw intense fog, and it was with trepidation the riders set off, and the fog was monitored throughout the ride as safety for the riders was the main priority.
Day four was a big day as well, with the emotional riders setting off from Walpeup for a 150km stretch and at a little place called Boinka, after riding over a railway line, five riders crashed.
Luckily for those involved, no-one was seriously injured, suffering just scrapes and bruises.
Day five was an easier day with the group only covering 105km. It saw stops at Geranium and Sherlock, and it was at Sherlock where the riders spotted the first lot of supporters lining the road.
Friends and family of the South Australian riders turned up in droves to the Jervois Football Club, home to the Hill family.
Day six and the Adelaide Hills were always going to present a challenge.
A very emotional group of family and friends were waiting at Unley to greet the riders.
Event manager Michelle Hill thanked all the support staff, which included Glen Hill, Aiden Hill, Ruby Lane, Jodie Wanganeen, Jane Treloar, Ray Morris, Robyn Morris, Jenny DeMaio, Kayla Eddy, Mackella Armfield, Wayne Smith, Sarah Crawley and Bill Dockrey.
She also gave out a small memento for everyone to remember their week.
Donations can still be made www.hill[email protected]web.com.au
The Hills Heroes riders and support staff on their six-day, 803km ride from Barooga to Adelaide.