Bikes for Victorian Bush Fire Appeal

i just got this in my inbox and thought i’d repost it here…

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

February 14, 2009 – Hisense Arena.

Media release
Tuesday 10 February 2009

Like many Australians the cycling community will be doing its bit to offer what support it can to the victims of the Victorian bushfires at the Austral Wheelrace on Saturday 14 February.

CycleSport Victoria and the organiser’s of the 111th Austral Wheelrace will be offering free general admission to Saturday’s race at Hisense Arena for anyone who brings a working bike to donate to the Victorian Bush Fire Appeal.

The Kinglake, St Andrews and broader Yarra Valley region affected by the fires is close to the hearts of many cyclists as key training areas.

Some of Australia’s leading cyclists, like Tour de France star Cadel Evans and former Australian road champion Darren Lapthorne, regularly use the areas damaged in the bushfire as their training ground.

With memory of the not too distant fires in the Bright and alpine area, the tragedy has hit home with 1984 Olympic Games gold medallist Dean Woods, who is urging those who are in a position to donate a bike to the appeal to do so on Saturday night.

“Everyone is thinking about how they can help and if this is one way, although it might be minor, it’s all the little things that add up,” said Woods of Wangaratta.

“You see these sorts of disasters overseas and it can seem quite distant but to see it in your own backyard simply it leaves a lot of people lost for words.

“Seeing the way people have responded, offering what support they can, has been heartwarming and is something the larger community can take great pride in.

“A bushfire is devastating enough even when it is only property that is lost let alone these tragic circumstances.

“So it’s important to remember that the people in these regions are going to need ongoing support.

“Hopefully for the kids, and the adults, in these areas having a bike to get around on once again will help them on the road to recovery as exercise is so important to our emotional wellbeing.”

As many of the people in the affected areas are without a home and unable to receive such goods, bikes will be stored in association with CycleSport Victoria and distributed to people, once they are in a position receive them, through cycling clubs in these regions.

EVENT DETAILS

Free general admission for anyone donating a working bike to the Victorian Bush Fire Appeal

What: 111th Austral Wheelrace
When: Saturday 14 February 2009
Time: Doors open at 5.30pm; racing starts 7pm
Where: Hisense Area, Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne
Website: www.theaustralwheelrace.com.au

If you are in Brisbane or nearby and have a decent bike, such as an outgrown BMX or a “winter” bike you never use, there are plenty of people in the bushfire areas who have lost theirs and could put it to use.

I am trying to organise a freight donor and am happy to hold bikes at my place (inner southside) and have them sent. I’ve been in touch with the Cycle Vic people and the promoters of the Austral Wheelrace and they are delighted for us to do this. Contact me on 0434 729 855 or peterw60 AT gmail.com, to arrange a drop-off.

What’s the cut-off date for the Brisbane bike donation? Was thinking of putting the word out at my work to see whether there were any strays lying around that I could collect, clean and ship.

The sooner the better, because these trails go cold quickly, people forget. I’m going to try to organise shipment by 20 Feb. Late ones can always be sent late.
The Vics told me yesterday to give them 10 days, because they have to organise distribution through local clubs, and that won’t be easy.