Ironically, rain has forced the Ride Against Drought event to raise money for drought-stricken farmers to be postponed to a later date.
Rotary International made the decision to move from this Saturday to October 27 due to the high likelihood of rain on Saturday and subsequent insurance issues.
Rotary spokesman Alan Charles says “rain on the day will not only compromise the financial viability of the event, but it will also significantly increase the inherent risk associated with a motorbike ride”.
We love riding in the rain, but the Rotary organisers had to make the date change before dozens of volunteers were deployed and food bought for the breakfast and lunch.
The decision follows a poor turnout at last weekend’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride in Brisbane where 630 riders were registered but only 280-odd turned up because of persistent showers.
You know what they say … if you want it to rain, organise a bike ride or wash your bike!
Make October 27 your new date
The Ride Against Drought will now be held on Saturday October 27, starting with breakfast between 7.30am to 10am at the Rocklea Showgrounds.
Riders can head off at their own departure time, ride pace and route to the Rotary Park in Oakey, instead of the showgrounds which is booked out on the day.
Rotary Park is in Campbell St, the main street into town, 2km from the Warrego Highway turnoff. It will be well signposted.
The only other change is that riders will not be able to camp overnight, but can head home after lunch or stay overnight at one of the many hotels, motels or caravan parks in the Toowoomba region.
Riders from the Gold and Sunshine coasts who cannot make it to Rocklea can make their own way to Oakey.
Toowoomba regional riders are gathering a 11am at the Engine Room Cafe, 1 Railway Street, for a group ride to Oakey leaving at 11.30am.
There are no ride fees or registration fees to join the Ride Against Drought.
All money collected on the day will basically be donations or payments for breakfast, lunch, raffle tickets or commemorative stickers.
Since all food is donated to Rotary, all those funds go to the Rotary District 9630 Drought Relief Fund and they tell us there are no admin fees.
So, in effect, every cent you give goes directly to farmers in need in the form of vouchers for things they really need such as tyres, fuel, groceries, etc.
You also stand to win great prizes in our raffle.
- a $600 voucher for an AGV helmet from Link International;
- a $500 *voucher for Avon tyres from Pro Accessories Australia;
- a $400 voucher from Shark Leathers;
- a $1000 LED adaptive headlight;
- two pairs of Barz Optics motorcycle sunglasses worth $199 each;
- two $25 meal vouchers from the Engine Room Cafe, Toowoomba; and
- two $25 breakfast vouchers from Flavours Cafe, Boonah.
The prize draw will be at 2pm at the Oakey Showgrounds and winners will have to be present to collect their prizes.
Riders can then head home or stay overnight at one of the many hotels, motels and caravans parks in the region.
RAD to go nationwide
If the first RAD event is a success, Rotary District 9630 will challenge other districts to organise their own RAD event and encourage riders to go bush.
We believe riders already have a great affinity for the bush, having ridden many of this nation’s back roads and supported local communities with their tourist dollar.
Motorcycle tourists are far more beneficial economically to regional communities than grey nomads.
It is estimated riders spend up to $140 a day in local communities on food, fuel, drinks, etc, compared with $40 spent by grey nomads in self-contained caravans.
If more riders could head out into the bush instead of riding the coastal hinterlands, it would inject much-needed funds into rural communities.
If you can’t ride out into the country or can’t attend our first RAD event, you can donate now to the Rotary District 9630 Drought Disaster Relief Campaign.
The Rotary Drought Relief Fund has so far raised more than $1.25m for farmers in the region from Brisbane west to the border; some of the worst drought-affected areas in the nation.
Money from the appeal goes directly to the Rotary Clubs of Roma, Mitchell, St George and Charleville who are working with local families to provide relief vouchers using third parties to identify those most affected.
This provides anonymity for the families and governance of the money.
Third party involvement is mainly through the Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) and organisations such as the Charleville Neighbourhood Centre.
By donating money, rather than goods, the goods required by rural families can be bought locally via a voucher system, keeping the money in local communities.
District Governor Jitendra Prasad says the RAD event has a “lot of merit” and thanked Motorbike Writer for considering Rotary as the strategic partner.
(* The Avon prize is not redeemable for cash or other product and if the value of the tyres selected are below $500, the balance is not redeemable for cash or other products.)