An epic journey into the Australian Outback, all for a good cause.
Tell us how the Jindaboonda Postie Trek came into being.
I organised the first trek after we lost my wife’s Uncle Den (known as Jindaboonda) to complications caused by Pancreatic Cancer. I originally looked into participating in an event already established, but soon found out that only a very small percentage of the funds raised in these actually makes it to the cause. I didn’t feel comfortable about that, so I decided to organise my own event, where all money raised goes to our designated foundation.
It’s for a wonderful cause; tell us a bit about that?
All the money we raise goes to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. This organisation relies on fundraisers like us, as well as donations to provide funding to front line cancer research projects. Australia is, in fact, the world leader in fighting cancer, so it’s good to know the money we raise is going to where it’s needed the most.
The trek is an epic 4,000 km into the Australian Outback. Where will the ride be taking you?
This time round the trek is taking us from Bundarra to Barraba. On Google maps, the most direct route is 91 km, or 1.5 hours. But we trekkers love taking the long way round, so our route goes via Boulia, in Outback Queensland. We have a stopover day in Winton, to show the kids a dinosaur dig site, and one at Diamantina Lakes. We all fell in love with Outback NSW and QLD on the first trek, so we can’t wait to get back there again.
Why did you choose to do such an amazing adventure on a Postie Bike?
There are a few reasons. We do the trek to honour the memory of Uncle Den, and my granddad Murray. Both men were avid motorcyclists. Den was actually a postman for a while, so that’s the first reason.
Secondly, doing such a huge ride on such a small bike adds to the daring, difficulty and adventure of the trek. People seem more keen to support a cause if it’s a bit more difficult.
Lastly, twenty odd Postie Bikes riding through town in formation attracts a lot of attention. On the first trek, I didn’t think to approach the local media in all the towns we visited, but it turns out we didn’t have to! Within a few minutes of rolling into town, more often than not local media found us. This raises a lot of awareness for the ACRF, which is just as valuable as fundraising.
It’s a 13 day journey; how do you prepare for a trip of this scale?
We are gone for 13 days and we are riding the 4,000 km in 11 days. I suppose the most crucial part of preparation is making sure the bikes are up to scratch. Generally, the trusty old CT110 is a reliable little steed, but for the whole 11 days, these bikes will be held at full throttle – 4,000 km at full throttle is a lot to expect from a little eight horsepower engine. Physically there is not much you can do to prepare for it. A few nice long rides in the months leading up.
Mentally, it can be draining. A couple of the guys last time were away from their families for the duration, and that took its toll. Most of us are fortunate enough to have our families tag along as support crew.
This is not your first trek; you completed one in 2016. How much did you raise, and where did you go?
In 2016 the plan was to ride out to Cameron Corner, but we got to a little town just out of Bourke, and were told that the Corner had just experienced its biggest rain event in seven years, so we changed course and headed up through Cunnamulla, to Augathella, then over to Roma, then down to St George, where by then we were back on the path we originally set. We ended up raising over $55,000.
Based on your past experience, what do you foresee as being the most challenging part of this adventure?
The most challenging part of the venture is always logistics. It’s trying to find a path that is family friendly, but also adventurous. It’s trying to find towns where we can stay as cheaply as possible because all the riders are paying for their own food, fuel and accommodation, so we try to keep the costs down as much as we can.
The second most challenging part is raising enough money and awareness to make the venture is worthwhile. Getting businesses on board has been difficult, even though we can show how much media coverage we obtained with the first trek.
What amount are you hoping to raise this year, and how can businesses and the community support you?
This time round, I have set the target at $100,000. I know it is a massive task, but with some corporate sponsorship, and a side event that we are planning, it is not an impossible target. This time round we have composed a sponsorship proposal for businesses, where they can essentially buy advertisement space on our riders and support vehicles, as well as in media coverage, on several different levels.
The public can help us out by following us on Facebook at Jindaboonda Postie Trek, visiting postietrek.com, or coming along to an event which we are currently planning to be held early next year. Donations are all tax deductible.
How many riders do you have participating? If someone would like to partake in the trek, how can they get involved?
This time round, it looks like we will have the same amount of participants, which is around 20 riders and 30 support crew. This number is about as much as you want to have for a few of the tiny towns we will be staying in, so numbers are strictly limited. If anyone thinks they may want to tag along, the best way to contact me is through the Facebook page or website.
How can we find out more information or follow your journey?
If anyone would like any more info on our venture, please visit postietrek.com, or the Facebook page Jindaboonda Postie Trek. To follow us on our journey, like the Facebook page or follow us on Instagram. The links for our Facebook page and Instagram account can be found on our website. Any support for our cause is greatly appreciated.
Interview: Bronwyn Davis.