By TILEAH DOBSON
140 cyclists will soon be launching from Bondi Beach and riding all the way south to Berry in an effort to raise money for Dementia Australia.
For Australians, dementia is the second leading cause of death and the leading cause among women. According to reports, an estimated 472,000 Australians are living with the condition as of 2020.
The annual charity event, dubbed Bondi2Berry, has raised over $600,000 for Dementia Australia since 2015. All money raised has helped financially support two vital research projects, as well as supporting Australians impacted by dementia.
So far, $45,301.43 of the $120,000 goal for this year has been raised, thanks to the 176 fundraisers and 627 donations.
For this year’s ride – which will take place on Saturday, 20 November – seven groups of 20 cyclists will take part.
Organiser Nick Young is thrilled to be back on the bike after postponing the event earlier this year.
“The ongoing restrictions and lockdowns posed a challenge again in 2021, but we have worked to make this upcoming event as safe as possible for all participants and the communities we visit,” Young said.
“The ride is sold out, every rider has been fully vaccinated, and we have been overwhelmed with the support of the whole Bondi2Berry community, including participants, volunteers, donors and sponsors.”
“We are especially grateful for our platinum partners Wilson Asset Management and OniGroup, who have encouraged and supported us every step of the way. We can’t wait to get back on our bikes and raise money for a cause so close to our hearts.”
CEO of Dementia Australia, Maree McCabe AM, has expressed her gratitude to the organising committee as they navigated the challenging restrictions to ensure participants’ safety.
“The Bondi2Berry crew are extraordinary and have adapted whenever they have needed to, to remain committed to this ride and to raising funds for people impacted by dementia,” McCabe said.
“We are grateful to their support to improve the lives of the estimated 472,000 Australians living with dementia and on behalf of Dementia Australia, I extend my heartfelt thanks to all involved.”
The Bondi2Berry ride will begin at the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club and participants will ride through Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and through parts of the Royal National Park to Wollongong, then Kiama, and will finish in Berry on the South Coast.
Riders will be receiving a unique event jersey, nutrition on the ride, mechanic support and a free BBQ at the end. Registration is closed as the event is sold out, but Dementia Australia still encourages people to donate.
Due to the ambitious 155km distance and 1,700 elevations of the ride, organisers have scheduled six training sessions and encourage riders to attend a minimum of three.
As the ride will be on the open road, riders will have to adhere to the road rules established by Cycling NSW. There will be support vehicles for each group of riders, as well as first aid and bike mechanics.
To donate and support the ride, or for more information, visit www.bondi2berry.com.
Tileah Dobson is the news editor of the Sydney Sentinel.