A Ride to RememberThe Bondi2Berry Ride to Remember is back for its third year.On September 8, 80 bike riders will depart from North Bondi at the crack of dawn and ride the gruelling 155 kilometres along the coast to Berry.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: what on earth would possess anybody to put themselves through 155 kilometres of pedalling and 1,700 metres of arse-wrecking elevation?
The Bondi2Berry Ride To Remember was started by Nick Young and his friends, Pierre and James, to raise money for dementia research.
“My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, and Pierre’s mum was diagnosed a few years later,” Mr Young told The Beast.
“We wanted to use our passion for cycling to do something productive and create awareness for this terrible disease.”
Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia. Contrary to popular belief, it is not one specific disease but rather a collection of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain. The most common and well-known type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. There are over 425,000 Australians living with dementia and without a major breakthrough in research that figure is expected to increase to over 1.1 million by 2056.
Dementia damages brain cells, making basic things like preparing a cup of tea or recognising loved ones extremely difficult or even impossible. It ultimately causes your body to start shutting down, removing your ability to take care of yourself. There is currently no cure.
In previous years, the Bond- i2Berry Ride to Remember has raised $131,000 for Dementia Australia, and thanks to the support of its many sponsors, every cent goes directly towards researching a cure.
Felix Clark, owner of Bellagio Cafe in Waverley, said sponsoring the event was a no-brainer.
“With the almost indiscriminate nature of the disease, any support of this cause is an investment in your own future,” he said. “You may well need it.”
As well as their usual contributions to the event, Bellagio teamed up with Chef Jason Roberts this year to host a gala fundraiser.
“We would like to see this event become a permanent fixture in the fundraising landscape of the ride,” Mr Clark said.
Although he has sponsored the event since its inception, Mr Clark is this year participating in the ride for the first time.“This is the year I decided to get off my fat arse and give myself something to work towards.
“Being a large human means that the uphill sections of the ride will be pretty challenging, but it also means that I will descend like an elephant on skis – look out!”
All-round sports fanatic and Bondi Rescue star Andrew ‘Reidy’ Reid is riding for the third year in
“The Bondi2Berry really hits home for me,” he said. “My mother has Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia and I’ve been caring for her since she got diagnosed 12 months ago.”
Thanks to his work schedule and crippling fear of riding on Sydney roads, Reidy’s training has been non-existent again this year.
“I’m dreading the pain of riding 155km without training, but knowing what we are doing is hopefully going towards putting an end to this horrible disease usually gets me through,” he said.
“Just to finish would be awe- some, but if I can have some extra energy to help others get through it then that would be great.”
The ride sold out within six weeks so you’ll have to wait until next year to physically participate, but you can offer support at the start in Bondi, at pit-stops in Wollongong and Kiama, or you can join the riders for a beer at the Berry Bowling Club afterwards.
When The Beast went to print, this year’s Bondi2Berry ride had raised $35,000, just over a third of its goal for the year. There’s still plenty of time to contribute and any donations, big or small, will make a huge difference.
“If you ask anyone that has a loved one battling dementia they will quickly tell you it’s horrible for everyone involved so please dig deep,” Mr Reid told The Beast.
“The quicker we find a cure to this shit disease the better this world will be.”