Bike ride to smash poverty - Day 12
A team of 10 cyclists and support crew left Sydney on a Monday morning to ride to Queensland and back. Their purpose, though, was not just exercise and the scenic outback.
The goal of the tour is to raise awareness and money for people living with great need around the world and in Australia.
The team is currently on the Queensland leg of the race, en route to Toowoomba from Warwick.
Check out the daily diary covering the ride below
Anglican Aid’s first Grace To The World cycle tour left St Andrew’s House in the city on March 25 and is travelling up the New England Highway into Queensland and on to Noosa. The team plans to cycle back to Sydney along the coast and arrive on April 24.
A core group of four cyclists is endeavouring to make the 2500-kilometre round trip, with many other cyclists joining and leaving the peloton for sections of the journey at different times during the ride.
Each night the team will be billeted with local Anglican families and on most nights – and each Sunday (a rest day) – will speak at Grace To The World public forums hosted by the local church or school, where they will encourage discussion about a Christian response to world need.
Anglican Aid’s CEO, David Mansfield, has been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic support of local Anglican communities on the route. “Every church or school I have contacted to ask for accommodation and a willingness to host a public forum has been warm and receptive to the idea,” he says.
“The whole trip is designed to build partnerships and relationships, to deepen our understanding and to raise awareness of global issues and how Christians have the opportunity to help break the cycles of poverty, abuse, ignorance, superstition and exploitation that crush the spirits of communities around the world.”
The cycling team includes Mr Ron Balderston from Helensburgh parish, who turned 60 and retired from a long career in education the Friday before the ride began. Others include Mr David Langley, a passionate recreational cyclist from Dapto parish and the Rev Ross Anderson from George Whitefield College in South Africa, who is riding with the group for the first two weeks and helping with some of the preaching and seminars.
Among the specific projects that Anglican Aid is raising money for is the building of 100 flood-proof homes in India, educational scholarships in Zimbabwe and income-generating activities for children’s care in Bali.
The support crew includes Bob and Diana Mirrington from Austinmer parish and Pat and Jenny Kennedy from Engadine parish. Pat will combine some riding with looking after local media contacts in the towns that the team plans to ride through.
April 3 Glen Innes to Tenterfield 102 km (Tourist
No stopping Anderson now. Is he related to Phil?
A puncture free day. So far the team has had 8 punctures and it’s a welcome relief to get through the day without one. Magnificent high country scenery, green with recent rains, mountain peaks, vast valleys and more hills.
Once again we are being hosted wonderfully by the Tenterfield Anglicans. A night off to catch up on washing, emails and a relatively early night. Tomorrow we cross the border into enemy territory.
April 2 Armidale to Glen Innes 114 km (Tourist
Farewelled from Armidale by the bishop, the dean and a group of wonderful hosts from Armidale.
Great riding weather, about 8 degrees, warming to about twenty. No humidity, just lots of rolling hills.
Ross Anderson, over jet lag and drug free begins to eat the mountains and lead the charge towards Glen Innes. He’s a South African with Scottish heritage and every village name reminds this modern day brave heart of home. We have morning tea in Guyra at a little coffee shop and the owner shows us out back where he has a collection of over 300 racing bikes including a Floyd Landers Tour De France team bike. We all oggle as we enjoy our coffee. Roll into Glen about 3 pm and enjoy the stretch. Great evening bible/study forum with about 10 locals including a men’s bible study group. Ross and I, with a couple of the men, kick on at an Indian restaurant, discussing issues of theology, the gospel, wealth and poverty until late in the night.
Flop into bed at the Vicarage after a frantic and fullsome
April 1 Rest Day in Armidale
Another ride free day, enjoying the friendship of our
hosts at St Peter’s and at St Mar’s and preparing for the
second week of cycling up to Toowoomba and out to
March 31 Rest on Easter Day in Armidale
Ross preached three times at St Peter’s Cathedral
in Armidale and David preached at the St Mark’s
University Chapel. What greater way to spend Easter
Day than to meet with God’s people, revel in the reality
of the resurrection and be reminded of our brothers
and sisters in Christ in Africa and other parts of the
developing world who were rejoicing in the same risen
A ride free day.
March 30 Bendemeer to Armidale 79 km
Easter Saturday saw another shorter ride into Armidale.
The weather had become much more moderate resulting
in the consumption of much less water and very
favourable riding conditions.
David and Ross presented and preached at the St Mark’s
University chapel Saturday night congregation.
March 29 Tamworth to Bendemeer 40 km
After David Mansfield preached at St Peter’s South
Tamworth and Ross Anderson at St John’s Tamworth
for their Good Friday services we set out after lunch to
climb the Moonbi Ranges in the afternoon and reach our
destination at Bendemeer.
More wonderful hospitality by the people of the
Cockburn Valley Anglican Parish where we enjoyed a
fellowship meal and bible study/presentation in home of
one of our hosts.
March 28 Scone to Tamworth 135 km
Left Scone early for a long ride to Tamworth. The
temperature again reached the mid thirties with high
humidity. Enjoyed refreshments in Murrurundi before
tackling the Murrurundi Range. We continued into
Tamworth via Quirindi to avoid the bigger hills on the
Finally made Tamworth late in day riding into a stiff
headwind. Welcomed by the St John’s Tamworth
congregation where we ate dinner together in the Rectory
and presented and preached at their Maundy Thursday
Service with about 80 people in attendance.
This was the hardest and longest day so far and I hope
for the whole tour.
March 27 Maitland to Scone 130 km
Led out of East Maitland to Branxton by a local rider
through a back route to avoid the rush hour traffic in
Followed the New England through Singleton to
Muswellbrook for lunch. Another 30 plus day with high
humidity and a moderate headwind.
Reached Scone mid afternoon and headed straight for the
local pool before being met by our hosts from the Scone
Grammar School for the evening. Another small but
responsive gathering for evening forum.
March 26 Wyong to Maitland 86 km
Left Wyong at 7:30 am. Had our first of six punctures
in three consecutive days. Heat and humidity rising
with every km. Lunched at Kurri Kurri and led into East
Maitland by a local rider.
Public forum that night at the Maitland Church of Christ
but hosted by Maitland Evangelical Church. About 10
locals engaged in a challenging discussion about global
For more information on how to donate visit anglicanaid.org.au