On Saturday 7 September 130 riders will take off from Bondi Beach to Berry on the annual bike ride to raise funds to support the work of Dementia Australia.
Organisers Nick Young and Pierre Sullivan have first-hand experience of the disease. Both of Mr Young’s grandmothers passed away after living with dementia and his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. Mr Sullivan’s mother was diagnosed with dementia in 2015.
Now in their fourth year, the stakes have been raised.
Not only has their fundraising target increased to an incredible $200,000, a group of 30 dedicated riders will be continuing from Berry down the coast to Brighton Beach in Victoria, a total of 1,160 kilometres.
Mr Young said that Bondi2Berry was a way to combine his passion for riding and also make a contribution to a cause close to his heart.
“When we first started talking about this, I never imagined we would be where we are today,” Mr Young said.
“From 40 riders raising $56,000 in 2016, to 80 riders raising more than $130,000 last year.
“It just keeps getting bigger and better every year, and we can’t do it without the invaluable support from our sponsors and volunteers.”
Mr Sullivan said that the ride was also a great way to connect with people who have a personal connection to the cause.
“The ride has become about so much more than just raising money for a good cause,” Mr Sullivan said.
“Nick and I have made some great friendships through the ride over the last four years and the support we receive from the crew on and off the bike is phenomenal.
“Many riders have a personal connection to dementia so it’s a great way to catch-up with people in a similar situation while also keeping fit and giving back to a great organisation.”
The ride will start at the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club on Saturday 7 September, riding out of Sydney’s eastern suburbs and through parts of the Royal National Park to Wollongong, visiting the dementia-friendly city of Kiama, and finishing in Berry on the NSW south coast that afternoon.
The Bondi2Brighton riders will then continue down the coast riding through Batemans Bay, Bega, Gipsy Point, Orbost, Sale, Warragul and finishing at Brighton Beach on Saturday 14 September.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe thanked the organising committee for the extraordinary work they put into making this event happen each year.
“Bondi2Berry is a great event and I look forward to hearing the progress of the riders every year,” Ms McCabe said.
“It is fantastic to see the dedication shown by Nick and Pierre to raise awareness and vital funds for Dementia Australia.
“On behalf of Dementia Australia I would like to thank Nick and Pierre, along with the Bondi2Berry organising committee, as well as the many riders, sponsors and volunteers that make this event possible.”