The annual Cannonball Charity Ride is heading overseas next year.
Events manager Katie Warfield says their first overseas ride in January is off to Cambodia. Later in the year they head to Utah, USA.
“We are raising money for a few different charities – still raising funds for HeartKids, but we are also donating water wells to villages,” she says.
They also hope to raise enough money to pay for the wage of a nurse in a clinic built last year for a remote village.
“They didn’t have enough funds to pay the nurse, so we are paying for her wages and medical supplies for the year. There are over 1000 children in the village,” she says.
“We are also donating the wages for two nannies and child supplies to a children’s home for six months.”
Cost is $2600 and includes accommodation, bikes, fuel, support vehicle, mechanics, spare bike, luggage vehicle, refreshments, permits, licence, visa, insurance for bikes, licence, tour shirt, tour hat, donation to Heartkids, donation to Safe Haven Children’s Trust (nanny and supplies), donation to Educating Cambodia (nurse for clinic), donation to Tabitha Cambodia (water wells).
Riders have to pay for their own flights as some are staying for a longer period of time and coming from different states. Riders also need to pay for their own food.
Since 2006 Kate and her team of volunteers have been putting together the annual Cannonball Charity Ride across Australia.
The first ride in 2007 went from Mt Isa to Karumba, but each year the rides change. Last year they travelled from the Gold Coast to Perth.
Costs also vary. Last year’s ride cost $3300 but that included everything – food, fuel, permits, accommodation, first-aid, etc. The only rider costs are alcohol, souvenirs and bike servicing, although all the spares and tools, along with luggage, is carried in back-up vehicles.
This year’s ride is 3000km through the Snowy River region from November 1-10, costing $2900.
Kate says suitable bikes for the ride would be 450-650cc and riders need “reasonable” off-road skills.
Kate says they have a cap of 20 riders.
“We have found in this economic climate getting riders is hard,” she says. “We find that people often have the money and the bike, but can’t afford the time.”
Riders also donate $1000 to HeartKids.
“In the past seven years we have successfully raised in excess of $200,000 for charity,” she says.
“I volunteer my time to organise the event and our officials are all volunteers as well. Every cent raised on the event and through the donation fee is given to charity.”
Kate’s background is actually car rallies but she’s learning to ride a bike.
“I’ve graduated to second gear,” she says.
“From years of rallying I know what a good track is. But the guys have been saying I need to learn to ride a bike. I follow in the support vehicle so I do need to know the general functions of a bike, however if I’m going to hit a tree I’d rather have four wheels and a roll cage around me.”