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Since 2006, Kate Warfield and her team of volunteers have been putting together the annual Cannonball Charity Ride across the country.
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 and they are halfway there for this year’s ride.
“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.”