Epic encounter bike ride raises $14,700 for research

March 07, 2018

Familiar territory: the Wild Hogs in Lycra from left: Bruce Berg Von Lindhe, Bernie Gillespie, Raymond Jarratt, Wayde Foster and Gifford Grosswaithe.

‘‘Quietly satisfied.’’

That was the modest self-assessment of a group of men who had just finished cycling 5508km in the name of charity.

The Wild Hogs in Lycra lumbered into Cobram’s Mivo Park last Thursday to a heroes’ welcome from family, friends and supporters who rallied behind their 31-day cycling expedition from Australia’s west coast to the east coast which saw them raise $14700 for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research.

After averaging 177km a day and spending 216 hours on their bicycles, it was finally time for the Hogs to come home, relax and momentarily revel in the glory of their phenomenal achievements.

Gifford Crosthwaite, Bernie Gillespie, Raymond Jarratt, Bruce Berg von Lindhe and Wayde Foster formed the Wild Hogs in Lycra a few months ago because of a deeply personal connection to the cause for Mr Foster and Mr Gillespie in particular.

Mr Foster’s father has Alzheimer’s, while Mr Gillespie lost his mother-in-law to the insidious disease.

After watching his father wrestle with the disease and aware of the impact it had on families all over Australia and the world, Mr Foster thought it would be fitting to give the ride a greater purpose and have all the proceeds go to future research through a gofundraise page.

The initial target was $10000 — a figure the Hogs considered ‘‘naïve’’ but worth aiming for.

‘‘When we first started we had a few people putting money in and we thought that if we got to $1000 it would be fantastic, but then once we got going it just snowballed,’’ Mr Foster said.

Mr Gillespie said he feared not even reaching the $1000 mark in the infant stages of the ride.

‘‘The first $400 donated was basically just family and I was thinking, ‘gee, are we even going to get to $1000?’,’’ Mr Gillespie said.

‘‘After it went over $1000 I thought it was unbelievable.’’

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