Support vital for ride

March 09, 2018

Riding buddy: Raymond Jarratt with Patrick - a cyclist they met on their travels who was doing a similar ride but on his own. He became an "honorary Hog".

Welcome home: the emotion was there for all to see as the Hogs arrived home on Thursday afternoon.

Well done: Bruce Berg Von Lindhe receives a warm welcome from family and friends.

Missed you: Raymond Jarratt with grandson Oakley at Mivo Park on Thursday.

Showing their pride: a large number of people gathered at Mivo Park to welcome the Wild Hogs in Lycra home.

In any smooth-moving machine, vital cogs need to be in place to ensure efficiency.

Wild Hogs in Lycra’s cogs were their support staff and people who contributed financially to make their daring adventure across the country possible.

Generosity and selflessness litter their story and it would be impossible to name every person who helped them along the way, but those people know who they are and the Hogs greatly appreciate their efforts.

Wayde Foster described a great sense of camaraderie among all parties which reminded him of a sporting club.

‘‘If we did not have all those people behind the scenes giving us support and organising things, we would still be out there pedalling,’’ he said.

Two weeks before the trip the Hogs did not have a second driver to steer the motor home belonging to Bob Beggs.

At the last minute, Cobram-Barooga Golf Club director Justin Speirani stepped up to the plate despite Gifford Crosthwaite being the only rider he knew well..

‘‘Giff spoke to me at wine club and I jokingly asked if they needed another driver and he said yes,’’ Mr Speirani said.

‘‘I had too much leave owing at work, so it was easy for me to get the time off.’’

Despite having to get his truck licence and the fact he had not driven a manual car in five years, Mr Speirani drove the first leg of the trip from Perth before Mr Beggs took over in Adelaide.

Mr Crosthwaite said Mr Speirani bought a ‘‘bit of sanity to the chaos that was going on’’ and was regularly setting up camp and getting food prepared, much like Mr Beggs would do later in the trip but not quite at the same level, to the amusement of the Hogs.

Mr Speirani said his work was insignificant compared to what the Hogs were doing.

He was just happy to help out where he could, he said.

The Hogs received major funding grants from Tocumwal Golf and Bowls Club, Sporties Barooga and Cobram Panel Works which went directly to their expenses.

They also received a substantial donation from former Olympian and Cobram resident Dean Puller, who got wind of what the Hogs were doing on a ride with the group to Berrigan.

Of course, the Hogs received great support from their immediate families and friends back home.

Bruce Berg von Lindhe said it was highly motivating to know people were reading the group’s Facebook updates and were interested in their progress.

While the ride was punishing at various stages, the Hogs said one overriding factor enabled them to keep going.

‘‘The fact that we were doing it as a fundraiser gathered so much momentum for me personally and gave us a greater purpose as it went on,’’ Mr Gillespie said.

‘‘We went to caravan parks and I was proud to say we were doing it for Alzheimer’s and dementia (research). Without that added cause it would have made what we were doing feel more empty.

‘‘It did a lot for my courage and inspiration.’’

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