Pedal power helping the bush
HAVING just spent 260km over three days on the seat of a bicycle, Leonie Skewis and John Sawtell-Rickson were in good spirits when they rode into Chinchilla on Sunday afternoon.
That's because they were part of a 50-strong peloton who have so far raised close to $150,000 to fund a new four wheel drive fleet for bush charity Aussie Helpers.
The charity will use the vehicles to reach the many isolated farmers across Queensland who are struggling to survive a record-breaking drought.
The Team Nissan Dealers Ks 4 Aussie Farmers riders cycled from Dalby to Tara, Miles and then Chinchilla between August 26 and 28, with police escort and chase cars accompanying them the whole way.
There was also a coach that accompanied the peloton and gave lifts to tired riders.
"For the record, we did the whole thing,” Mr Sawtell-Rickson joked.
He said he and Leonie got involved because it was "a good cause”.
"You need farmers, neither of us are from the land but we both have soft spots for the land I guess and we have a great deal of respect for people who live in the country and people who supply the food,” he said.
"The towns we've gone through and the people we've met on route, who are just bystanders I guess, have been incredibly supportive. People have stood by the side of the road and clapped and waved and said well done and happily stopped their cars for several minutes waiting for groups of cyclists to go through without complaining.”
Ms Skewis, who has family who live in Chinchilla, said the ride had been "an amazing few days”.
Both of them encouraged Chinchilla to dig deep for the cause, with donations still open through September.
"I think it's a brilliant cause, people of Chinchilla, put in if you can,” Mr Sawtell-Rickson said.
Joining major sponsor Team Nissan Dealers backing the K's 4 Aussie Farmers event are generous supporters including Harvey Norman, Resort Brokers Australia, Vault Accountants and Financial Advisors, Opteon Property Group, Western Downs Regional Council, PwC Australia, Knight Frank, HD Events and Perle Creative.
Head to http://www.ks4aussiefarmers.com.au/ for more information.