I recently participated in a week long charity bike ride called Cycle4Sam, where funds are raised to support the palliative care unit at the Women and Children's Hospital of South Australia.
The ride is conducted on a bi-annual basis in honour of young Sam Roberts, who sadly passed away from a rare genetic disease at the age of 4. His parents, Marty and Michelle and his siblings Lucy and Charlie, created the Sam Roberts Family Fund in order to raise funds and provide help for other families who find themselves in the same situation.
As the major fundraising effort, the Cycle4Sam ride sees a group of riders raise funds through sponsors to participate in a ride of 1000km. This years ride started on April 12th from the regional South Australia city of Renmark and finished back in Adelaide on April 18th, covering 1000km over 6 days of riding.
Day 1 was run as a loop of the Riverland region, taking in Loxton, Berry and a number of other lovely little towns on the way back to Renmark. A small ceremony was held at the start to honour and remember Sam and other little children who are suffering in the same way.
Day 2 was a transit stage, riding from Renmark to a small town along the River Murray called Walker Flat.
Day 3 took in a loop of the iconic Barossa Valley region through the towns of Sedan, Angaston, Tanunda, Mt Prospect and back to Walker Flat. This day had some nice climbing with the Sedan Hill and Menglers Hill included as the main climbs of the day on the back of the generally rolling terrain of the region.
Day 4 was another long day, riding from Walker Flat to the southern beach town of Carrackalinga. A planned stop at the Woodstock winery to meet up with another family who were afflicted in the same way as the Roberts saw the day come to a slightly unscheduled but much welcomed end, with a short'ish bus transit down to the final stay over.
Day 5 was a rest-day, or more accurately a non-riding day for those of us with kids, which had us taking the kids for a lovely bike ride along the beach front from Normanville to Carrackalinga, followed by a King of the Mountain event up the Latvian Climb. Tough work for little legs but they all did superbly.
Day 6 was a loop around the Fleurieu Peninsula taking in the lovely back road around Parawa down to Victor Harbor, down to Goolwa and back to Port Elliot for lunch. A summit of the Crows Nest followed, by a ride up the Myponga Reservoir climb, closing by a screaming descent down to Carrackaling and back to Normanville.
Day 7 was the final day and took us back to Adelaide through the McLaren Vale, Mylor, Aldgate Valley, Stirling and down the freeway, where we were escorted by the SA Police through to the grounds of the Women's and Children's Hospital.
As part of the closing celebrations, the Roberts Family presented the Women's and Children's Hospital with a cheque for $100,000 that was raised by the event.
I was in the company of an outstanding group of people performing an outstanding service for the community and I thank them all for the privilege of letting me share the event with them.