Fundraising cyclist Ian Kidd made a pitstop in Broken Hill on Sunday night as he continues his epic 5400km coast-to-coast bike ride from Perth to Byron Bay.
On his eighteenth day of riding – though he’ll tell you the days are all a blur – an exhausted Mr Kidd arrived in the Silver City at around 4.30pm from Manna Hill before the next morning beginning an arduous three-day journey to his next major stop, Cobar.
Riding a bike with his tent, an airbed, and a thermos blanket attached for instances where he needs to camp out, 68-year-old Mr Kidd survived the nine-hour journey from Manna Hill off four muesli bars and his water supply. But it was the windy conditions that made it most difficult.
“Today [Sunday] was a particularly difficult day,” he told the Barrier Truth, sat down outside his motel room, where he’d planted himself for some time after the exhausting day’s journey.
“I rode in from Manna Hill and the wind went one way and the road went the other. It was really a grind. I finished all my drinks. Normally I’ve got some fluids left at the end of the day, but I used them all because I just had to work so hard into the wind.”
The 5400km journey overall has a greater meaning, with Mr Kidd riding and raising money for Got Your Back Sister, a charity who look after women and children escaping from domestic violence situations.
“That’s the main goal of the ride, to raise awareness about domestic violence, which is more prevalent than people care to think, care to admit, and just raise money so these people can expand their services and get to more people,” he explains.
“These people are just getting off their butts and doing something about it. And I like people to get off their butts and have a go. This ride, lots of people my age, my friends, they told me ‘what are you doing this for? It’s stupid. It’s dangerous’, but I like to challenge myself. I mean, I don’t feel my age, especially when I’m on a bike.
“I take inspiration from the people at Got Your Back Sister. They’re telling me I’m wonderful and whatever, but I’m just a silly old man riding a bike. When it gets really tough, like today, I take inspiration from them. They’re doing their work everyday. I’m just doing this for 31 days. They’re there all time. They’re the real heroes.”
By the time this article goes to print, Mr Kidd will have travelled through Cobar – the point at which he’d admit he’ll really start believing he can complete the full ride –, and Nyngan, and getting set to ride into Coonabarabran. Mr Kidd hopes to reach his final destination – Byron Bay – by Sunday, May 7.
“I really like seeing the different towns. You get to see the real Australia. People on the coast, they’ve got no idea what it’s like out here. Broken Hill’s a pretty normal sort of place, but it’s completely different to the city. I like to experience the different pace and different way people live.”
To donate to Mr Kidd’s coast-to-coast ride, visit https://www.mycause.com.au/page/303263. To keep up with his journey, visit https://www.facebook.com/ian.kidd.10888.