Multiple rider and sponsor of Bondi2Berry through her company Folio, Kim Wilson, describes her experience of riding and dedicating support to her late father.
Why were you inspired to take part in 2018’s B2B?
I was inspired to take part by my father who had died in November the previous year. My father had lived with Alzheimer’s for seven years before his death and I wanted to do the ride to honour my wonderful dad and to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s research and support for carers.
How was the day?
The day was tough with lots of different conditions, but so much more rewarding than I had anticipated. Starting in howling wind with grey and overcast skies and some rain was not ideal, but everyone still had smiles on their faces ready to take on the challenge. The support from those in your ride group, the support vehicles, or those at the check points was amazing. Everyone was so encouraging of each other and made the day so enjoyable.
How did you find the organised training rides?
They were invaluable! When I signed up for the ride, I had never ridden in a bunch before. I had no idea how to follow and what things like ‘rolling’ meant. The ride captains patiently helped us gain those skills, giving us the confidence to ride in the bunch on the day. The other thing that was incredibly meaningful was sharing our stories as we did the training rides. I made some really good friends – there were such lovely people taking part.
Did your riding and fitness improve from taking part?
Yes – enormously! Once we had got over 100km in the training rides, every ride set a new record for me. My ability to spend longer in the saddle improved enormously and I gained some really good bunch riding skills (although I still have a lot to learn!).
Are you taking part in the 2019 B2B?
Yes, I am looking forward to taking part in the B2B this year – just trying to twist the arms of my support crew (my best friend, Joanne and my husband, Andrew) to join me again.
How did you raise money for the ride?
I raised funds by using social media (regular updates on Facebook as I completed training rides and LinkedIn). I also put a tag at the end of my email signatures to help get the word out. Finally I talked to close friends and family who were all happy to contribute some money to Dementia Australia in honour of my dad.
Anything else you would like to add?
Since doing the ride, I have had two of my closest friend’s parents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This year I would like to dedicate my ride to their battle – to Stasia Franken, Hugh and Fenja Clarke.
Would you recommend B2B to others?
I highly recommend this ride to anyone who has been touched by Alzheimer’s or knows of people who have. It is a ride with an important mission – to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s research. The organisers are amazing and it will be an event you will never forget.