Bondi2Berry and Bondi2Brighton rider, Michael Cox, talks dementia, riding and the friendships he has forged through the Bondi2Berry community.
Why were you inspired to take part in 2018’s B2B?
My initial reason for taking part in the 2017 ride was to simply give back to the community and to those in need. However, during the group training rides and the the day of the event, it gave me a chance to better understand this brutal disease and the impact it has on so many more people than I ever realised. There was no question that I wanted to take part in this fantastic event and great cause again in 2018 and for many years to come. Sadly, and unfortunately not surprisingly given the statistic, I’m now closer to the impact of this disease by way of a very close friend recently being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.
How was the day?
Cold, wet and windy seems to be a trend for this event, but the suffering we endure is only for a few hours which pales into insignificance compared to what people go through day in and day out that are impacted by dementia. With every year the event gets bigger and bigger, so it’s fantastic to see the awareness alone this event is raising.
How did you find the organised training rides?
It’s a credit to Nick, Pierre and the organisers to how well they have done in creating such a fantastically organised charity event. The training rides accommodate for all levels and everybody comes together to help get through the training rides to prepare for the big day.
Did your riding and fitness improve from taking part?
Absolutely. As each training gets closer to the event, the rides progressively get longer and harder and with that, your fitness and confidence to make it through the event gets stronger.
Are you taking part in the 2019 B2B?
I am registered and I’m going big by riding to Brighton Victoria with 28 other guys and girls motivated to raise even more awareness and funds for Dementia & Alzheimer’s.
How did you raise money for the ride?
Everybody knows it’s not easy asking friends, family and work colleagues for money even when on behalf of a charity…..especially with so many charity events these days. However, people see this as such a great cause and one that doesn’t get the recognition and support it deserves, so people haven’t hesitated to contribute again this year. I think sometimes you have to get a little creative when you quickly run out of friends and family to ask. This year I hosted a BBQ at work and that contributed a significant amount of funds towards my fundraising target.
Would you recommend B2B to others?
There is something special about the camaraderie and friendships you gain through an event like this, but most importantly the awareness and funds being raised for a terrific cause! Whether you race A grade or haven’t pulled the bike out for a few years, I strongly recommend you get on board for this very special event and cause!