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Northern NSW : Celebrating 40 years Rescue December2015
certainly know the importance of having access to the chopper, and they appreciate our efforts in supporting that service. There was always time to contemplate the difficulties of remoteness when you’re in the saddle for 95km. Day five and we were off to Ellerston, with plenty of sore heads after a team fancy dress dinner and presentation. Most nights involved some form of awards ceremony, some received fines, others an old bike seat to carry the next day, but no matter what, there was always plenty of encouragement given for mighty efforts. A long-time organiser and ride captain, Steve ‘Deadrock’ Livingstone, had spies on the road to capture all this intel. Our journey to the Packer wonderland was just over 70km. Welcome to the start of some serious climbing, the Merriwa winds were now a distant memory. Day six and most were naive to what the next 78km would provide. The start was early and the temperature was only a couple of degrees at best. The mood was good as we were extremely lucky to have been entertained, accommodated and fed, in what is one of Australia’s finest country properties. The previous night, Rob Teague, the station manager at Ellerston, laughed as he explained the two large, and then one enormous climb up to Hanging Rock. There were remarkable efforts by many of the new, and non-experienced riders in order to overcome the 700m rise over seven kilometres. The Nundle Pub downhill was a huge relief. The morning tea and lunch breaks provided by Westy, Thomo, Box, Billy, Mrs Goog, and the rest of the support crew were plentiful and delicious. Our onboard fuel was well covered for even the longest of climbs. In fact, some riders finished heavier after travelling 600km in seven days. Day seven was much like the roll into Paris on Le Tour. The last 70km was mostly downhill to Tamworth and allowed even more time to take in the sights. The scenery was a constant highlight. Sometimes I perceived the ride as one large sightseeing tour with benefits. Along the journey I rode with, roomed with and met many good people. Some were representatives from sponsors such as Alive and Well, Orica, The Calala Inn, BHP Billiton, and Bakers Delight. Others were there to make a contribution or even have some fun with new and old friends. We have just over 10 volunteers for each member of staff, and many of those contributed to the success of the ride and the raising of more than $85,000. One highlight was witnessing the true definition of mateship. An unsighted rider being led round everywhere by his best friend, both either side of 70 and both going hard on their tandem bike. Another, a champion fella from Wollongong sticking right beside a big-hearted 74-year-old from Brisbane, all so he can give him a light push up the big hills. Inspirational and I’ll guarantee the smile into Tamworth was genuine Mountain bikes at mountain school The 22 students at Ellerston Public School, 70 kilometres east of Scone, enjoyed an eventful day on Wednesday 16 September. It was meant to be the end of term assembly, but instead the students found themselves learning facts about the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and bike safety. About 70 participants in the Westpac 7-Day Charity Mountain Bike Ride visited the school. The students had a much bigger audience than anticipated for their performance of Wombat on a Surfboard. Surprise Visit On Wednesday we were about to start our assembly when a vehicle came down the road. Following it, were 70 cyclists. I was amazed to see so many people grouped together. It was exciting to watch them as they rode up on the green grass of the oval. As my heart began to pound, we all started to clap. They dropped their bikes and ran up underneath the cola. They were all sweaty and puffed out. Two men sat beside Jack and I. One was called Michael and the other was called Steve. I was so impressed that they had ridden so far. Michael tried to talk but he was too exhausted. He told me that our welcome was the best that they had received on the trip. I was so happy that he told me that. He also told us that they had ridden from Mudgee, to Scone and Ellerston. The next part of the ride was to Nundle and then onto Tamworth where they would finish. They are doing this because they want two new helicopters that will fly longer and faster. By riding their bikes they hope to raise $18 million which is how much each one costs. Michael also told us it costs $3500 for every hour the helicopters are in the sky. The good thing is that they help people and save their lives. When we performed ‘Wombat on a Surfboard’ everyone clapped and cheered. Fortunately, we were able to have our picture taken with the cyclists. We also gave every cyclist a high five. It was a great deal of fun. Hopefully we can do it again. Yesterday will stay in my memory forever! Written by Jordyn Melville (Yr 5 student - Ellerston Public School) School photos courtesy of Natalie Stokes 23 Rescue Magazine CELEBRATING 40 YEARS SPECIAL EDITION
Rescue Aut 2016