Ride with Heart 2019 didn’t disappoint, five days of back to back riding on the glorious roads of outback Queensland with a team of like minded women all wanting to do something bigger than themselves.  It was a huge challenge but one that was taken head on by all riders.

On Monday 13th August we headed off from South Brisbane Sailing Club with 34 female riders and a support crew of 13 on our five day journey out to Meandarra, riding over 750km through Toowoomba, Dalby, Condamine and Roma.  We had a great start to the day with a BBQ breakfast catered for by our family which set the GGH riders and crew up for the day ahead.

Our first stop of the day was at Walloon and once again the children of Walloon State School came out to support the riders coming into the morning tea stop.  This was the first of many school stops and always a huge highlight for the riders and crew and it reminds us why we do what we do.

We travelled through to Toowoomba, the first day was full of rolling hills and of course finished with a huge climb up the range on Flagstone Creek Road, with all the riders making it to the top we had a great celebratory dinner and a good sleep at The Federal Motel in Toowoomba, which was just as well as the following two nights saw us sleeping in swags as guests at the Dalby Rugby Club and then at The Codamine Rugby Club.

Day 2 took the peloton through Goombungee and our second school stop. Once again Goombungee State School had a ‘dress in Orange’ gold coin day, supporting their own communities and helping GGH creep closer to their target fund-raising goal.  An extra stop for GGH this year was at the New Acland Mine, where lunch for the riders and crew was generously catered for.  With our belly’s full, we were on our way to Dalby and an afternoon of recovery, starting with a Pilates session followed by a relaxing afternoon on the deck.  Dinner was prepared and served by the local PCYC community which was not only delicious but gave our hard working support team a night off from catering.

An early start on Wednesday morning saw the girls head off on their way to Condamine, the roads were getting flatter and straighter as we headed west and we rolled into Kogan State School for lunch, where the children were having a ‘silly sock’ gold coin day.  We are always so overwhelmed by the generosity and warmth of the communities that we cycle through and this year the schools had also taken part in our colouring in competition so we had the added fun of giving some prizes out to the children for their efforts.  We arrived at Condamine with enough time to wash bikes and organise kit for the last few days and then headed to the local Pub for dinner which was hosted by the landlord and Deputy Major Andrew Smith, who had taken the time to source all local produce which was a perfect end to a great day.  We also had the pleasure of listening to local man Godrey Morgan talk about his family’s experience with RACQ LifeFlight which was a really great reminder of why we were riding so many kilometres, giving us all some motivation to keep going.

Heading into the final part of the week we were up for an extra early start on Thursday as we had a longer day in the saddle travelling to Roma, we had some great weather throughout the week and our 4th day didn’t disappoint. No school visits today and a few side of the road stops but with huge spirit and determination the peloton made it to our destination, Roma and comfy motel rooms were welcome by all the GGH crew especially after a couple of nights sleeping out. The Roma RACQ LifeFlight crew of pilots and doctors joined us for dinner and again being able to listen to their stories motivated us all so after a good nights sleep we were ready to finish this fabulous week of riding and fundraising.

Breakfast on our last morning was catered by RACQ LifeFlight at their Roma Hanger and then we were on our way, our final day!

There is always a rush of energy and excitement on the last day and we laughed a lot through the final kilometres heading into Glenmorgan, straight into the Glenmorgan State School for afternoon tea.  After judging the colouring in comp and handing out a few more prizes, the children sang us a beautiful song, this really was a special moment at the finish of this long ride.

The peloton were eager to get the Uralla, so after a short stop at the Meandarra State School we headed the final 7 kms to our final destination with a huge welcome from our families, friends and the local community.  We showered, set up our tents and enjoyed a wrap up celebration and dinner.  Thanks as always to Scott and Anne-Marie Attwooll for their generous hospitality.

Thank you once again to our wonderful riders and support crew for all of their hard work and their commitment to Girls Got Heart. Together we are making a difference.

Thank you

Keely and Bec x