The ride is around the local body of water, Port Phillip Bay. The route I am taking is the really long one marked in magenta on the map to the right. For readers unfamiliar with the geography around Melbourne, Port Phillip Bay is just like Sydney Harbour… only without the Opera House. Or the bridge. Or the picturesque views. But it is about 35 times bigger than Sydney Harbour, with 260 km of coastline, which pretty much makes it perfect if your goal is to ride in a 250 km circle in one day.
The major sponsor is the health insurer Bupa, and the name of the event imaginatively combines the sponsor’s name with a fairly literal description – Bupa Around the Bay. It used to be called ‘Around the Bay in a Day’ and, since there are now many courses, most of which do not go all the way around, I expect that one day it will simply be called the ‘Bupa Bay Ride’.
For those of you who may be concerned about my sanity, you need not fear. I have done (and survived) this for the past four years, so I am definitely crazy! You may also be relieved (as I am) to know that there is a break in the middle for lunch, and to catch a ferry across the mouth of the Bay, from Queenscliff on the western shore to Sorrento on the eastern side. All going well, I will head off from Melbourne at 5.30am, reach Queenscliff before 11am, be on my way from Sorrento shortly after noon, and arrive at the finish before 4.30pm.
Now, here is the important bit: you can sponsor me to put myself through this arduous ordeal. Better yet, if you are reading this after the event, but before 31 October 2013, you can sponsor me for already having put myself through the ordeal, confident in the knowledge that I did not back out at the last minute and renege on my side of the bargain.
Money raised by riders in the event goes to The Smith Family, which is a children's charity helping disadvantaged Australian children to get the most out of their education, so they can create better futures for themselves. If this is not enough to persuade you of the worthiness of the cause, read on for the extended ‘hard sell’ version.
Why Donate?Right now, more than 605,000 Australian children are living in jobless families.
For these children, the effects of financial disadvantage go beyond pressures of not having enough money for the basics; it can prevent them from accessing the same educational and life opportunities as their peers – opportunities that many of us often take for granted. Disadvantaged kids have up to 19% lower school completion rates, and are on average 2-3 years behind their peers in reading and maths by the time they are 15 years old.
Supporting a child's education is one of the most effective ways of breaking the cycle of disadvantage.
All funds – that’s right, 100% – raised by Bupa Around the Bay riders will make a difference to the lives of young Australians in need via The Smith Family – a national, independent charity for children and their families.
Please take a moment to view my online fundraising page and 'Sponsor Me' to show your support. It will only take a few minutes. A receipt will be emailed to you immediately and (in Australia, at least) all contributions are fully tax-deductible.
Your support would be greatly appreciated.