The inaugural Fire Aid Ride last Sunday (23 February 2020) has been labelled a success, attracting more than 600 riders and pillions.
Now organisers are focussing on the second event in what they hope will be a series of charity rides to encourage riders out into bushfire-ravaged communities to spend their tourist dollars and help the communities recover.
All photos: Nick James Fraser
A spokesperson says the second Fire Aid Ride is scheduled for 25 April from the Royal National Park to the Shoalhaven area.
There is no schedule for the whole year yet, but “more will be added to the calendar in no time”, she says.
There is no fee to join a Fire Aid Ride but riders are asked to spend their money locally and donate to the Fire Aid Ride GoFundMe page.
Our main suggestion is to just get out and ride to these areas and buy local fuel, food, accommodation and supplies.
Inaugural Fire Aid Ride
Riders on the first Fire Aid Ride ride gathered in Windsor in support of the rural Aussie town of Putty which had been devastated by the recent bushfire crisis.
The charity rides were founded by Sydney rider Jimmy Woodriff with help from Mark Hawwa’s The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride team.
“It was amazing to have so many people join us and support those in Putty who have been significantly impacted by the recent fires,” Jimmy says.
“Riding straight north from Windsor, it’s definitely overwhelming to see the devastation on each side of the road for kilometres on end.
Jimmy addresses the riders
“The Upper Colo RFS were on the roadside to greet us halfway with lights flashing and kids waving, which put a smile on everyone’s faces. We had huge lines buying coffee, food, fuel and beers right through the area.”
Starting at the Macquarie Park Boathouse Cafe, the group ride made recommended pit stops at the Colo Riverside Cafe and Colo Heights Caltex along the route from Windsor, towards their final destination at The Grey Gum International Cafe in Putty.
Jimmy says that with the big turn-out of riders, both venues at the start and end of the ride nearly ran out of food.
While fundraising wasn’t the focus of the event, many attendees still donated to the Putty, Howes Valley and Upper Colo RFS.
“Enough money was raised to assist the Howes Valley RFS in upgrading their station to make it a more suitable space for the firefighters to meet, recuperate and work,” Jimmy says.