Postie bikes and riders on long-distance fundraiser

POSTIES’ bikes aren’t exactly built for long-distance travel, but that won’t stop a group of charity-

minded people from riding from Inverell to Newcastle to assist two vital medical services.

Launching at Inverell’s Oxford Hotel tomorrow, the ride will have stopovers at Mungindi, Narrabri, Tamworth and Gloucester before arriving at Newcastle on March 16.

Twenty-seven people have registered to take part in the ride, which will raise funds for the neonatal intensive care unit at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital, and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

They will be astride tiny Honda CT110 or CT90 motorbikes, which only have single-cylinder 105cc engines.

Inverell’s Clint McSpedden and Stuart Griffin conceived the idea between the two of them, but the idea gathered momentum as the word spread.

“It’s probably exceeded all we initially had planned,” Mr McSpedden said.

Mr Griffin said the riders had raised more than $15,000 so far, with more to come. 

His daughters were patients at John Hunter Hospital when they were born nearly four months premature.

With 187 days spent in the neonatal unit at $10,000 per day, per child, he felt the postie bike ride was a small contribution to the debt they owed for their daughters’ healthy lives.

“It’s really only a drop in the water of what we got out of being in John Hunter. When you do the sums, what we give back is very minuscule compared to what it cost to have our girls here,” Mr Griffin said. 

He said support has been coming from unexpected places.

“People have been getting in contact with us. They’ve heard about it on the grapevine and said ‘sounds like a great idea. What can we do to help?’,” he said.

“We’re pulling into Dungowan. The community there just rang up and said, ‘look, we’ve got a cheque for you. Do you guys mind pulling up?’

“Warialda’s doing the same thing,” Clint said.

There will be a trivia night in Mungindi on Wednesday, tenpin bowling in Narrabri on Thursday, and an auction in Tamworth on Friday, with donated items, signed football jerseys and more than $1000 worth of tools donated for the event.

Donations are still very welcome, with amounts $2 or more tax deductible. Donations can be made through New England 

Mutual branches or by visiting the group’s Facebook page – search for Post 2 Coast Charity postie bike ride.

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