Riding for the Flying Doctor

A GROUP of motorbike-riding friends from Sydney and the Central Coast have covered five states in just under 50 days on a three-way mission under the banner of Dr Wings Bike Force.

As staff members of St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Ken and Glenda Lovegrove are calling into hospitals across the country to enlist support for MARI – the Motorcycle Accident Rehabilitation Initiative – and drum up some supporters from the general public.

The second aspect of their journey has been to promote the work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service – which assists people in remote areas free of charge – and the third is to promote travelling within Australia, rather than overseas.

“I think if people actually got out and saw how beautiful their own country was they would be gobsmacked,” Mr Lovegrove said.

“When people are thinking of travelling to remote places, they should consider the dangers and, if they get into strife, don’t forget to financially support the organisation that will pull you out of danger, the Flying Doctor.”

After seven weeks in the saddle, Mr Lovegrove and his mates are a trifle road-weary but pleased with what they’ve achieved.

“We’ve received a great welcome at hospitals and in towns and cities right around Australia,” he said.

ON A MISSION: Dr Wings Bike Force tourists, front from left, Ken Lovegrove and Paul Cracknell. Back, John Smith, Patricia Baker, Glenda Lovegrove and Ray Baker. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 120614GOA01

ON A MISSION: Dr Wings Bike Force tourists, front from left, Ken Lovegrove and Paul Cracknell. Back, John Smith, Patricia Baker, Glenda Lovegrove and Ray Baker. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 120614GOA01

“The journey is starting to take its toll on us but we are all motivated to continue until the finish line.

“If I’m helping to save peoples’ lives or making it a bit easier for the Flying Doctor to do that, or I’ve encouraged someone to get out and see a bit of Australia, I’ve done my job.”

Motorcycle groups in Tamworth have been invited to send them off in style on Saturday when they leave Tamworth for Sydney and the return trip to St Vincent’s.

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