A FATHER-SON team from Ballarat will spend five days travelling more than 1300 kilometres through some of the Australian outback’s most challenging terrain – on postie bikes no less.
John and Sam Madden will take off from their Mt Helen home on October 23 before they join more than 100 other riders from around Australia at Port Augusta that night.
From there, the group spends the next four days visiting some of South Australia’s most picturesque and remote locations, including the Flinders Ranges, Leigh Creek and Marree.
John Madden said the ride had raised more than $320,000 for the Cancer Council in the past few years.
He said while there were more riders leaving from Ballarat last year, tough economic conditions meant more people were unavailable this year.
“I repair punctures, do all the mechanical stuff and we’ve got a support vehicle as well.”
Mr Madden said the ride raised money and awareness for a good cause and was a whole lot of fun.
“It’s 1300km all up, all dirt,” he said.
“We can do about 90km/h and that’s flat out, downhill and with a tail wind.”
The pair’s bikes have custom-made fuel tanks to extend the bikes’ range to at least 500km.
Riders crash each year and sustain various injuries, including broken bones, while there’s also plenty of work for the mechanical repair staff too.
On last year’s ride, Mr Madden fixed 20 punctures in one day.
“It’s just sand in some parts ... it’s really hard going,” he said.
“It’s not just a fundraiser, it’s also a big challenge and that’s why so many people do it each year.”
The group will raise money as they go, but will also seek support from Ballarat residents and businesses.
To donate, visit http://www.apexpostiebikeride.org.au/