The team from Reef Rode RAGE have just begun their epic 3,996km, 10-day mission to pedal their energy efficient vehicle (EEV) from Ballarat to the Great Barrier Reef and Port Douglas.
They’re also taking on the RACV Energy Breakthrough’s sister event in Maryborough, Queensland – the RACQ Technology Challenge on September 13 – 14.
RACV Energy Breakthrough reporter Katie Harris, spoke with Team Manager, Tony Davidson, to find out about Reef Rode RAGE and their adventure…
Katie: Let’s start with the beginning. How did this whole idea come about?
Tony: ‘R.A.G.E’? Stands for Ride Against Greenhouse Emissions. The idea came about from the team wanting to challenge themselves to ride further than past and previous Rode RAGE teams and to be able to achieve and complete something real and immediate. Since focusing intensely on our work with the Cambodian Children’s Trust for the past 2 years the team wanted to bring everything closer to home and help save our Great Barrier Reef appreciating it’s beauty as a one of our true modern wonders of the world here in Australia.
This year we are aiming to :
- highlight everyday solutions to reducing greenhouse emissions,
- raise money for sustainable wildlife, humanitarian, energy and food programs, (Donate here >)
- plus draw links between climate change and the immediate threat and danger that our Great Barrier Reef is in.
Katie: How have you and the team prepared for this trip?
Tony: Technically: Our team collaborated and decided on building two completely new hybrid vehicles for this year. We chose to re-design our fairing and make new moulds to make our composite fairing. We also built two brand new chassis: one specifically for our ride from Ballarat to Port Douglas, and the other for the RACQ Technology Challenge.
Physically: As for training, we did weekly ergo sessions where our riders rode recumbent trainers for hourly stints. Once our hybrids were completed we were able to test and ride out on the open road.
Fundraising: We also ran a trivia night, held a chocolate fundraiser and had our launch dinner in Ballarat to help with fundraising our trip.
Katie: How many riders do you have?
Tony: There are 15 of us all up on the bus. We have eight riders on the road, six on the track for the RACQ Technology Challenge in Maryborough, Queensland as well as three drivers and five support crew on the trip.
Katie: What difficulties do you anticipate you might face?
Tony: Our team motto is A.D.I.M.O.V., which is an abbreviation of Adapt, Improvise and Overcome – and we’re confident that all the difficulties we anticipated have been addressed and accounted for. However, we look forward to ADIMoving as a team for all the challenges I’m sure will emerge that we have not anticipated!
Katie: What is the total distance you will complete?
Tony: The entire journey from Ballarat Town Hall to Port Douglas is around 3,996km. We are aiming to complete it in 10 days with each day varying in length, as well as the number of kilometers we will complete in the 24 hours of the RACQ Technology Challenge.
Katie: What are the dates you are traveling and do you have an itinerary?
Tony: We left Ballarat on Saturday, 6th September at 9am and we hope to arrive in Port Douglas on 19th September. We do have an itinerary that we will follow; which you be able to follow on our website along with live streams and webcams of our riders.
Katie: How does the rest of the team stay involved whilst someone is out there riding?
Tony: We have one bus purely set up as a traveling kitchen for food preparation for travel. We also allow the students to do homework, play games and get to know each other on a deeper level. Team members are also able to assist with live webcasting, blogging and tweeting throughout our journey.
Katie: So you mentioned you are also competing in the 24 hour RACQ Technology Challenge in Maryborough, Queensland. Do you have any expectations?
Tony: We are very much looking forward to the race, it looks like quite a challenging track from what we have viewed on YouTube, but we are expecting to make some new friends and have lots of fun along the way too.
Katie: How has the community responded to your trip? Have they been involved in the process?
Tony: Our local community has been enormously involved and our trip wouldn’t have been possible without the great support of our local businesses, volunteers and the RACV Energy Breakthrough community.
Katie: How can other people get involved and support team Reef Rode RAGE?
Tony: We’d love to have as many people as possible to follow our live webcast each day as we ride via our website. People can also follow our Facebook page for web updates and videos on our journey. Our team would like to extend support about spreading the word about the dangers about green house emissions and saving the Great Barrier Reef and how we can help save it so our future generations can enjoy it as much as we do!
We thank Tony for his time and wish Tony and the Reef Rode RAGE team all the best for their journey from Ballarat – Port Douglas from 9th September – 19th September 2014.
To read about more about team Reef Rode RAGE, show your support or donate check out their website and like their Facebook page:
- Rode Rage website (including livestream and blogs): http://roderage.com.au
- Rode Rage facebook: http://www.facebook.com/roderage
- RACQ Technology Challenge in Maryborough, Queensland