Last month the determined Reef Rode RAFE (Ride Against Greenhouse Emissions) team arrived home from their successful 4,000km journey from Ballarat to Port Douglas. Along the way they raised funds and awareness of the need to protect Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and broke the lap record at the RACQ Technology Challenge in Maryborough, Queensland.

We caught up with the team to find out more…

RACV EB: How did the journey unfold?

Reef Rode RAGE team: Throughout our journey the team of eight riders shared the riding time in stints ranging from 90 minutes to three hours depending on a variety of factors including terrain, temperature and road surface. We reached a top speed of  110 kph and maintained a strong average speed of 60kph across the whole ride. We didn’t have any serious mechanical issues beyond a couple of punctures from road debris. Our road legal pedal-electric hybrid vehicle with a 200 watt assist motor named Nemo was designed and built by team-member Geoff Wood, as part of our team’s G-Trikes program. However, the vehicle did not only prove to be fast, but also extremely safe, reliable and durable – so much that so that we will be able to use this same vehicle in next month’s RACV Energy Breakthrough.

RACV EB: What’s the RACQ Technology Challenge in Maryborough, Queensland like?

Reef Rode RAGE team: As part of our mission our team participated in the RACQ Technology Challenge in Maryborough, Queensland. With only five school aged riders eligible to ride and having already ridden over 2,000km to get there, the team were shocked when we impressively took 5 seconds off the event lap record during the practice session! We then lowered it by a further four seconds off later in the event.

Overall, Reef Rode RAGE finished second in our category and 5th overall, a highly commended effort on our first year in the event.

Team-member Chloe Ride-Burns commented with a smile:

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]”We always considered the RACV Energy Breakthrough was the friendliest event on Earth, but the RACQ gives them a real run for their money.” [/quote]

The team created new friendships and have continued to hold these since arriving back home, with now two students from Queensland flying down to join the Rode RAGE Try-Athlon team at the Energy Breakthrough next month.

RACV EB: Who did you meet and greet on your journey?

Reef Rode RAGE team: Other highlights for the team were meeting Sustainability Manager of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), the Chairman of the Port of Townsville and Queensland State Minister David Crisafulli MP and local tourism operators. These highlights gave the team the opportunity to discuss their concerns over the immediate future of the Great Barrier Reef.

10744200_1470697243219096_890984583_o“The reef is not a future problem…it’s dying right now.We got to see first hand how amazing it is; but we also saw significant bleaching and lots of dead coral.  It is dying  already from climate change impacts and the new port developments and continued use of fossil fuels are extra nails in the coffin.  We must change our behaviours now.” said Alistair Kent. “It’s not a matter of it being there or not for our grandchildren…. young people who haven’t seen it already may miss the opportunity if changes aren’t made.”

RACV EB: Was it all ‘business’? Or did you get to see some sights too?

Although the journey for Reef Rode RAGE was primarily about raising awareness about the Great Barrier Reef, we were able to enjoy ourselves by building and maintaining new friendships, visiting Dubbo Zoo and the ‘Dish’ at Parkes, whale watching in Hervey Bay, snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, walking and swimming in the Daintree Rainforest, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge… oh, and eating enormous volumes of ice cream too.

RACV EB: So, what’s next?

Reef Rode RAGE team: Reef Rode RAGE’s focus now turns to the preparations for the RACV Energy Breakthrough next month and beyond. The team have discussed possible plans to walk the Kokoda Track next year and potentially a pedal powered boat to ride the entire length of the Murray River!


Finally, a big thanks from the Reef Rode RAGE team:

“We are so grateful for all the support we get from businesses, individuals and especially the Energy Breakthrough community all around Victoria, South Australia and now Queensland. This trip had people from Ballarat, Melton, Melbourne, Bendigo, Mt Gambier, Queensland and Cambodia all working together and we are always open to new members who may wish to join us on new adventures.”

Find out more:

More details, videos and photos of this, and other Rode RAGE projects, may be found at:
www.roderage.com.au or www.facebook.com/roderage

Donate now >