Story & photos Eve Jeffery
Travelling without a support crew, a solo cyclist made his way along the Pacific Highway yesterday on the last leg of a very long trip for a good cause. Tim Powell left his home town of Narrabeen with 1,000 kilometres and the Gold Coast in his sights on the Tour de Chance. On the ride Tim hopes to raise money for Fighting Chance, a not-for-profit organisation that helps a very marginalised group of young people lead a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
Fighting Chance runs the Enterprise Program, which is an innovative approach to the employment of people with physical disabilities. Their mission is to create genuine, gainful employment opportunities for people with physical disabilities who struggle to find work in the mainstream.
‘Fighting Chance is a fantastic cause,’ says Tim, who stopped to chat with Echonetdaily at the rest area at Tyagarah. ‘These guys are doing great work for a very marginalised group of people and one of the best things about them is that the whole thing is being run by a bunch of kids in their twenties. They have smashed all the myths about Gen X and Gen Y – they are really doing their bit for the community.’
Clocking up an average of 100 kilometres a day, Tim has kept off the highway as much as possible, and has had a very eventful trip up to and including the last day. He was recovering from a spill he had on Monday, which took some bark off his face and had him scrambling for extra bike parts, when he had another fall yesterday, taking a strip off his shin. He also has Missus Nature to contend with.
‘Day one was really hard. That was when the storms hit. I came up through Newcastle and it was really difficult. Conditions were not good and it was a long day of 145 kilometres and I got pretty tired. Since then it’s been not too bad.’
Tim arrived in Burleigh early yesterday evening to a bunch of well-wishers and supporters. The total he had raised so far is $41,356, with a donation at midnight pushing him over the $40k mark. Tim hopes to raise $50,000 all up for this cause, which is very important to him.
For now he is happy to relax and catch a wave, if he can, in Burleigh but he is satisfied with the trip. ‘When you are riding, you stop and talk to people that you normally wouldn’t talk to from the car and you get to see things that you wouldn’t see from the car. That’s been a highlight for me, that and the massive support I have gotten. Support online and people on the ride.’
For more information about Tim and his ride for Fighting Chance, visit www.fightingchance.org.au.