What better way to ride across the top of the country from east to west, Byron Bay to Exmouth, than on a ‘bone-rattling’ Harley Davidson wearing a replica ‘Aunty Jack’ dress, boxing gloves and a bun wig.
Hugh ‘Shuggie’ Taylor plans to do just that and he will be accompanied by his two brothers Iain who will be riding and George in the support vehicle.
They will be launching the Cancer Council charity ride from Main Beach, Byron Bay, this weekend.
The trip that will travel almost 5,000ks to raise money for the cancer council was prompted by a conversation between Iain and Hugh after the death of Iain’s wife Liz from cancer in September 2018.
‘We all know someone who has been affected by cancer of some form,’ says Iain. ‘By raising funds for research we give our scientists the best chance of finding solutions to combat this devastating disease.
‘We maybe minnows in the fund raising department but every dollar raised is worthwhile.’
The brothers also have two nieces currently in cancer treatment, so the cause is very close to their hearts. ‘Being from a large family many others have been effected by cancer so it is close to our hearts,’ says Hugh. ‘Iain rides a new BMW (comfortable cruiser) and I will be riding a classic 1938 Harley Davidson.
The ride is a family affair with Hugh and the Harley, sister Liz who made the dress, brother Robert is a major sponsor and other brother Bruce is doing the sign writing. ‘My daughters Anna and Charlie do the wigs and makeup,’ says Hugh.
Hugh’s bike also has an interesting history. ‘The Harley made in the US in 1930 was stolen from the Austrian police force prior to WWII and stored in a coal shed in Germany for 40 years,’ says Hugh. ‘A friend bought it and sold it to me and it has taken me eight years to rebuild it.
‘I thought id take it for a ride to Western Australia and my brother Iain decided to come along. Iain’s wife passed from cancer last year and a friend Deandra turned the ride into a cancer council charity ride. We asked ask Grahame Bond for support then the ball ran over us.’
The group are looking at travelling around 400ks per day and Hugh says they will be stopping at as many towns and places as possible to raise awareness and funds for the Cancer Council of Australia. ‘The entire costs related to the trip from purchasing the van, accommodation, fuel and our socks will be funded by us to ensure that 100 percent of the donations go directly to the Cancer Council.
Hugh says the patron for the ride is Aunty Jack herself. ‘We have permission to use Grahame Bond’s image throughout this endeavour. ‘Grahame Bond hasn’t let Aunty Jack out of the box since 1975, so she is ready and raring to go!’
The ‘real’ Aunty Jack, Grahame Bond, will be at the Byron launch.
The trio will be escorted out of Byron by around at about 10am on Sunday to Australia’s most westerly point, Exmouth where they hope to arrive on July 27. About 100 riders who also feel a connection to what the brothers are doing.
‘As Hugh is riding a ‘38 Harley our aim is to raise $38000,’ says Iain. ‘Of course anything we raise for the cause is terrific. If we make one single person aware of cancer and they do the test which could save their life, we have achieved a lot.’
They have a Facebook and Instagram accounts through which you can support their efforts. The accounts are called Harley Across the Top.