Riders in the Zoo2Zoo not only cycled 437 kilometres to raise money and awareness for the Black Dog Institute but they also dug into their pockets for another cause, donating money for a custom bike for nine-year-old Isaac Minney.
One hundred riders and 12 support staff made their way into the gates of Taronga Western Plains Zoo on Sunday after a gruelling three-day ride from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.
The bike was presented to Isaac and his family on Thursday but he was at the zoo on Sunday afternoon and was able to join with the riders as they made their way into the gates.
Riders left Taronga Zoo on Friday morning, pedalling 141 kilometres to reach Mount Victoria on the opening day, before another 181km to Molong on Saturday.
They finished with a 115km ride on Sunday morning, arriving at the zoo as a group at 12.30pm and Zoo2Zoo organiser Andrew McKay said the 100 riders completed the ride without incident.
“It was an absolutely fantastic turnout and effort. It’s a tough ride but a fantastic ride.”
Mr McKay said presenting Isaac with his bike was one of the most special moments in the 11 years of the Zoo2zoo rides.
“That was so special. The joy on his face was so incredible,” he said.
“What we can do to get anybody into cycling and enjoy it is just really special and Isaac will get a lot of use out the bike.”
Isaac has special needs and couldn’t ride a normal bike but the bike built by Technical Aids for the Disabled (TADS), and worth approximately $1200, allows Isaac to be towed along or him to ride by himself.
Isaac’s mother Anne Minney said the full-adjustable bike was an important way for Isaac to take part in social events.
“The bike has been custom built for Isaac. He was measured up and everything that he needed was included,” she said.
“We are friends with Andrew McKay and he is part Isaac’s Circle Of Support so when he found out about this, he said all the riders would donate $10 each to purchase the bike.
“We want Issac to have every opportunity like other kids. Having a disability he is limited in some of the things he can do but he has a jogging pram and we do parkrun, but with a bike, we can look at other events.
“He is very social and loves being with people so it really adds to his quality of life.”
A number of riders from Dubbo were joined by people from across NSW for the ride.
Mr McKay said the support crew deserved thanks for their efforts in ensuring the ride was able to go smoothly.