Monday, February 13, 2006

Ride Report 2006

We did it! Again!!

Thank you so much to everyone who come along today and helped us bring a bit of magic to the streets of Sydney. The spectacle of our parade could only be described as pure magic. This year the ride looked even more fabulous as we had more time to paint everyone and even more riders. Out on the road there was a huge long column of massed colourful bodies. Looking back from the front of the ride as we travelled along Rainbow St it just looked incredible. Over each small rise in the road came crowds of red, blue, pink… it was a breathtaking sight. Hard to believe, and totally disconcerting for those who weren’t expecting it.

Once again it was the individual good will of every participant that made the ride so much fun. Someone could write a sociology paper on the curious way that people who are painted the same colour instantly bond to form a fiercely united team, rallying behind their Captain to prove themselves the best colour to be! Our riders displayed a great sense of humour and there was a lot of high spirited banter as we rode along.

The silver marshals seemed to be everywhere today, guiding us along the road to the beach and making sure that everyone was riding safely. We had double the number of Marshals this year and they seemed to be completely in control of the situation. Special mention must go to our Chief Marshal Paul Johnson who bore the heavy responsibility of leading the procession, deciding when to stop and go and keeping everyone together as much as safety and traffic conditions would allow. I thought he did a fantastic job. Paul seemed to have an almost telepathic level of communication going between himself and his crew of silver riders.

This year we had about 300 people including our support teams of painters, luggage and registration staff. My personal thrill was the appearance of the mounted police at our event, they kept the children (and grown ups) entertained, even allowing us to add painted designs to their horses, they were really friendly and seemed to enjoy the whole spectacle. Thank you to Natasha who captained our luggage team. Bronwyn who ran the registration desk and Wendy who ran the paint team and everything else. All of them did a fabulous job, making a complex event run very smoothly.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

In the spotlight

Media attention is getting intense in the last week before the ride. Today I spoke to Ms Toni Matthews on ABC’s 702. The interview went really well and I was joined by Karen-Jane Eyre Editor in chief of B+W Magazine who spoke very enthusiastically about the ride. Between us we got to mention just about everything we could have wished for.

Southern Courier did a big colour spread on our event which had a very positive tone and as it is distributed throughout the Eastern Suburbs it should be a great promotion for us.

When I got home I found a copy of “DestinAsian” in my letterbox which is an Indonesian travel magazine which is sold throughout Asia and also contained an article on SBAR.

As usual the guys at Cheeky Monkey were wonderful and put brand new cranks on my bike today, it was ready for me to ride home on this afternoon. I met a few other cyclists at the shop who are all coming along on Sunday.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tune in to ABC 702 tomorrow at about twenty past one when I will be chatting to Toni Matthews about the ride.

Would you believe I busted a pedal on the way home tonight! I will have to hassle Cheeky Monkey for an urgent repair job tomorrow.

Requests for accreditation have been flocking in today, photographers from the French national daily, the Sunday Telegraph, the national Archive just to name a few. One lady is even organising an aircraft so she can take aerial shots! Happily they have all agreed to provide us with copies of everything they shoot so we should get a great collection of photos this year.
The weather forecast is a worry though, hope we get a sunny day.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Hope Valley

Today Marshal Des picked up the paint from the factory and it is all safely stored away at a secret location so we won't have anyone stealing the paint this year.

We are getting heaps of media interest again with newspaper articles and radio interviews. Lots of photographers have been writing in for accreditation, this year we are asking them to provide us with copies of everything they shoot. I hope all of our riders will send us copies of their photos too, we will be using the best of them for our exhibition later in the year and to share with participants who would like a photo of themself in the ride.

On a historical note.
I had some great news today, many of you may not know that SBAR was first conceived in a section of the ABC's 7.30 Report office affectionately known as "Hope Valley," the name has some significance for me as the words 'hope' and 'valley' are very important to the ethos of the Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust. SBAR is after all an EGS project. Hope is an important part of the symbolism of the Human Rainbow. By using our individual human networks to fundraise for Cancer Research we are expressing our Hope for the future.

Definition of Hope (Oxford English Dictionary) "to look with expectation of something desired; to trust, have confidence; to expect with desire, one of the three heavenly graces (faith, hope and love); it is a ground of hope - a promise."

Last year my colleagues were enthusiastic behind the scenes supporters and helped organise and support the ride in many different ways but this year they have fulfilled one of my greatest wishes (and hopes!) by actually agreeing to ride with us. So look out for the four silver painted journalist/producers with the letters H,O,P and E on their backs. Two of them are women and one of the guys will be me!

Hope to see you all on Sunday!


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Today we went to Glebe and put up some more posters, we had a picnic and the girls played. Afterwards we went to Norton St for coffee and gelato, (Bar Italia of course) and I put a couple more posters up there.

If the weather is like today next week we should get a huge turn out for our ride.

Des is back from Hobart and will be picking up the paint tomorrow from the Matisse factory. I am going upstairs to count how many sponges we've got, hope there's enough!