Many of you who have been on our ride at some time will know Elke. A delightful lady of German extraction, now 75 years of age, Elke has completed (well almost) 13 rides so far, and has raised many thousands of dollars for Youth off the Streets in that time. A true inspiration!
The trusty old bike that she has used all those years, and it doubles as her shopping bike, has seen better days and Neil Matthews and Fraser Mackay-Sim decided it was time to replace it, and kicked off the fundraising with a substantial donation each.
Neil put the proposition to the pack captains at dinner one night and a bit of crowd fundraising soon had a further $1657 in the Kitty and with a couple of other promises this was soon exceeded.Neil then went to work, foregoing his morning ride to negotiate a deal of a new bike to the same specifications as Elke’s old one, and after a few phone calls was able to get a very good price from Bob Wallis cycles in Coffs Harbour.
The original plan was to present the bike that night at the dinner, but the best-laid plans often go astray, and some parts were required to complete the bike which needed to come from Sydney.
The store arranged for some Shimano parts to be flown from Sydney and the package was delivered the next morning, the mechanics went to work and had it all completed by 4pm.
Trish and Michael Field, who live in Coffs Harbour had contacted us after the dinner there and kindly offered to collect the bike when it was ready and to bring it to Grafton.
That night in Grafton, Fraser presented Elke with the new bike, much to her surprise. Unfortunately, Elke only got to ride it for 100ks as just out of Casino she had a fall and was taken to hospital.
But, all is well, she is now home and recovering quickly and looking forward to getting back on the bike and training for the Sydney to the ‘Gong ride and next year’s Sydney to Surfers ride!