Ken Robinson, as a member of the Rotary Club of Engadine, was the founder and for many years the ride co-ordinator of the Sydney to Surfers cycle ride. Ken initiated the idea that the ride would generously raise funds for Youth Off The Streets.
Ken was passionate and committed to making sure the ride continued year after year and that not only was it to be a great fundraiser, he wanted everyone involved to enjoy the ride and embrace the new friendships it developed year after year.
Sadly Ken passed away on 10 August 2016 after putting up a great fight against pancreatic cancer.
As all who knew Ken would confirm, Ken was a larger than life person who always had the glass half full view on life and his inspiration and vision was second to none. He was a positive influence on all who knew him and with the addition of his nickname ‘Robbo’ to the name of the ride, he will always be remembered as the ride’s pioneer.
For the last 18 years the Rotary Club of Engadine has organised and managed the Sydney to Surfers Charity Bike Ride.
This exciting 7 day, up to 1,000 km event is an initiative of the Rotary Club and since its inception has raised almost $2.85 million in support of the Youth Off The Streets Program (www.youthoffthestreets.com.au) which is the major beneficiary.
A key focus for the Rotary Club is to conduct a safe, fun and memorable bike ride for up to 200 participants. The ride is designed to attract riders from all sectors of the community, of all ages and backgrounds with the overall intent of participating in a community charity event and fundraising.
Until the 2015 ride, the Ride was referred to as the Macsim Sydney to Surfers Charity Bike Ride, as Macsim Fastenings is the ride’s key sponsor, however in 2016, Fraser Mackay-Sim, Managing Director, Macsim Fastenings, asked that the ride include a reference to Ken “Robbo” Robinson whose idea started the ride some 18 years ago.
The Sydney to Surfers Robbo’s Ride is conducted on public roads including local town roads, freeway riding and some country roads too – just to mix it up for riders. With the exception of our last 10kms or so into Surfers Paradise, where we have a police escort to the finish line at SeaWorld, all roads are open to normal traffic during our event. The ride travels through some of the most beautiful and scenic countryside in Australia.
The Club works closely with the NSW Police Force to ensure that the ride is conducted in the safest way possible and each ride ‘Pack’ is supported by a dedicated vehicle creating a buffer between cyclists and general traffic and providing ready support to riders.
Robbo’s Ride is fully managed and coordinated by the Rotary Club of Engadine, with Kevin Stuart the Ride Secretary/Treasurer.
The Sydney to Surfers Robbo’s Ride over 7 days and 1000km is an initiative of the Rotary Club of Engadine and since its inception has raised $2.85 million in support of the Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets which is the major beneficiary.
Each year riders who raise over $1500 gets a chance to win a car donated by Macsim Fastening Systems and this year’s winner Clive Hughes. Clive not only raised well over $1500, but on hearing he had won the car made an extra generous donation of further $8000 to Youth off the Streets.
Clive presents a donation of $8,000 to Youth Off The Streets representative Lou Single.
Clive said how thrilled he was to pick up that brand new Toyota on the weekend.
He still can’t believe he won it, and all because he was one of 140 odd people who took part in what Clive considers one of the most enjoyable charity events being run in Australia
The reasons Clive gave for stating that it is one of the most enjoyable charity events are because:
It is so well organised
It is all so well done, from planning to daily execution and support (I love the excuse I have to eat honey and peanut butter sandwiches at morning tea without guilt!)
It is so much fun
You don’t feel under dreadful pressure to perform on the ride unless you want to.
You can either join Pack 1, and delude yourself you are training for the Tour de France, or go in one of the other packs and chat away to septuagenarians with baskets on their bike, who have done the ride for the last decade.
The route of the ride goes through some of NSW most beautiful countryside which I love to see.
It is wonderful how the weather gets warmer each day as you make your way to Queensland – so you can actually feel your progress during the week.
Everyone is in such a great mood, it is such a terrific environment to spend a week.
And, it’s so nice to be a kid again, talk rubbish for 7 days, eat too much, and just forget about work, mortgages, and the other demands on everyday life.
It is such a great cause
we all find it incredibly inspiring to talking to the kids from YOTS who do the ride with us – it is so good to see how our sponsorship is being used.
The $2.85 million raised to date is an incredible achievement we can all feel proud of being part of.
Fraser Mackay-Sim presents the car to winner, Clive Hughes.
You can join Clive on the Sydney to Surfers Robbo’s Ride which commences in Hornsby on 29 April 2017 and finishes 7 days and 1000km later with a gala dinner at Sea World at Surfers Paradise. You can start training knowing not only will you have a lot fun but every kilometre you ride will help Father Chris Riley’s Youth off the Streets program.
Imagine the bragging rights when you tell your friends that you rode 1000km from Sydney to Surfers.
The Rotary Club of Engadine has conducted the Sydney to Surfers Robbo’s Ride for the past 18 years. The 7 day, 1,000 km ride is an initiative of the Rotary Club and since its inception has raised almost $3 million in support of the Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets which is the major beneficiary.
The presentation dinner was held at the Engadine Bowling where over 90 members, guests and riders, witnessed the draw for a car donated by Macsim Fastener Systems. This year’s winner was Clive Hughes.
Father Chris Riley thanked the riders and the Engadine Rotary Club for their efforts to raise money for the Youth Off The Streets Programs, which will be used for scholarships to help complete high school, emergency accommodation, counselling and support services for young people who have been forced to leave abusive parents and simply need a safe place to stay whilst they complete their schooling.
Three Rotarians that have been the backbone of the ride for the past 18 years were presented with framed jerseys in recognition of their incredible dedication to the ride.
Ken Robinson had the idea for the ride back in 1998, and fought tooth and nail to make it happen.
Kevin Stuart has dedicated a huge number of hours keeping the accounts and making sure that all the details of the ride are attended to.
Fraser Mackay-Sim who like Ken Robinson has not only ridden many rides but has generously supported the ride by donating a car each year.
We thank these Rotarians for their dedication.
The 2017 Robbo’s Ride from Sydney to Surfers will leave Sydney on the Saturday 29 May, so get your bike out and start riding: not only will you get fit, you will feel fantastic knowing that every kilometre is helping a young person live a better life.
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!