District 9465

Western Australia

14,636 kms Around Australia on a Lawnmower!

 
They're back and celebrating!  
 
President Craig Alford and the intrepid Ride to the Other Side team have recently returned home after completing the latest leg of their amazing sponsored ride around Australia on a Hustler Super Z ride-on lawnmower.  And it's all to raise funds funds for various charities supported by the Rotary Club of Armadale, Western Australia.
 
At the club meeting on Tuesday 26 July, PP Craig gave a most interesting illustrated talk about the Ride with most of his team members also in attendance. District Governor 9465, Linda McLerie and Assistant Governor, Ric Davies, also attended the meeting and congratulated Craig and the team on their amazing efforts. 
 
This latest leg of the journey saw Craig riding his lawnmower, along with his support crew, all the way from Katherine in the Northern Territory, across the top to the Kimberley, back down through the Pilbarra and the North West, arriving at Elizabeth Quay in Perth, where they they were met by the Premier and other dignatories, before riding the last 30kms home to Armadale.
 
Up in the Kimberley, the crew experienced some pretty wild weather and Craig had to wear a snorkling mask to combat the extremely heavy rain! 
 

The idea for Ride to the Other Side was born while Craig Alford – (Rotary District 9465 Assistant Governor at the time) – was touring Hustler’s US mower plant. (He sells the machines at his Armadale business.) Riding a mower around Australia was certainly a novel way to draw attention to some important causes and raise some money – the goal was $1 million. But it was a pretty serious undertaking.

It was clear the adventure would need to be attempted in stages, and it was decided to make the first a reasonably short one to give the machinery and the crew a try-out. So, in March 2012, the Ride set off from Armadale in Perth’s eastern suburbs to Kalgoorlie.  Since then, further legs completed were: Kalgoorlie to Adelaide (2013); Adelaide to Sydney, via Melbourne and Tasmania (2014); Sydney to Katherine, NT (2015) and then Katherine to Perth (2016).  Over the full journey, more than $350,000 has been raised for various charities, including the EJ Whitton Foundation, Rotary Health, End Polio Now, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Rotary Foundation 

And the mower travelled all that way on one set of tyres until they got a blow-out about 200kms from Perth on the home stretch!. The mower averaged 24 k.p.h with a top speed being reached of 39.1 k.p.h.  

It's a tremendous achievement that Craig's fellow Rotarians agree is worthy of the strongest accolades.