After one day of their epic adventure—riding 1000 kilometres in 10 days on a tandem bicycle—Louise and Nat Ginn had doubts.
“After day one I wasn’t sure if I’d actually make it,” Ms Ginn said. “The first couple of days were quite painful but after day three I was fine.”
The mother and son team had set out to ride from Sydney to Mount Kosciuszko in the Snowy Mountains and back to Wollongong on the South Coast to raise $A100,000 for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and support the Blossom Project educating and empowering young women and girls in Vanuatu to avoid unwanted teenage pregnancies.
“As a mum, I just couldn’t believe young women felt they had no other options than to abandon their children,” Ms Ginn said. “We had this idea of setting up a program ourselves but in reality I couldn’t take that on. It was a blessing that ADRA took it on. I realised my role was to raise money.”
During their 10-day ride, the Ginns received invaluable support from their crew, as well as from numerous churches along the way.
Ms Ginn counts as a blessing that they only had one “really bad day”, when they encountered 35-degree heat and strong headwinds. “Even downhill we had to pedal,” she said. “We were pretty exhausted that night.”
Part of the motivation for the ride was to grab people’s attention and highlight the cause. And with radio and newspaper interviews in most of the towns they stopped at, this was definitely achieved.
“When we got into towns after an interview, people would say, ‘Oh, we heard about you on the radio!’”
Ms Ginn was pleasantly surprised at how many people engaged with their ride.
“We had people collecting on the street and we even went into the local pub shaking our tin. When we got home we had $1500 just from the pub. It was an amazing feeling—people were so friendly.”
Ms Ginn said as a mother she felt “privileged” that her 16-year-old son wanted to take part with her.
“Nat was such an inspiration. Every time I said, ‘My legs are sore,’ he’d say ‘Mum, the only thing you can do is pedal. The faster you pedal, the sooner we get there.’
“It’s hard to believe we’ve actually done it now. If you knew how much was involved to begin with, you probably wouldn’t do it. But it’s amazing when you set your mind to something and complete it.”
If you want to support the Blossom project for women and girls in Vanuatu, visit <adra.org.au/Blossom>.