Finishing school for a good cause
FOR the 17th year in a row, students from St Edmunds College gave up their final day of their school life to ride a bike all the way to the Gold Coast.
The annual School To Schoolies bike ride event has become something of a tradition at the Woodend school, and this year 16 grade 12 students said goodbye to their school mates for the last time before jumping on their bikes for the 115km ride to the coast.
With families, friends and local businesses sponsoring the riders, the team has already raised $32,000, which will be divided among Ipswich Hospice, St. Vincents and The Edmund Rice Foundation.
Dylan Palmer finished school that morning and as the captain for the ride, and the 16 boys have been riding three days a week all year to prepare.
"Everyone's been really keen to do the training this year, I'm excited to get down the coast, and the most I've done is 80km, so 115km is a good challenge," he said. "I think this will be something I'll remember for the rest of my life, and I'd love to take this up as a sport at uni.
"We stop every 20-30 kilometres to drink, eat and reapply sunblock."
Ride co-ordinator Michael Polodak said that the bike facility in Raceview has been invaluable during preparation.
"It's perfect to train boys to ride in formation, without the danger of cars and trucks whizzing past," he said. "We train three days a week on average, in winter we train in the afternoons and summer early in the mornings, so you may have seen the boys riding around town.
"It's great to see the boys make the whole distance."