In May this year, Sarah Buckpitt and her cycling friends put together the Pedal for Parkinson’s Tasmania Tour. Riding 500km across 5 days, the team raised $19,543 for Shake It Up and Parkinson’s Research. Congratulations and thank you to all involved.
We spoke with organiser Sarah, to hear more about how the tour went.
Pedal for Parkinson’s Tasmania Tour 2022
The inaugural Pedal for Parkinson’s Tasmania Tour for 2022 was a huge success, something I only dreamed of all those months ago. Hosting my first ever charity event, riding 500km across 5 days along some of Tasmania’s most picturesque landscapes – what could go wrong?
A lot of this event was put together whilst I was still in the UK, and wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my good friend Terren Jones. He was my eyes and ears until I got back and for that I am extremely grateful. Getting this event off the ground whilst overseas was probably the most challenging part about the whole event. I didn’t quite know how it would be perceived by the cycling community back home and if what I was trying pitch to people, was coming across the way I wanted it to seeings most of the conversations were being had via email.
However with the support of local businesses, Pedal for Parkinson’s Tasmania really started to gain some traction along with keen interest by riders. After finally getting home and putting the final touches on the event – and the route – Day One rolled around rather quickly.
Hobart – Campbell Town
We had three riders commit to the full 500km – Tristan North, Jen Plapp and Leez Robertson – with multiple riders joining us on various days. We were also lucky to have along members from the HHC Cycling Group ride with us for the first 50km to see us off on our journey. Day One was our biggest day out of the five by far. Almost 150km of riding and over 1200m of climbing, just to get the legs warmed up for the four days ahead.
Campbell Town – Scamander
Day two saw us gain a further three more riders – Alec Willing, Duncan Macgill and Mark O’Neill. These gents carried on with us for Day’s Two and Three. Day two, however, happened to be the worst of the five days for weather. The closer we rode towards the east coast, the more the weather rolled in. To get down into Scamander we had to ride through St Mary’s pass, which because of the weather, became quite a slow and hairy journey downwards. However, the gang made it safe and sound in one piece.
Scamander – Coles Bay
Day three and we gained a further two riders – Oriana Jones and Maria Gonzalez. These two lovely ladies would join us for the rest of our journey home. This day was arguably the most beautiful day of the tour. Stunning scenery down the coast road and blue skies overhead. Everyone was smiling the entire day.
Coles Bay – Orford
Day four and the weather had rolled back in, just in time for a lovely climb up and over Cherry Tree Hill. However, there was a bakery waiting on the other side and our riders were quite happy to get their hands on a warm brew. Not to mention a bit further down the road, a lovely friend of Jen’s met us on the side of the road with a basket full of freshly baked muffins, still warm out of the oven. Definitely a highlight of the trip.
Orford – Hobart
Day five was another big day in the saddle and saw us gain our last rider – Kintali Fitzgerald. To get home though, the team had some big hills to climb including Break-Me-Neck and Bust-Me-Gall. All the riders took them in their stride and were again greeted by members of the HHC Cycling group about 50km from home to bring them in. The team certainly deserved their beverages at the pub afterwards.
In total we raised over $19,000!! Well beyond my goal and what I ever imagined. Everyone who donated are absolute legends! I’d like to also make a special mention to my Mum, Rosie Buckpitt. This event would not have been possible without her support on the five days. She drove her car at the front of the group and got herself set up at each rest stop, stocked up with snacks and hydration for the riders. She carried extra gear in case the weather changed, and also gave everyone the moral support and big smile they needed to keep going. You’re amazing Mum – thank you!
And to our sponsors, this ride simply would not have been possible without your generosity. I thank each of these businesses from the bottom of my heart;
Shake It Up Australia
My Ride Hobart
The Tassie Athlete
The Cycle Centre Jersey
Matt Dance Electrical
Eudaimonia Tasmanian Cycle Tours
Brett Griggs Electrical
Catch Fire Creative
And some exciting news – Pedal for Parkinson’s Tasmania will be back for 2023!! Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with all the information and there you can also purchase our 2022 tour jerseys with 100% off the sale price going straight back into Shake It Up Australia.