By Claire Elise Suckling
Jonathon “JD” Driscoll is aiming to raise $2200 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service as he and 32 fellow cyclists, complete the ‘Gulf to Gulf’ mountain bike ride across Australia.
By completion of the ride, on May 9th, JD is hoping to have raised the full amount, which equates to one dollar for each kilometre he has ridden.
The ride, also known as ‘The Crossing’, was an organised event which took 30 days and 30 nights, from Port Augusta, South Australia to Karumba, Queensland.
“I was doing the ride anyway, but so many people asked if it was for charity, I decided to let people donate,” JD said.
On his fundraising blog, JD added that he would like to give the RFDS a nice surprise for their charity ball in May.
“I have been raising money for the RFDS for a while now,” he said.
“It’s an amazing organisation…they have over 250,000 patient contacts a year, and give transport to over 100 people a day.”
For JD the stop-over on day 19 at the Mungerannie Hotel, located off the Birdsville Track, was one of the highlights.
He described it as a true-blue, Aussie outback pub.
Co-owner of the Mungerannie Hotel, Phil Greguke, is an avid supporter of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
In the four years that he and his partner, Pat, have owned the hotel they have had 10 emergency evacuations.
“We definitely support the RFDS in any way we possibly can…they do an extremely good job,” Phil said.
“If it weren’t for them it would be a six-hour drive for us to be able to see a doctor.
“Out here they are a life-line,” he said.
There is still a way to go before JD reaches his target with donations currently totaling $931.
However every little bit counts and all donations will go towards new aircraft for the RFDS as well as other vital equipment such as foetal heart monitors, ventilators and defibrillators.
At the halfway point, which fell on ANZAC day, the riders had a chance to rest and reflect and JD remained positive about the ride.
“The ride is going well, and is quite a challenge,” he said.
“It’s cool to think we have just ridden the Birdsville track… There’s a whole lot of nothing out here.
“Also looking forward to getting some more money on my RFDS charity page…. $1 per km would be an amazing effort,” he said.
Donations can be made to the Royal Flying Doctor Service via their website, www.flyingdoctor.org.au/ or to JD’s donation tally via www.everydayhero.com.au/aussiejd_g2g.