He’s an ex-Wycliffe boy who’s making his mark in the wider western Sydney community by riding from Bunbury to Bondi.
Michael Shaw, a 44-year-old West Australian social worker,finished his epic ride on September 14 after stopping in to the Mountains overnight on Wednesday [September 13] to visit family while drawing attention to a cause called Broadening Horizons.
Mr Shaw set off on August 8 from the beachside suburb of Bunbury in Western Australia. He’s ridden through intermittent floods, survived multiple magpie attacks and minus 6 degree temperatures overnight through the Nullabor.
It’s an initiative that’s part of Bidwill Uniting Church’s program called Broadening Horizons. The program mentors disadvantaged young people to find some hope and confidence through wilderness walks. It’s helped by experienced guide, Reverend Mel Macarthur, who was also part of this ride but left on day 15 when his wife became ill back in Wentworth Falls.
Mr Shaw, a father of three girls, said he just wanted to give back after being mentored through his Warrimoo alma mater in the eighties after his father died.
“It’s important to invest in people’s lives. I’m the recipient of it and it makes sense to give again. If you can make a difference you should make a difference.”
The cycle across Australia is raising funds to take young people on the Overland Track in Tasmania, an experience that they could not otherwise afford.
At times it had been challenging, dodging flooded outback roads and hair raising caravan drivers “but the truck drivers have been excellent,” Mr Shaw added.
“We’ve actually been just ahead or just behind all the bad weather so we’ve avoided the majority of the hard stuff, so we couldn’t have planned it better.”
His wife’s Year 6 maths class at home in WA had been following his journey, tracking measurements, elevation and speeds through a computer on his bike, so she would have been aware of his speedy 80km push down the Blue Mountains, he said laughing.
The ride took 39 days to complete. See www.bunburytobondi.net for more.