The inclement weather did little to dim the spirits of those riding in the Sydney to Gong MS charity ride, including Hunter Valley group, the Soft Cogs.
The local bike enthusiasts made the pilgrimage from Sydney to Wollongong for the 12th consecutive year, raising a phenomenal $62,000, and counting, for Multiple Sclerosis.
“That brings our total over the 12 years to $1.15million,” Soft Cogs founder, Kim Nguyen said.
“Our team fundraising really puts Singleton on the map - we are the third highest fundraising team out of over 1000 Sydney teams and were recognised by MS Events on the day.”
This year 72 Soft Cogs riders got on board, with 95 per cent of riders coming from the Hunter region. And although it was wet, wild and windy, it was all worth it for the cause.
“It was a wet and windy ride this year, so we all did it tough, but we figure people living with Multiple Sclerosis do it tough every day so it won't do us any harm to be in the hurt box for a few hours on a Sunday morning,” Nguyen said.
“Big thanks must go to our sponsors, especially the smaller Singleton businesses who support us even though they don't have nearly as much in the budget for sponsorship as larger companies. Yet they continue to throw dollars in support of what we do.”
Along with sponsorship, much of the groups fundraising efforts came from local communities, with Singleton contributing 70 per cent to the total amount raised.
“Thanks to our committee, riders and volunteers for taking on the challenge, and putting themselves second so that others who are suffering from this disease may get some respite,” Nguyen said.
The Soft Cogs are always encouraging riders, whether they are novice or experience, to get involved.
In fact, the group is pleased to announce a new initiative, Soft Cogs Racing, which is supported by Tricon, and promotes mountain biking to beginners.
“We are increasing our social rides and building our networks so people feel more comfortable taking up a healthy past time, whilst also raising funds for people in need.
“I reckon that's a win-win situation!”