Last Sunday was the first edition of the inaugural Vicki Porter Awareness Ride. The back ground to this ride is that Vicki Porter, a 33 year old cyclist/triathlete, was involved in a hit and run at 5:30am one Staurday morning in Townsville City. She was left a paraplegic and is currently undergoing intense rehab in Brisbane. The spineless coward who hit her is still at large; however, the fuzz claim that they have a suspect, time will tell. So the ride is billed as an opportunity for the cyclists of Townsville to raise awareness about cycling and demonstrate how strongly we feel about our lifestyle, whether it be commuting, recreating, racing or even triathlete-ing.
It was a great morning with 1300 riders showing up. The organisers expected 1000 and I think everyone was a little overwhelmed at the support shown for the cause. The ride was 14km long and without a word of a lie, it felt great to hold up those gas gusling auto-commuters at every set of lights we went through. Considering our convoy spread to about 500 meters long and we averaged about 15km/h, they would have been waiting a while for the traffic-fuzz to let them through.
At the conclusion of the ride a local radio personality broadcast Vicki's voice from Brisbane over loud speakers. It was quite a moving moment as you heard a young and active woman whose life has been changed forever, respond so positively to our efforts and the prospect for her future.