Postie Bike Adventure – To aid Little Wings charity

A few weeks ago we discussed the Postie Bike Grand Prix that was held in Cessnock.

Now there has been another Postie Bike adventure, all in the aid of charity.

Brendan Crane was part of a large expedition who rode Postie bikes from Mudgee to Lightning Ridge in order to aid the Little Wings Charity

What was it like and what’s the charity all about.

We have Brendon Crane on the line to find out.


Interview transcript

David:                  A few weeks ago, we discussed the Postie Bike Grand Prix that was held in Cessnock. Now, there’s been another Postie Bike Adventure all in the name of charity. Brendan Crane was part of the large expedition ride of Postie Bikes from Mudgee to Lightning Ridge in order to aid the Little Wings charity.

What was it like and what’s the charity all about? We have Brendan on the line to find out. Brendan, thanks very much for your time.

Brendan:              No. Thanks for having me, David.

David:                  How many Postie Bikes went on this expedition?

Brendan:              There’s 26 of us on bikes and a couple of little support vehicles in there to make sure the bikes keep on running in tiptop shape. 34 people all up.

David:                  That’s a huge number of people, really. How long was the trip? How many kilometres did you knock up?

Brendan:              There was six days to ride from Mudgee to Lightning Ridge and back to Dubbo  again for about 1,400K all up.

David:                  That’s a fair way to go on a little bike, isn’t it?

Brendan:              Especially with a little bit of a headwind which we experienced there for a couple of days as well which slowed the bikes down from 60 to about 40 at one point so, a bit of a wake-up call.

David:                  What sort of roads did you go on?

Brendan:              It was 50% tar and 50% dirt which was a bit of an eye opener for me. I’ve never ridden on the dirt before. I had a quite a few people in hysterics as I seem to have more feet on the ground than anything goes and got nicknamed the octopus there for a while by one of our support vehicles. Nearly resulted in them running off the road because they were laughing at me that much.

David:                  So, they weren’t necessarily experienced riders. You, I think, are still on you’re still on your “L” plates.

Brendan:              I’m still on my Ls, yeah. As well as, I think, about 30% of the guys that were on the trip as well. A lot of them have had experience with dirt bikes and in the end yeah everyone had learn to ride Postie’s which is a different style, I think.

David:                  I think your size went against you and perhaps not in the way people might think.

Brendan:              No, being a lightweight the suspension didn’t really quite absorb some of the bumps, some of the rocks that we’re leading on the dirt. And the body seemed to take it a bit more harsher experience than the bike did. But nonetheless, we all survived. And yeah, a little bit worse for wear in the week afterwards, but we made it.

David:                  What was the comfortable thing to sit on there? You were running 58 kilograms so you don’t have much padding around you to do that into the headwind, how did you cope with that?

Brendan:              We did a bit of an interesting riding pattern. We went down, we’re resting chins on speedos to tread a little bit less drag and hunched over and trying to make it as nice aerodynamics as possible. For the little CT110 Posties where the normal lawn mower motor is about 190cc. So, we were sitting on a bit less than two-thirds of that.

David:                  That’s amazing, isn’t it?  Do you have any problems with the bike?

Brendan:              For the whole trip, we scored three flat tyres and two blown motors so, a bit of a testament to the old Hondas. And they just kept on starting every morning much to everyone’s delight. Struggled to get over to 65Ks an hour. But nonetheless, they  started and kept on going every day.

David:                  How did you replace the engine?

Brendan:              Part of the support crew was great. We actually had a lot of support from the whole of Mudgee. But our support crew involved Kenny Ross who’s a fantastic mechanic out that way and he managed with a little bit of help to have the whole motor out and new motors in the bikes in about 45 minutes which I think, that would be a record anywhere around.  And I heard that Red Bull are trying to get him to go on to their F1 team next year.

David:                  That’s amazing, isn’t it? What is the Little Wings charity?

Brendan:              Little Wings is a charity that will fly to all these outback towns And the kids that are suffering from cancer and things like that. They’ll pick them up and fly  them down the children’s hospital. For some of these kids, it’s a bit of an experience so it’s a trip down and back home again.

What Little Wings does is go out to these regional airports, pick them up, fly them down to Bankstown and have the Little Wings bus there sitting down there, ready to take them straight to the hospital.

So it means that they can spend more time at home recuperating and trying to feel better and have a bit more of a normal life. What they do is just take all the hassle out of it. It means that the family can just focus on getting their sick young ones back healthy and happy again.

David:                  So, I guess the flying doctor is like an emergency service, but this is like a transport service.

Brendan:              Yes. The flying doctor, they just look after all the emergency situations which is fantastic. They’re phenomenal group of people as well. The job that they do, you can’t think some of the things that they do. But Little Wings is the on-going support which the Flying Doctor cannot help with. So, they will just continue with the on-going support for treatments and the sorts.

David:                  Were the country people generous?

Brendan:              The country people were phenomenal. There was that many people reaching in to their pockets and emptying out their wallets in helping us raise the money for Little Wings right down to guys that were emptying out their wallets only to realize that they didn’t have $10 to buy lunch and payday wasn’t until the next day so they would then come back and humbly ask us the $10 back so they can buy lunch and dinner for that day until their pay went in.

David:                  And you got to keep the rest.

Brendan:              Got to keep the rest, yes. Well, Little Wings got to keep the rest. They got to keep the rest.

David:                  Of course. How much did you raise?

Brendan:              Just over $85,000. But the numbers are still going up which is fantastic as well. It has set the bar high for next year. We will definitely have to improve on it for next year.

David:                  Well, $85,000 is pretty good. I’ve seen quite a number of charity rides and what have you but haven’t come near that sort of amount so that’s really doing very well. But where did you stay on the way out?

Brendan:              We were staying on the backyards of pubs. Camping out in swags. The weather being as nice as it was, it was just a case of falling and sleeping wherever yourself made it to. The hospitality of the pubs out there was fantastic. They’re out cooking us dinner and we often spend the night partying with us over a wine or  two and then get up bright and early the next morning to put breakfast again. We were always well-fed and well looked after by all the publicans along the way.

David:                  It’s a great service that you are doing and I think helping bring good people to give for a good cause. You have a website?

Brendan:              We do. That’s got a couple of pictures and the route that we just served came along. It’s also got the links on there for Little Wings. You can make donations through the page as well.

David:                  Brendan, that’s lovely. I appreciate your time greatly. Thank you very much.

Brendan:              Thank you very much, David.

David:                  That’s Brendan Crane talking about an expedition of Postie Bikes that went to Lightning Ridge to help the charity Little Wings that helps young kids who have cancer get down to the main hospitals in the capital cities, a great service.


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