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Rough ride from top to bottom of Australia

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Mishaps with his motorbike and unkind weather were the two main challenges for Hunter man Gerald Frogley when he rode more than 12,000 kilometres in 28 days.

Mr Frogley returned last week from his Ride Around Australia for Disability, which saw him and his two-person support crew, traverse the highest, lowest, most northern and most southern points in the country.

This included Mount Kosciusko in NSW, South Cape in Tasmania, Lake Eyre in South Australia, and Cape York in Queensland.

“[We] averaged around 450 kilometres per day, it was a demanding ride with extreme conditions and also various road conditions,” Mr Frogley said.

“The weather wasn’t kind to us – it was very cold when we went through Melbourne and, in Tasmania, it was rainy, cold and miserable.
“The ride into Lake Eyre was terrible, with 60 kilometres of very rough dirt road in and out and then we had to continue via Alice Springs as the road was closed at Birdsville due to flooding.

“The bike started to struggle – it has done about 51,000 kilometres now and is only a little Honda 125cc; I bought it specifically for these charity rides.”

This year’s Ride Around Australia for Disability was Mr Frogley’s third trip, with each event raising money for The Mai-Wel Group.

The service, which is based in Telarah, supports his son Stephen, who has autism, and provides flexible work solutions for more than 800 people with a disability in the Hunter Region.
Mr Frogley said the Ride Around Australia was his way of thanking The Mai-Wel Group.

“For Mai-Wel to provide Stephen with meaningful employment and support for the past 15 years has been a blessing,” he said.
“It is such a godsend to us and a lot of families… without them, he’d just be sitting at home.

“If you’ve got a disabled child, it is very hard, so this takes a lot of pressure off us.”
Mr Frogley said the community’s support had also been invaluable in his fundraising efforts.
“We did 12,124 kilometres this time – the general public were great during the trip, with various donations, which all went to Mai-Wel as our trip was self-funded,” he said.

The inaugural event saw Mr Frogley complete The Highway Ride in 2015, wherein he set an Australian record for the fastest time to circumnavigate the nation on a 125cc motorcycle – 27 days, 14,265 kms, averaging 81.6 km/hr.

He then undertook The Desert Ride in 2017 and set another record when he crossed over all 10 Australian deserts in 30 days.

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