Charity ride takes Bob home

SIX months ago Murwillumbah's Bob Missingham didn't even own a pushbike.

Now the 61-year-old is pedalling with the best of them in the Great Australian Bike Ride.

“It had been 40-odd years since I owned a bike, let alone ride one,” the former Tweed Shire works manager said.

“I decided to go in the ride, then bought a bike.”

Mr Missingham is riding the Sydney-to-Brisbane leg of the mammoth journey, and on Tuesday passed through his home town.

“It was great riding into Murwil- lumbah,” he said.

“Really good to see some familiar faces and have a bit of local knowledge.

“We came in over the Burringbar range and through Stokers Siding.”

The Murwillumbah Rotary club member started the 1500km journey on April 19 and will finish in Brisbane tomorrow.

The Great Australian Bike Ride, co-ordinated by Australian Rotary Health, is travelling around the country from Melbourne to Melbourne in about seven months.

“Some people are doing the whole trip, including a 70-year-old man,” Mr Missingham said.

“We're riding to make people aware of mental illness issues in Australia and raise money for continuing research into mental illness.”

Mr Missingham, who is travelling with his sister Joy Graydon, said the journey so far has been tremendous.

“It's going really good; I'm really enjoying it,” he said.

“Everywhere we've gone we've been met by members of Rotary Clubs and so many friendly people who have looked after us.

“Wherever we stop we always get a good reception.”

He said the riders are very grateful to the big support crew.

“We just wouldn't be able to do it without them,” he said.

“They've got the hard job, we just get on the bikes and ride.”

When passing through Murwil- lumbah on Tuesday the riders stopped at Ristretto Cafe for lunch and caught up with local Rotarians.

Another local, Tony Worrad of the Murwillumbah Central Rotary Club, is riding from Grafton to Brisbane.

Mr Missingham retired from the position of Tweed Shire works manager about four years ago after 23 years in the job.

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