Stephen Drake Influencers Interview

60 or Bust!

Please help me raise funds for these two great charities

We Ride Australia

Together We Can!

I turn 60 in March and for my birthday celebration I will be riding from Melbourne to Sydney.

Why?

The greatest motivation is to raise funds for two very worthy charities, including We Ride Australia.

After I’ve shared some personal history to explain why, hopefully you’ll agree this is a cause worthy of your support.

It’s incredibly difficult to get people to take collective action for a common good. But many important things can only be achieved through this very process.

I have a personal life goal – that is also the stated mission of my current media company, Bicycle Lane – to ‘make Australia a better place for our kids and grandkids to ride a bike’.

It aligns with We Ride Australia’s mission, stated on the About Us page of its website, ‘to make cycling a positive, healthy and safe reality for children and adults across Australia’.

This helps explain why I’ve been a supporter of this organisation, and its predecessor, since day one.

We Ride Australia RideScore Website
We Ride Australia’s RideScore program has been developed to get more kids on bikes.

In the late 1990s a critical mass of key bicycle industry members was beginning to realise that none of us was big enough on our own to create an environment conducive to growing cycling, particularly at a federal level.

Through that era, my wife and I owned a cycling media company that was best known by our first masthead, Bicycling Australia but also included Mountain Biking Australia, Bicycling Trade and Bicycling Yearbook. We used these titles, particularly the trade media, to promote this notion of taking collective action.

It took multiple meetings, spanning two years and sometimes heated debate, before the Cycling Promotion Fund (CPF) was finally set up in the year 2000 as a fund under the umbrella of the industry body Bicycle Industries Australia (BIA). Bicycling Australia was one of 11 founding members and I served on the CPF management committee, as well as the BIA board of directors, for a number of years.

Fast forward 16 years and it was apparent it was time for an improved structure in which the CPF became a stand-alone registered charity. Cycling was winning more friends and the new structure made it easier for a wider range of individuals and organisations to become involved.

We Ride Australia was launched at the Australian Bicycle Summit in May 2017 and officially commenced on 1st July 2017.

This coincided perfectly with the end of my three-year employment contract I’d fulfilled as part selling Bicycling Australia to Yaffa Media.

I had the privilege of spending the following two years as Business Development Manager of We Ride Australia to help establish the new charity, by creating and participating in a Foundation Benefactors program and expanding ongoing memberships.

We Ride Australia’s website details some of its vital work, along with its past and current achievements, so I’m not going to duplicate that here.

We Ride Australia hosts international study tours so policy makers and government leaders can personally experience the benefits from international cities who recognise cycling as an important function of people moving.

From a personal viewpoint – sharpened by the 23 years since we helped create the Cycling Promotion Fund – I’m more convinced than ever that collective action is vital if we want to see positive change and make Australia a better place for our kids and grandkids to ride.

As a father and grandfather, I have ever-increasing motivation to achieve that goal.

That’s why I’m thrilled to once again be supporting We Ride Australia, this time through riding from Sydney to Melbourne via Thredbo, starting in late March 2022.

I’d greatly appreciate your support as I ride for We Ride and aim to raise at least $10,000.

Thank you for your donation!

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