Jumping on your bike and heading off on an adventure when you were a kid is one of those things the vast majority of us took for granted.
But, the reality is that for millions of children – especially those with physically debilitating illnesses and other rare diseases – it’s just a dream.
However that could be about to change, thanks to the combination of the world’s first riderless bike for kids – and Aussie cricket legend Steve Waugh whose charity, the Steve Waugh Foundation, is taking on an inspirational challenge.
The incredible bike – developed from scratch by production and technology specialist Finch – will travel over 700km through New South Wales as it takes part in the Captain’s Ride – a sponsored cycle to raise funds for the 400,000 children in Australia affected by rare diseases.
After riders joined the Captain’s Ride using virtual reality headsets last year, Waugh said he wanted innovation to be seen as a part of this year’s ride.
The riderless bike provides a way for children suffering from rare diseases to be a part of the ride as it winds its way from Bowral to Mount Kosciusko.
Powered by a 48V lithium-ion battery and guided by an autonomous tracking system, the bike follows an infrared beacon attached to the back of one of the bikes in the group.
Whenever the bike is in motion, kids will be able to experience the ride thanks to an ALLie 360 camera live streaming the whole thing to YouTube and on top of that, a tablet at the front of the bike is providing a live GPS feed to www.captainsride.com.au and projecting the faces of some of the kids the Foundation is aiming to help as they experience ride for themselves.
Steve says he chose the gruelling six-day ride from Mittagong to the peak of Australia, Mt Kosciuszko – which climbs over 10,500 metres to try and match the demands these children face each day.
Day 4 of the Captain’s Ride.
#whyweride #charity #stevewaughfoundation #day4
Posted by Steve Waugh Foundation on Tuesday, November 1, 2016
The tallest peak in Australia would come closest to reflecting the challenge faced by children and young adults living with rare diseases and require the same perseverance and determination to overcome it.
Steve also revealed that the relationship with Havas had played a role in elevating the charity to another level.
As a foundation you can’t cover all bases, it’s too costly, so you need people to come in and help you out, and thankfully that happened and it’s happening again this year.
This year really it’s about raising money but getting the message out. The riderless bike will have a huge impact. People can come to the website and see what we are doing. We want to take it to the next level this year.
Since 2005, the Foundation has helped provide much needed support to over 600 families in Australia, as rare diseases are often overlooked by traditional health providers.
The rare disease patient is the orphan of the health system, often without diagnosis, without treatment, without research and therefore without hope. This is why the Steve Waugh Foundation exists.
The ride is currently on day four out of six – so there’s still plenty of time to get donating! To pledge your support head over to www.captainsride.com.au. and help to change some lives.