Pelicans on postie bikes fly north
It started as a crazy idea over a few beers, but now around 20 people are committed to riding postie bikes from Ballina to Darwin as a fundraiser for the Biala Special School in Ballina and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
They are calling themselves the 'Pelicans on Posties' because according to chief organiser Bill McInerney, "Pelicans are the symbol of Ballina and of Biala, and they are a bird that travels long distances inland."
The pelicans will be leaving on July 20 and hope to be in Darwin in time for the Darwin Cup on August 6.
"It's like the Melbourne Cup of the north... a few of us wanted to go up for it and that's how all this came about," Bill said. "It's all people from Lismore and Ballina and Byron... the phone calls went out to mates of mates and people who wanted to go for a ride and have an adventure."
Eight years ago Bill drove a Ford Fairlane across the Simpson Desert, raising money for the Endeavour Foundation (a disability service provider) and having a ball along the way. This time he has set an ambitious target of $100,000 for the pelicans to raise.
The have already secured sponsorship from Honda, which donated three postie bikes that are being raffled off.
Bill said one of the biggest challenges was finding postie bikes for everyone to ride.
"They're really sought-after for beginners and they're the kind of bikes that people keep in their shed because they're not very expensive to run."
In fact Bill reckons it will only cost them about $200 in fuel to get from Ballina to Darwin!
For more information or to make a donation, visit www.pelicansonposties.com.au.