Monday, 9 June 2014


To those who attended the Mates on a Mission finale at Bull Creek Leeming Football Club on Saturday you witnessed one of the most special moments ever. Having travelled over 2700 km from Adelaide to Perth, Brad brought the Mission home in spectacular style. As a support crew we were overwhelmed with the size of the crowd who had formed a guard of honour to watch Brad with his mate Mitch, pedal across the line.

Brad, you may have been inspired by Crawf but you now are a source of inspiration for people of all ages. Like you, hopefully they will now have the courage to follow and fulfil their dreams. Mitch would have loved every minute of the road trip and would be really proud of what your combined efforts are about to achieve for the desperately poor in Seraya.

Brad, you are a champion in every respect. Enjoy resuming a 'normal' life and thanks for the privilege of being part of the ride of a lifetime.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

We're Coming Home!

In the blog written on May 16th, I wrote about doubting if there were any prouder parents of their sons than Sue, Ken, Shane and I. Today, that level of pride is even more enhanced as Mitch and Brad ride the last 120 km of this epic journey. Likewise, there are no prouder sisters of their brothers than Tarli and Kristy. Mitch and Brad you are two amazing young men who are having such a profound impact on so many. Having completed this epic ride you are about to make a significant change to the lives of so many desperately poor people in Seraya. Brad and Mitch you have just completed the best road trip two mates could ever have. It is so easy to see why the two of you became  mates. Your strength of character, determination, easy going personalities and ability to inspire others is nothing short of incredible.

To our CEO's in Mitch and Keith, you never let us down once with the weather conditions. Okay, the headwinds for five days were definitely challenging but that certainly confirmed Brad's toughness. Today as we leave Northam, the conditions could not be better! We did enjoy the way you organised the spirited win by The Crows in Adelaide and last Saturday's victory by The Railways in Kalgoorlie! We loved your presence and looking at your smiling faces every day of the ride.

We salute you MOAM CEO's.
Highlights are plentiful. The spectacular scenery along the Nullarbor, particularly The Great Australian Bight, brilliant night skies and cloud formations during the day, stunning sunsets especially in Ceduna (awesome photos Ken),the warmth and glow of the campfires and Sue Mills. There have been many amazing people we have met along the way. Brad has been truly inspired by meeting Mitch's footy idols in Mark Ricciuto and Andrew McLeod who were both so genuine in their support of MOAM. Brian Taylor organising for Brad and Ken to sit in the commentary box for the Crows game against Collingwood joining football icons in Cameron Ling and Matthew LLoyd. Seeing Brad's face light up when Brian mentioned him and MOAM during the calling of a game whilst we overnighted in Border Village was definitely a highlight. Then there was Shane Crawford's call to Brad whilst we were in Ceduna. Crawf's phone call was so timely after a few big days out on the road. Brad was inspired by Crawf's ride last year so to speak to him and gain from his knowledge was invaluable. Libby Stone at Channel Nine, your passion and belief in this amazing story saw MOAM receive the media attention it so richly deserved. Featuring on Channel Nine News on the 15th May and the live cross to the 'Today Show' as Brad rode out of Adelaide was sensational. Thank you so much Libby! Our thanks also to Steve
Butler for the excellent article written in the West, Reece Homfray from The Adelaide Advertiser for bringing the MOAM story to Adelaide, Brett Sprigg for his well researched interview with Brad on Radio Grandstand and Adrian Barich and the Dead Set Legends on 94.5 for taking the time to have Brad on your Saturday morning radio show as we left Snowtown. Kalgoorlie Miner Newspaper your front page coverage of this amazing ride was fitting of the town loved by Mitch and where Mitch was admired and loved by so many.

As Brad and the support crew travel the final kilometres, there are some things we won't miss. For Brad the option of a wardrobe outside of lycra and the luxury of sitting on padded chairs must seem appealing! As a crew not having the sounds of thundering trains and trucks rushing past The Castle and The Shack at night will be luxury. Shower blocks built for pygmies and performing contortionist moves whilst trying to put shoes on without getting your feet wet definitely won't be missed!

It was wonderful to see a dozen of Brad's and Mitch's close mates ride out to the Kenwick Link to complete the final few kilometres with him. Awaiting at the bottom of our street was of course The Castle, The Shack and a team of passionate well-wishers so pleased to see the boys home. Brad and Mitch thank you for taking us on this amazing once in a lifetime experience.

4 Mitch


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Two to Go!

No one in the crew had problems being awake at 6am, having had trains and trucks remind us that it is business as usual at all hours of the day and night! The only thing missing for Kristy was the blaring sounds of the police and ambulances which she has become immune to along Commercial Road in London! We may also have been 'slightly' under the influence of Lisa and Dave’s recommendation of the local BP’s bacon and egg burgers for breakfast!

O'Neill family waving Brad on.
With a burger in his belly, Brad was keen to get today’s kilometres underway. Mitch, Dave and Lisa’s son, was keen to go for a ride with Brad so he joined the official party at the end of his street! Brought back beautiful memories of Brad and I’m sure likewise for Sue and Ken of Mitch, at a similar age riding their first bikes with trainer wheels! Sorry Brad, red flags for the rear of your bike were not an accessory in those days. Thank you O’Neill’s you made our visit to Merredin even more memorable.

We are becoming very familiar with foggy starts to the day and today was no different. At 9:30 Brad was still riding through a heavy fog! I’m sure Brad would much rather ride through fog than heavy rain! Our CEO’s could not have done a better job in controlling the weather conditions for the entire ride. People we have spoken to along the way have told us about the terrible rain/storms they have driven through on previous days but none has reached us!

People often speak about 'signs' and several we saw today were quite pertinent. The
Merredin Shire are on to it!
people of Merredin were certainly aware of MOAM coming  by naming a road 'Mission' not far out of town. Later in the day another sign read, 'Leeming' obviously pointing us in the right direction for tomorrow!

With the day's ride complete, the team are very much looking forward to meeting up with Gracie, Tom, Verne  and Clay for a dinner at the Northam Hotel. 

I doubt if there will be any need for any alarms to be set tonight as tomorrow the boys bring the ride home!

Monday, 2 June 2014


Cloud of fog leaving Yellowdine.
For those who enjoyed their Foundation Day sleep in, spare a thought for Brad who started riding from Yellowdine when the temperature was a brisk three degrees! Not only did he have to contend with icy conditions but also a thick fog also presented its challenges. As the temperatures began to increase so did the traffic on the road. The communication between The Castle and The Shack was a constant. Traveling at the speed we have you certainly question how some people get their licence!

A brief stop was had at Southern Cross where Brad had a chat with Tom, a mate of Brad's and Mitch's. A nice surprise occurred at lunch when Mark and Tiana fortunately found us in a parking bay for a quick catch up. An elderly gentleman also came to speak with Brad and reached into his pocket and gave a donation which has been typical of the generous
Brad and Todd 
nature of people along the way. Our thanks also to the staff and students of Leeming Primary School, who dressed in bright, happy colours last Thursday and raised $221 for MOAM. Later in the day the three senior classes sported the MOAM sign at a 'SingFest' held at the Melville Civic Centre and sang the song, 'Happy.' We sincerely thank the Leeming school communities for their phenomenal support of MOAM.  

Brad has ridden through predominantly pastoral areas today. Fortunately the temperature has increased to a pleasant 19 degrees. Reading the sign after lunch 294 km to Perth would have been a welcomed sight having started the day at 401! The heavy traffic  on the road continued so arriving in Merredin was a welcomed relief.

As we sat down to eat our dinner, we were joined by Lisa, Dave, Mitch and Patrick O'Neill. Dave has previously taught at Leeming High. The boys kept us entertained particularly Mitch who along with Sue's help drew pictures on the latest 'coloured' version of a Magnadoodle! 

Our early starts for the day usually catch up with us by 7:30 particularly over the last week when the evenings have become quite, to very cool! Retiring to the heated Shack and Castle for our second last night on the road seemed like the best option.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

We're Back!

What a way to start the day off in Kalgoorlie than to have Brad and Sue's photo on the front page of the Kalgoorlie Miner with a superb accompanying story! Feeling upbeat we all headed to the Coffee Club for a large, cooked breakfast before being lucky enough to have a Ken's tour of the Super Pit. Really doesn't matter how many times you visit the pit it's always impressive. The crew parted ways at this point with Brad enjoying the opportunity to enjoy a much deserved sleep followed by a long, relaxing massage by Gracie. Watching Gracie made us all feel very relaxed so can only begin to imagine how good it felt to Brad. 

In the evening we went and watched Railways (the team Mitch played for) play Mines Rovers. It was so easy to see why Mitch fitted in so well into the team with the tough, committed brand of footy played. Brad was asked to toss the coin to commence the game and that was the only win Mines Rovers had for the night! In the coach's pre game speech he asked the players to play with the determination Brad has had to ride across the Nullarbor. The players did not disappoint at all playing with the same spirit and commitment we always saw in Mitch. Railways produced a comprehensive 43 point win over their arch rivals to complete a truly memorable day in Kalgoorlie.

Alarms set we were all set and ready to get back on the road. I'm sure not long in to today's ride Mitch and Brad had a great chat about yesterday's events. Brad would have loved having meeting Mitch's  Railway's mates which he so frequently spoke about. Mitch would be rapt that Brad had included his Kalgoorlie mates in the ride as you would battle to meet a better group of guys. It is so easy to see how Mitch and his family fitted in so well into the Kalgoorlie community.
The 1st of the paparazzi!

Not long into our journey we were tracked down by two paparazzi cars. Jill and Gaye were returning to Mandurah after a weekend in Kal.  Minutes later along came Sue and Mark causing total uproar within The Castle and The Shack! Suffice to say Sue's method of taking photos was eye catching to say the least enough, so much so that Brad almost had his first spill in over 2000 km! The photo of the photographer has now become the official winner for the entire ride even outdoing Ken's prized sunset images!

It was with great sadness that Gracie had to leave the crew in the morning and return to Perth. It is difficult to understand how scheduled train services don't operate out of Merredin on a public holiday! Gracie, you have been amazing in support of Brad not only on this ride but also in the months of training leading up to it. Brad is so lucky to have you as his girlfriend. We now hope you enjoy resuming a normal social life as a couple. Once again, thank you Gracie! 

For a period of time we lost the spectacular Salmon Gums but gained a mob of emus and two oversized ore trays heading eas! Camp was set up in cosy Yellowdine. One part of the crew happy with their team's support, the other not! A campfire was soon cranking and once again we all enjoyed Gracie's Auntie's choc bananas recipe!

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Rest Day!

Sorry to disappoint you but today is a scheduled rest day for all MOAM team members!

We will all be back on duty tomorrow!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Kal Here We Come!

With great sadness, we regret to share with readers the passing of Stuart ( The Castle's freeloader mouse) overnight. After traumatising predominantly the female crew members his days were numbered! On our arrival yesterday afternoon, MOAM bought every mouse trapping device available in Norseman! 'Little' did we know there are newer devices available, but would they do the job? Over dinner discussion centred on foods likely to attract Stuart. Peanut paste and Turkish Delight were the preferred options for our 'little' friend. A Stuart Cluedo Sweepstakes was then held, with crew members having to decide on the number of 'Little' victims and the method of despatch. The winners were Shane and Gracie who predicted Stuart was a loner and would be enticed to Turkish Delight on a traditional mousetrap!

RIP Stuart!

Once again we can't thank the CEO's enough for their influence on the weather conditions each day. As Brad finished his ride yesterday, down came the rain. Light drizzle was still falling as we left Norseman but now 65 km further north there are a few clouds around but lots of blue sky and the sun is drying up the road surface. Brad has also welcomed the shift in wind direction and is appreciating a little help from behind.

Morning tea is planned for Widgiemooltha (nightmare for spellcheck!) 'Widgie,' is famous for the 32kg Golden Eagle Nugget found in 1931. In the past few days Sue, Shane and I have collected coins dropped in rest bays so maybe we may get lucky here too! 

Today's ride finished in Coolgardie before a quick dash to Kalgoorlie to pick up our latest crew member. You can imagine the reunion was something special. Kristy certainly enjoyed giving Brad a big hug after his mammoth ride in getting to Kalgoorlie.

Once again we are very fortunate to have the luxury of a 'home' base in Kalgoorlie. Thank you very much to our hosts in Sandy and Greg for making their house available for us whilst in Kal. 

One happy Rider!
Having picked up Kristy, we made our way to Digger Dawes Oval for Brad and Sue to be interviewed Kalgoorlie Miner. Interview over, off to Maccas we went for Brad to have his well deserved 'junk' food fix! To say he enjoyed it is an understatement!