Motorcycle enthusiast Garry McCarthy is heading off on a 1600-kilometre round-trip to Urana in support of Down Syndrome.
For the second year in a row, the Greta retiree is taking part in the Scrapheap Adventure Ride, which encourages riders to journey through the Australian outback on bikes bought for less than $1000 and raise money for Down Syndrome NSW.
Garry is part of Brick Brothers, a group who will take part in the ride on K-series BMW bikes, which are commonly referred to as ‘flying bricks’ because of the shape of their engines.
Participants can start their expedition from any part of the state and take any path along the way, but are encouraged to ride on the back dirt roads.
The Brick Brothers will leave on Thursday to ride out through Gulgong, Wellington, Grenfell and Quandialla on their way to Urana, where all ‘Scrappers’ plus family and friends will meet on Friday for a weekend of fun and entertainment.
Garry has ridden motorcycles for most of his life, but approaching retirement he began to search for motorcycling rallies to become involved in that also support worthwhile initiatives.
“I just love the travel and the freedom,” he said.
“[It’s great] if you can combine what you like doing with raising some money for a good cause.”
He stumbled across the Scrapheap Adventure Ride, and coincidentally had been working on restoring a 1990 BMW bike he purchased for $800 in 2012 from a wrecker.
Garry was inspired by hearing the story of the organiser Perry Gilsenan, who is a double amputee and has a daughter with Down Syndrome, as well as by people with Down Syndrome and their families.
“It’s pretty emotional in a way to meet some of the families,” he said.
“You just can’t help but be inspired by these people.”
Last year Garry’s team managed to raise over $2000, and he plans to support the cause for as long as he can.
“They need any help they can get and it’s great to be able to support them in some way.”
To support Garry’s team, click here.