Charity river bike ride to raise funds for farmers & veterans

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Northwood resident Matthew Aldridge raised $10,000 for farmers and veterans last year and this month will be at it again, this time riding along the banks of the Murray River raising funds and awareness (Image Credit: Rob Gunstone).

A THOUSAND kilometres will be pedalled – from Adelaide to Wodonga – all in an effort to raise much-needed funds for struggling farmers and veterans.

Farmer Matt Aldridge, from Northwood, just outside of Seymour, will lead the Coo-Wee Ride, an annual bike ride that aims to raise money and awareness for farmers suffering from drought and floods as well as our veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

The ride will start in Adelaide on Saturday, March 30 and traverse the Murray River, visiting towns such as Murray Bridge, Pinnaroo, Ouyen, Echuca, Yarrawonga and will finish in Wodonga at the Hume Veterans Information Centre on Saturday, April 6.

Since 2016, Matt has raised well-over $50,000 for farmers and veterans doing it tough. He has also successfully raised funds and awareness for suicide prevention after a family friend tragically took his own life on Christmas Eve in 2017.

Matt said this year’s ride will primarily focus on farmers who were hit by the devastating floods in northwest Queensland in January, which caused over $1 billion of property and livestock damage.

“The ride will definitely test the legs out. I haven’t had much time for training as I’ve been so busy feeding our cows,” Matt said.

“This year the ride will be supporting the farmers affected by the floods in Queensland. When we arrive into Wodonga on Saturday, a great lady, Zoe Hayes, has amazingly organised a Dust Off Depression auction for us where there will be some amazing items to bid on,” he added.

Matt says the funds raised will be donated to a local charity in the flood affected region; Sisters of the North, and the Hume Veterans Information Centre in Wodonga, where the ride will finish at 2.30pm on April 6.
“I hope everyone can come down for a free sausage sizzle and check out the amazing place that’s run by an incredible group of volunteers who really go above and beyond for our veterans to make sure they are alright,” Matt said.

The Wodonga RSL will also host a Coo-Wee Ride charity evening, with country rock singer Brad Cox singing some of his latest hits, which will include Red Light.

“Well-known artist Joe Zapp will also be painting a live painting commemorating our incredible soldiers, which will also be auctioned off on the night,” Matt continued.

“It’s inspiring to see the amount of support the Coo-Wee Ride has received year after year. A lot of people out there really do care about the welfare of our farmers and veterans. It’s very heartening to see,” Matt added.

To find out more about the Coo-Wee Ride please visit their Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/cooweeride/