5000km journey finishes with Friends along for the ride

kerri  andy

After 5000km, 93 days and immeasurable amounts of courage, strength and support, Outward Bound Alumni Andy Friend and his wife Kerri completed their mountain bike journey together on Saturday December 3rd, leading a team of 35 riders safely back to Canberra.

While it was Andy who was doing the pedalling, the ride was just as taxing for Kerri in the support vehicle, as she battled her own challenges in a bid to raise awareness of and funds for acquired brain injury.

The pair embarked on this amazing journey on September 1st to help Kerri’s recovery from an acquired brain injury that she suffered after falling in a mountain bike race 18 months earlier.

They spent three months on the road, with Andy riding along the Bicentennial National Trial and Kerri providing back-up support in the way of logistics, administration, communications, PR and food supplies.

 

Kerri said the hardest part of the journey for her was coping with the fatigue.

‘‘My routine before, some days I’d need to have some quiet time or a sleep to be able to go on with the rest of the day,’’ Kerri said.

‘‘But I couldn’t do that on this trip because we’d need to get to the finish, set up for the night.

‘‘It’s just been really tiring, backing up, doing all the little things; I’m exhausted at the moment, but it’s a good exhausted.

‘‘Some people have pointed out that’s it’s as much a challenge for Andy as it was for me. But I think he’s done a particularly hard job.’’

db and andyFriend was accompanied by 35 riders for the last leg of the journey, including Outward Bound CEO Darren Black who joined the ride three days earlier for the final 220kms from Gundaroo to Parliament House.

“We arrived tired and sore but all proud to have participated in such a terrific event for a great cause,” Mr Black said.

Friend said it was surreal to be finished after 93 days highs and lows.

‘‘The big goal was to raise awareness of acquired brain injury and we’ve definitely done that.

‘‘The reception along the way was brilliant, it was one of the highlights, we met so many genuine people who opened their hearts, wallets and houses to help out.’’

“We really helped Kerri in her rehabilitation and to raise funds for acquired brain injury.

To date, the event has raised about $150,000, which, after expenses, will be split between the two supported charities: Brain Injury Australia and Outward Bound.

While the ride may be finished, fundraising efforts are far from over and online donations towards Outward Bound programs for people with an acquired brain injury are still open.

 

Thank you to all who have given toward this cause. If you would like to make a donation, it’s not too late, please visit https://www.givenow.com.au/outwardbound and Give Now to further support Andy and Kerri’s journey.

 

 

 

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