SHANE Crawford says riding into Bendigo on Thursday will be the “perfect start” to his epic bike journey from Melbourne to Perth.
Bendigo is the first pit stop for the Brownlow medallist on his Tour de Crawf – Ride to the other side, which aims to raise money and awareness for the Breast Cancer Network Australia.
The Footy Show larrikin will arrive at the Tom Flood Sports Centre on Thursday night between 7.30pm and 9.30pm.
Mr Crawford told the Bendigo Advertiser that part of the reason he decided to ride via Bendigo, when going direct to Adelaide would be quicker, was because he’s confident of community support.
“Part of our plans to go that way was because we know what great communities they are and how much they would embrace what we’re trying to do as well,” he said.
“We’ll give Bendigo plenty of love, it should be a great first day and a perfect start to what’s going to be obviously a tough journey – very physically draining, but an emotional journey too.”
Mr Crawford is aiming to ride about 170km per day to reach Perth in time to appear on the Footy Show on July 11.
“If I can get to just outside of Perth with one day to go and only 200km to go it would be perfect, I’m pretty confident I can make it from there,” he said.
“I’m confident I’m fit enough to make it there, it’s just how my body copes doing it day-to-day, physically and I suppose mentally.
“Going through the towns and meeting people along the way certainly spurs you on, and obviously meeting women who are affected by breast cancer and their families and their stories motivates you to keep charging along.”
The Hawthorn champion hasn’t set a target for money he’d like to raise.
“I haven’t set any targets whatsoever, because raising money’s awesome, it’s wonderful, but it’s also the awareness we can create which obviously makes a massive difference as well,” Mr Crawford said.
“It’s quite amazing what we’ve got already and no doubt the support we’ll get.”
A community event is planned for Mr Crawford’s arrival on Thursday night, beginning at 7.30pm at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.
A range of activities, including an AFL Auskick Clinic, jumping castle, sausage sizzle and a raffle, with first prize a table for 10 at the Footy Show, will be held.
Footy Show representatives will be in Bendigo for the occasion and there will be a live cross to the studio.
3BO will broadcast live from the event and BCNA ambassador Raelene Boyle will also be in attendance.
Entry will be via gold coin donation and the community is asked to wear pink to support the BCNA – the peak national organisation for Australians personally affected by breast cancer.
People wanting to donate can visit any NAB branch or transfer funds to: BCNA, BSB 683 155, account number 5321 42990.
More information can be found online at www.bcna.org.au/events/key-fundraising-events/tour-de-crawf