BTB Wrap Up!
21 May 2011 / Posted by Brett Phillips
Images taken from multiple blogs and sites without permission, circa 2011!
We were going to bring together a write up on our trip to Beat the Bastard in Townsville Queensland last week and talk about all of the wonderful people that we met and had the privilege to ride with. We were also going to thank the organisers for putting together what was one of the best events that GBHQ has been lucky enough to attend. That was until we read Andy (Sakamoto) post earlier in the week. It says everything we would hope to have said and more!
"On the weekend just gone, I had one of the best weekends of my life: I spent three days in Townsville for the "Beat the Bastard" Charity Free Ride for Gravity Sports. This is the third year the free ride has been held, which is staged to generate money to go towards Cancer Research. This year, 55 of Australia's best gravity riders from the majority of main gravity disciplines attended. Gravity Bike, Streetluge, Classic Luge and Standup were represented, with two World Champions coming to play on Mt Stuart, one of the most challenging roads to ride in Australia. Brett Phillips: ex-G-Bike World Champion. Merrick Wildash: current Junior Standup World Champion.
"BtB" was conceptualised around a dining table, late one night, as a way of supporting the main organiser in his fight with Prostate Cancer. The idea was put forward with love and friendship in the hearts of those who were there that night, and that feeling of closeness has been perpetuated through every event. Those who form the actual "BtB" Organising Committee put in hundreds of hours of work to make sure that every rider who attendes this legal event has as many rides as he/she can handle over a two day period.
From 6am to 6pm, on the Saturday and Sunday, the Mt Stuart road is closed, and is transformed from a public access road into a Gravity Riders Disneyland. Laughter, disciplines riding with other disciplines, and genuine friendship and mateship make this very special weekend the weekend that it is, and to such an extent that every rider who leaves at the end of the event can't wait to get back the next time "BtB" comes round again.
I have been involved in Gravity Sports since early 1995, and have met many very amazing people over the years. However, this "BtB" event brought home how tight Gravity Riders are, and how unigue each individual person is.
Two months after the 2010 "BtB" I was diagnosed, and over the last few months my mobility has altered greatly. I walk with crutches now, with several limitations to my everyday life, as the illness progresses. But to the people I shared Mt Stuart with, my frustrations of needing help meant nothing, as they opened their hands and hearts to help me enjoy the hill with them, as an equal. I used to ride streetluge, and as things changed within me I've begun riding a G-Bike, and I'm loving it!!! To get into the back of the truck, all the riders would lift me onto the tray, and lift me down at the top of the hill, getting my bike for me, and riding beside me as we began our runs. One very special man, who's large in stature with an even bigger heart, would put his arms around me and just pick me up, and with the gentle words, "Hang on, my friend", he would lower me to the ground and made sure I was ready to roll. Regardless of discipline, everyone I had the pleasure to ride with was the same....not sorrow for me, but honest friendship and love.
Gravity Sports is not only a lifestyle for many of us, it is a definate passion. Every rider looks out for the other, and each joy when riding is quickly shared with other riders at the bottom of the hill you are riding. I rode with very close friends from Canberra, Berridale, Townsville, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Some riders I met for the first time, old and young, male and female....but it made no differance, because we are part of the Gravity Family.
"BtB" is a totally unique gathering, with very, very special people. Male or female, regardless of discipline the