Truckies swap 18 wheels for 2 to raise $14k in memory of Rod
A TEAM including truck drivers from McColl's Transport swapped 18 wheels for two to tackle the 520 kilometre Murray to Moyne Cycle Relay in memory of Geelong mechanic Rod Smith and raise $14,000 for Barwon Health Foundation's cardiac and heart research unit.
The team of seven riders, which included a mechanic, office staff and drivers from across the state, battled head winds, cramping and fatigue throughout the two-day ride.
McColl's chief executive officer Simon Thornton said Mr Smith, who passed away in January, was well-known for his sense of humour and his positive attitude.
"With the support of Rod's family, his colleagues wanted to do something to honour their workmate by raising money for a local charity and the ride was dedicated to his memory," Mr Thornton said.
Mr Thornton said the ride reflected McColl's commitment to helping its employees lead healthier lifestyles.
Altona driver Tim Downes, one of the riders, took up cycling as part of the health and wellbeing program.
"I've been cycling for six weeks now, to and from work. I've lost nine kilograms and gained so much energy," Mr Downes said.
"To be able to conquer such a huge physical goal, honour a colleague and help raise money for a great charity has been a fantastic experience."
Sharon Dickson, sister of Rod Smith, said that the family was so thankful and honoured that McColl's chose to do this ride in memory of Rod who is very sadly missed.
"He meant so much to not only our family but also everyone he met including his wonderful work colleagues at McColl's."
Zoe Waters, Executive Director (acting) Barwon Health Foundation thanked the team.
"Congratulations and thank you to the McColl's Friesian team for making this legacy in recognition of Rod's life," Ms Water said.
"It takes a special group of people to host a fundraiser while still grieving a much-loved colleague and friend. For this we will be forever grateful."