Bikies driving out cancer

“IF we get one person to check their health and save their life, then I’ve achieved what I set out to do,” says Fremantle motorcycle enthusiast Bruce Sharman.

Mr Sharman left Fremantle on Wednesday to travel across the country on a restored 1947 Panther M100, with a team of five riders and support crew. They plan to raise awareness about men’s health and suicide, and in particular prostate cancer, as well as raising funds for research.

Mr Sharman says he came up with the idea a year ago, and signed up to take part in the charity The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, raising funds for Movember.

“So many people have supported us, it’s been a wonderful adventure already,” he said.

• Bruce Sharman (centre) with fellow riders Bruce “Boof” Larson, Angus Anderson, Rolly Wachla and Jeff Condon. In what’s hopefully not a bad omen, team member Steve Ibbotson missed out on the photo op after suffering a blown tyre on the way there. Photo by Steve Grant

Fellow rider Jeff Condon knows the perils of cancer, having just beaten a bout in his throat.

“I was diagnosed with cancer a year ago, and when Bruce mentioned the ride, I set it as a goal—I didn’t know whether I was going to be here or not,” he says.

“Three, four months ago I could not even eat.”

Mr Condon and Mr Sharman urged men to go and see a GP if they felt unwell, saying delays could cost people their life.

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt sent the crew off, revealing his own cross-Nullabor adventure.

“I was admiring some of the bikes and thinking about the 1979 Renault 12 I first tried to cross the Nullarbor in, which you might still see on the side of the road just over the South Australian side—it really blew up,” said Dr Pettitt.

“As you travel that 4200 kilometres between here and Sydney, raising important awareness and important money, enjoy the amazing journey.”

So far Mr Sharman has raised $6781, and you can find his donation page at http://www.gentlemansride.com/rider/BruceSharman

by STEVE GRANT

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