Ride The Rainbow 2020

Thank you to all our Ride the Rainbow 2020 bikers, sponsors and organisers!

The Bible Society team here in New Zealand would like to thank you all for helping us bring the hope of the Bible to rural Christians living in camps and villages in South Sudan.

There were 17 registered riders with a few bringing other family members along. This year, it was great to see families with teenagers and younger children sharing the ride and having fun.

Together, you’ve raised $7,455 (possibly more) to help the Bible Society in South Sudan carry out this project.

Special Acknowledgement

We would like to acknowledge Ross and Helen Borlase, who started this event in 2006. With the help of the members of Bible Society’s Richmond Action Group, they’ve turned a personal ‘health challenge’ to an opportunity to help others instead.

In 2001, Ross was was diagnosed with lymphoma and spent 18 months in hospital for treatment.  He recovered  although left very weak. He got into bike riding to regain his strength. He came up with the idea of organising  a bike ride fundraiser and suggested this to the members of Bible Society’s Richmond Action Group, of which he was a member, and they embraced the idea.  The first ride was in 2006 and is now a bi-annual event.  This year’s ride will be the last one they will help organise and they are grateful that another couple have volunteered to help with the next one.

Ross and Helen Borlase

Photos from Ride the Rainbow 2020

(all photos taken by Dave Morgan)

Alex Johnston, who did an amazing job co-organising the ride, wrote the article below to share the excitement, as well as the challenges on the day.

For the last fourteen years Richmond Bible Society members Ross and Helen Borlase have organised eight sponsored Ride the Rainbow cycle rides. This year’s ride was their last and unfortunately on the day Ross was unable to participate due to ill health . However, with good support, Helen lead the bikers through the wilderness to Hanmer.

Another fine and cool March Saturday saw around 20 cyclists gather at the start of the Rainbow Station road near St Arnaud ( Nelson Lakes National Park) for the eighth bi-annual Bible Society sponsored bike ride of just over 100 kms to Hanmer. Bible Society helped us prepare publicity material and a comprehensive Health and Safety plan compliant with current legislation.

This year, for the first time, some parents were biking with their children. They set off first but were soon caught by the adult riders on the sealed road beside the bubbling Wairau River and beech forest that extends up the side of the St Arnaud mountains to the alpine tops covered in early morning sunshine.

After encouraging the young riders, the pace quickened until reaching the gravel road (25 kms) where the cycling became more difficult especially when crossing streams through rough fords. By now the youngest riders had reverted to the comfort of their parents vehicles and some well-earned treats!, but the teenagers pushed on.

After a welcome break at the toll gate the group continued through open tussock country to Hells Gate a spectacular gorge with precipitous sides. Not a good place to meet cyclists and motor bikes. A long climb to the Rainbow Station/ Molesworth Station boundary gate saw the riders well spread and soon it was necessary to give some of the tail-enders a ride to the top of Island Pass(70 kms) and a welcome lunch break.

The spectacular vista from the top of the Pass and pleasant conditions meant everyone was in great spirits, and some even had enough energy for a water fight! A warm cuppa was provided by Helen, and it was a great spot for the riders to chat to the wonderful support people who drove at a snail’s (bikes!) pace to make sure everyone made it through safely.

After lunch the riders enjoyed the steep descent from Island Pass with brakes screeching and wheels skidding. The more cautious riders, like 82-year-old Murray McCaskey ( Chairman of Bible Society’s Richmond Action Group – this was his seventh trip) were happy to take a ride down in a support vehicle – wise people.

While the families took a short detour to the beautiful Lake Tennyson the cyclists enjoyed a tail wind as they bounced along the corrugations down the Clarence Valley. Finally, it was one last effort up Jacks Pass and a speedy descent to meet Helen at Hanmer. Then it was off for a warm shower and a scrumptious meal prepared by our cooks Leigh, June and Lydia Borlase.

After dinner Neels Janse van Rensburg, Bible Society CEO, gave an illustrated talk on the history of the Rainbow bike ride and how the funds raised this year will be used to supply Bibles for South Sudan.

He then presented Helen with a certificate acknowledging hers and Ross’s 14 years of organising Ride the Rainbow, a wonderful achievement and legacy.

Thank you and already looking forward to the next Ride the Rainbow!