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Eureka boss rides for smiles

15 Oct 2012

Eureka boss rides for smiles Image

Eureka tower building manager Peter Jones has been riding motorbikes for 18 years, but he’s never attempted a trip as arduous or important about the one he is currently planning.

Peter and friend Trish Langford are about to embark on a marathon ride, starting in Nepal and winding their way down South-East Asia, before flying to Perth and riding across Australia for good measure.

The trip, planned to take about six weeks, will be undertaken to raise money and awareness for charity Interplast.

Mr Jones, who came across Interplast through the annual stair-climb at Eureka, said it was a charity that many in Australia knew little about, but its work was highly valuable to many vulnerable people in the regions they would be riding through.

Interplast is a group of Australia plastic surgeons who balance their practices in Australia with several trips to South-East Asia to perform plastic surgery on those who need it most, including locals with cleft-pallets and some who suffered from acid burns.

“I’ve been a keen motorcyclist for 18 years and I’ve just been thinking about it. What can I do? Sit on a motorbike for a long trip? Perfect!” Mr Jones explained.

The trip is set to be filmed for a documentary with the touring party travelling across Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and finally across Australia. The course mapped out is almost 10,000 km and they plan to visit current Interplast programs, as well as catch up with past success stories.

When asked the obvious question of “why?” Ms Langford jumped in saying: “He made me do it!” Laughter insued, but Mr Jones cleared up the real reason behind the ride.

“It’s all about Interplast. We want to get some coverage for it and get the word out there. Hopefully, we can raise some money as well,” Mr Jones said.

“We also want to highlight just how difficult it is for these people to access these programs and how vital they are,” he added.

Ms Langford added: “Australia is one of the richest countries in the world. We need to get out there and help where we can. We can’t just sit on our hands. We live somewhere so peaceful without the sound of gunshots or acid being thrown on us, and that is purely through the luck of being born here in Australia.”

The logistics of such a trip have been difficult to organise and even with the February starting date there are still some details to be sorted.

The team has relied on contacts in these countries they are yet to meet, but is thankful for all their help.

They have bought a bike through a new friend, Matt, in Nepal. Apparently he has also organised a parade for the first leg.

Both Ms Langford and Mr Jones are heading over to India and Nepal in the next month, and Mr Jones joked: “We’re going to find out whether we really are getting this bike and that the parade is set up!”

If you’d like to help the cause in any way, head to the website www.milesforsmiles.org.au or you can call Peter Jones direct on 0413 368 633 or via email peter@milesforsmiles.org.au

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