Riderless bike leads the way for Steve Waugh’s Captain’s Ride

Former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh will be accompanied by a riderless bike representing children with rare diseases when his fundraising Captain’s Ride hits the road on October 29.

Steve Waugh will be joined on the ride by Adam Goodes

Steve Waugh will be joined on the ride by Adam Goodes

The innovative children’s bike was developed from scratch by production and technology specialist Finch on the back of an idea by Havas.

After having riders join the Captain’s Ride through virtual reality headsets last year, Waugh said he wanted innovation to be seen as a part of this year’s ride and the riderless bike was a way for children suffering from rare diseases to be a part of it as riders rode from Bowral to Mount Kosciusko.

“We have done dinners in the past but people have become a bit fatigued by charity dinners, so I wanted more of a ‘money can’t buy’ life experience. And to ride 900km over six days with 12,000 metres of vertical climbing, for a lot of people who weren’t regular riders was taking them way out of their comfort zone,” Waugh said of the fundraiser.

“I wanted an event that somehow mirrored the attitude of the kids we support who do it tough, each and every day against the odds, and never complain.

riderless-bikeWaugh said that the relationship with Havas and Red Agency had played a role in elevating the charity to another level.

“As a foundation you can’t cover all bases, it’s too costly, so you need people to come in and help you out, and thankfully that happened and it’s happening again this year.

“This year really it’s about raising money but getting the message out. The riderless bike will have a huge impact. People can come to the website and see what we are doing. We want to take it to the next level this year.”

Havas executive creative director, Stuart Turner, said the agency took 10 ideas to Waugh on how to engage the public with this year’s ride, with the riderless bike standing out as the best but also the most complex idea.

The bike will follow the peloton and will feature a 360-degree camera which will allow children to experience the ride from their homes.

Dubbed a “world first” it will be able to ride along autonomously and can also be taken over by remote control if needed.’

The bike will also be used as a central theme on display at each of the six overnight stops throughout the ride.

Waugh said the annual fundraising and awareness ride was vital to lift the profile of rare diseases and those who sufferer from them, who are often ignored.

“The rare disease patient is the orphan of the health system, often without diagnosis, without treatment, without research and therefore without hope. This is why the Steve Waugh Foundation exists,” says Waugh.


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