AN EMOTIONAL journey had a pleasing end of sorts on Friday.
Ian Cross rode his bicycle from Canberra to Bega, fundraising for SIDS and Kids and in the process honouring the legacy of his grandson Lachie, who died three years ago from SIDS.
While the red noses may have been because of the icy conditions rather than the merchandise, the welcome given to Mr Cross was heart-warming.
While his wife and daughters manned a barbecue for passers-by, well-wishers from Woolworths and Big W took time out to head down and shake Mr Cross’s hand.
Mr Cross was also “over the moon” he surpassed his fundraising goal of $5000 for the 670km trek – by Friday’s arrival in Bega he had collected around $5400 in donations, with more to come.
“Friends in Cowra are having a morning tea to raise money as well,” Mr Cross said.
In a twist of fate, the third anniversary of Lachie’s death coincided with Red Nose Day, making Mr Cross’s journey all the more poignant.
“This is a terrible time of year,” Mr Cross said, trying to keep his emotions in check.
“Lachie is why I did it.
“It is about fundraising for SIDS and Kids, but it is also about raising awareness.
“SIDS is a sensitive topic that no-one wants to talk about.
“I have a few friends who have been touched by it as well.
“These are people I’ve known for five years and it was only when I started speaking about it that I found out they had lost family members to SIDS as well.
“More people are touched by it that you realise.
“It needs to be spoken about.”
Mr Cross said he is planning on more rides.
“But at a warmer time of year and with not so many hills,” he said with a grin.
Click here to donate to Ian Cross’s SIDS and Kids fundraiser.