ride to remember

The Ride to Remember: epic, solo journey raises money for brain research

Paul Brown is about to leave on an epic, 19,000 km motorcycle ride – first around Australia and then across the globe to England – to honour his late mother and raise money for NeuRA.

The 51-year-old father of three from the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland, will ride from Australia to Bishop Auckland in England, carrying his mother’s ashes back to her birthplace and laying them next to that of her mother’s in the village’s tiny cemetery.

Paul Brown, holding an urn that contains his mother’s remains

Patricia Brown died in May 2012, nine years after she was first diagnosed with dementia. Paul was her main carer until she was placed under care in a nursing home.

In Australia, there are almost 280,000 people living with dementia and 1.2 million people who provide support and care. At Neuroscience Research Australia, in Sydney, scientists investigate the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, well as possible treatments, and interventions to improve quality of life and reduce caregiver burden.

“We hope that, through his Ride To Remember, Paul will raise awareness of the debilitating disease of dementia and its burden on caregivers,” said Mr Roewen Wishart, the Foundation Director at Neuroscience Research Australia. “Community fundraising provides important support for medical research conducted at Neuroscience Research Australia.”

Paul will begin the five-month journey on April 4. The experienced motorcyclist will ride up to Mt Isa, across the Tennant Creek and Alice Springs, down to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and back to the Sunshine Coast.

From the Sunshine Coast, his bike will then be freighted to Russia via Korea, where he will travel overland across Russia, through Eastern and Western Europe and on to his mother’s birthplace in Bishop Auckland, England.

Patricia Brown immigrated to New Zealand in 1963. Paul then moved her to the Sunshine Coast in 2005 after her condition deteriorated and there were concerns for her safety.

“Towards the end of her life, my mum spoke a lot of England. She missed England, and asked me to take her home,” Paul said.

You can follow Paul’s trip and find out how to donate on his website: theridetoremember.com

To organise photography or for more information about the Ride to Remember, contact Paul on 0402 079 476. For more information about Neuroscience Research Australia, contact Jacqui Hayes at the NeuRA media office on 0406 599 569 or on j.hayes@neura.edu.au

Schedule for the route Ride to Remember:

April 4: Sunshine Coast to Rockhampton via Gladstone
April 5: Rockhampton to Emerald
April 6: Emerald to Longreach
April 7: Longreach to McKinlay
April 8: McKinlay to Mt Isa
April 9: Rest Day in Mt Isa

April 10: Mt Isa to Tennant Creek
April 11: Tennant Creek to Alice Springs
April 12: Alice Springs to Kulgera
April 13: Kelgura to Coober Pedy
April 14: Coober Pedy to Woomera
April 15 Woomera to Adelaide
April 16: Rest Day in Adelaide

April 17: Adelaide to Mt Gambier
April 18: Mt Gambier to Melbourne
April 19: Melbourne to Lake Entrance
April 20: Lake to Canberra
April 21: Canberra to Sydney
April 22: Sydney to Singleton
April 23: Singleton to Armidale
April 24: Armidale to Toowoomba
April 25: Toowomba to Sunshine coast

The bike will then be freighted from the Sunshine Coast to Vladivostok, Russia.