Broken bones end charity bike ride

ON THE ROAD: Wayne Porter during The Great Australian Ride. contributed
ON THE ROAD: Wayne Porter during The Great Australian Ride. contributed Mike Garry

WHEN Wayne Porter signed up to ride across Australia to raise funds for SIDS and Kids Queensland, his heart was in the right place. But just eight days into the ride his foot wasn't.

About 40km from the Northern Territory border the Yaroomba communications technician came off his 650cc Suzuki V-Strom. When he looked down his foot was facing the wrong way.

"My boot dug into the ground and twisted my ankle backwards," Wayne said.

"While the adrenalin was there I grabbed my foot and twisted it around. I could feel the bones but with the adrenalin, that's the only time you could do it.

"That allowed me to splint my feet and my legs together."

Wayne was then ferried 150km by four-wheel drive to Boulia over the unsealed track, laughingly called the Plenty Highway.

The Flying Doctor Service flew him first to Mt Isa and then a few days later to Townsville where he had a plate and 11 screws inserted in his ankle.

Wayne said he had just overtaken a four-wheel drive before the accident.

"There was a cattle grid just after I passed him and the road ducked to the right," he said.

"I was carrying too much speed - I went straight ahead."

The only damage to the bike was a cracked right-hand indicator.

The aim of the Great Australian Ride was to travel from Australia's most easterly point, through the heart of the Simpson and the Gibson Deserts to Australia's most westerly point.

Twelve riders set out from Byron Bay in August - 18 days and 7500km later only six riders made it to Steep Point, in Western Australia.

But the riders had raised almost $26,000 for SIDS and Kids Queensland. Wayne personally raised about $3000.

"I had the honour of leading the ride out of Byron Bay from the start because at that time I'd got the most but I said to the guys, 'look, you guys organised this you do it'," he said.

Wayne said despite his injury the ride was a great experience.

"It was cold and it was dusty and it was hot in the day but we all loved every minute of it. It was sensational," he said.

"We're all living on the Coast where we want to be - paradise - and to see the difference in the scenery and what's out there, was the highlight, backed up at the end of the day by camping with like-minded people.

"Also when you're travelling, you're meeting the people in each town and they're all friendly."

SIDS and Kids Queensland is a not-for-profit organisation that provides bereavement support to families who have experienced the sudden and unexpected death of a baby during pregnancy, birth and infancy.

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