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June 6, 2013 www.defence.gov.au/news/NAVYNEWS
CPL Max Bree
THE 2013 Long Ride was more than
just an opportunity for LCDR Ray
Arthurs, of HMAS Stirling, to take his
Suzuki KL650 V-Strom for a long haul.
It was a chance for him and his wife
Naomi to have the adventure of a life-
time and celebrate their first wedding
anniversary under the stars at Uluru.
It also enabled Naomi to fulfil a
promise to her father and scatter his
ashes in the sea near Ceduna.
“His lifelong wish was to cross the
Nullarbor,” Mrs Arthurs said.
FSGT Will Gibson joined LCDR
Arthurs and Naomi on the journey from
Perth to Cairns across the Nullarbor to
raise money for prostate cancer.
About 120 Defence riders were
part of a 400-strong contingent that
rode from cities and towns all over the
country and converged in Cairns on
The riders raised about $240,000
for the Prostate Cancer Foundation
of which almost $82,000 came from
Defence personnel and public servants.
A relative newcomer to motorcy-
cling, LCDR Arthurs said the trip was
“I wasn’t bored at all,” LCDR
Arthurs said. “A lot of people ques-
tioned the accommodation and comfort
but it was absolutely not a problem.
“That’s probably a testament to hav-
ing a motorcycle that is comfortable to
The three covered more than
6000km during the trip, riding more
than 920km in 11 hours on the first day.
“I was a lot more alert than I would
have been driving the same distance in a
car,” LCDR Arthurs said.
LCDR Arthurs and his wife raised
just over $2000 between them.
“I have a few friends and family that
have been touched by prostate cancer
so I thought it was a damn good cause,”
“Prostate cancer is the most com-
mon cancer diagnosed in Australia
today. One in eight men will be diag-
nosed with it.
“To put that in perspective, there are
56,529 military members and 86 per
cent of them are male and there are
23,209 Defence APS staff of which 59
per cent are male. About 8000 of those
men will be diagnosed with prostate
Rather than rolling out swags on the
side of the road like many of the civil-
ians in the contingent did, staying in
a motel with a comfortable bed each
night seemed like a good idea to start
each day fresh and ready.
While his wife has been riding a
motorbike for the past four years,
LCDR Arthurs only took it up a year
By comparison, FSGT Gibson is a
veteran having first ridden a motorbike
when he was eight.
When asked why he had decided to
take up motorcycling, LCDR Arthurs
replied, “It was something I wanted to
“I wanted to learn to ride when I
was a teenager but my mum wouldn’t
“Having a wife that really enjoys
motorcycling was a good excuse to get
involved in all the fun.”
He said he would recommend the
trip to anyone thinking of doing some-
“The event is a lot of fun, you meet
some fantastic people and you get to see
a lot of Australia,” LCDR Arthurs said.
The next Long Ride is forecast for
around May 2015 and the destination
up for the
DISTANCES FROM WA
READY TO RIDE: Right, POB
Steve Lambert poses with his bike
before taking part in the Long Ride.
PO Lambert was the only Navy
representative from Melbourne to take
part and made it a family outing when
he, his wife and 11 year-old-son left
Melbourne for Cairns on May 4.
Photo: LSIS Paul McCallum
Day 1: Norseman, WA – 922km
Day 2: Eucla, WA – 714km
Day 3: Kimba, SA – 807km
Day 4: Coober Pedy, SA – 759km
Day 5: Uluru, NT – 704km
Day 6: Alice Springs, NT – 423km
Day 7: Tennant Creek, NT – 493km
Day 8: Mt Isa, Qld – 635km
Day 9: Normanton, Qld – 485km
Day 10: Atherton, Qld – 590km
Day 11: Cairns, Qld – 90km
REST STOP: (L-R) FSGT Will
Gibson, Naomi Arthurs and
LCDR Ray Arthurs stop for
a photo in central Australia
during their Long Ride from
WA to Cairns.
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