Bikes and bulldogs! Oxymoron? Not exactly… Dr. Carley, a veterinary cardiologist and Jason, the Social Cyclist, are combining their passions of cycling, pets and digital media to help some very special dogs of Los Angeles with a 1000 km biking adventure in Australia. While no bulldogs will be riding bikes, Carley and Jason will travel by bike only from the Gold Coast of Australia to Sydney not only for fitness but also for the rescue pets of LA. Dr. Carley loves to rescue English bulldogs and obtained her latest rescue bulldog, Burton from Roadogs rescue. Both she and Jason couldn’t imagine life without Burton and want to give back to Roadogs, who they will forever be grateful to. Roadogs is a rescue organization that works primarily with bulldogs and other brachycephalic (smush-faced) dogs, many with incredible special needs. They go the extra mile and have the hope when others might fall short. Like, Roadogs, Friends of Milo Foundation is another rescue organization in LA that goes the extra mile and has the same motto of hope. The similarities between the organizations are striking. Given the similarities and beliefs, Dr. Carley and the Social Cyclist would like to truly go the extra miles and ride for both organizations. This 1000 km adventure will begin in November 2016 and take place in 11 stages as noted below in approximately two weeks time. The adventure will be documented on this website, social media and daily Vlogged on the Social Cyclist’s youtube channel. You can also follow the ride live or join in here...
The Social Cyclist, Jason Beale, is a passionate cyclist and a loving owner of a rescue dog. In his free time he competitively races road bikes. His Roadog rescue bulldog Burton is usually a spectator. In addition to cycling Jason works in the Film business and has worked on films from Avatar, Mission Impossible to Captain America. During this journey he will be making a vlog style documentary to update donors while out on the road. You will also be able to follow our journey via his strava cycling page or youtube @ socialcyclist and Live
STAGE 1 - Surfer’s Paradise to Byron Bay 109.1 km
We will leave home base in the heart of the Gold Coast and encounter wildlife quickly on the journey. David Fleay Wildlife Park, on Tallebudgera Creek near Burleigh Head is home to some of Australia's most iconic wildlife - crocodiles, koalas, emus, brolgas, dingoes, dunnarts, bilbies, kangaroos and platypus. After 99.8 km, we will stop for the night in Byron Bay, the most Eastern part of the Australian coastline. Byron Bay offers a quaint coastal village with shops and excellent opportunities to whale watch. If we can’t see whales from the shoreline, we will check out the smaller fish underwater with some snorkeling. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16721047
STAGE 2 - Byron Bay to Yamba 130.1 km
Heading south towards Yamba, we will stop at two national parks – Broadwater national park and Bundjalung national park, both noted for whale watching. We will look for whales for a while to catch a little rest on this lengthy second stage ending in Yamba, New South Wales. Yamba is a sleepy beach community that had media press in 2007 due to an abundance of sea foam. The town has a relaxed lifestyle with access to two pubs and two clubs. Yamba is also known for whale watching and tons of dolphins. So after we hit up the 2 pubs and clubs, we may be so tired from the long ride and pub/club scene that we end up resting in a sandy bed of seafoam. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16721482
STAGE 3 - Yamba to Woolgoolga 149.2 km
It’s a long one…. And we will now be a third of the way through our bike tour on day 3! We aren’t quite following the recommended 40-60 miles per day, even a little lighter on the miles in the first few days. We will take a short break in Yuraygir National park to see some more whales and surf. This 148 km stretch will end in Woolgoolga, which is known for banana plantations and blueberry farms. After this longest leg of the journey, blueberries and bananas may not cut it. The Seaview Tavern, also known as The Fountain on the Mountain, is the only pub and will have to supplement the fruit. We will probably call it an early night given the distance traveled. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16721813
STAGE 4 - Woolgoolga to Sawtell 41.2 km
A short ride to Sawtell will leave more time on foot than on bike. We will have a recovery ride and relax along the way at Coff’s Harbour, another banana plantation city. Besides bananas, Coff’s Harbour has a small natural reef to explore via snorkel. Just a few more km south, we will end up at our destination for the day in Sawtell. Lined by 100-year-old fig trees, the village is a delightful mix of cafes and restaurants, a restored Art Deco cinema and boutiques. We will stop by Bongil Bongil national park, which is known for its large population of koalas. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16722368
STAGE 5 - Sawtell to Scotts Head 70.5 km
Half way! A shorter stage allows for two scenic stops. Captain Cook's lookout is located beneath the Smoky Cape lighthouse near Kempsey on the north coast of NSW. Just south we will stop at Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) national park for some kayaking. This shorter stage will conclude in Scotts Head, New South Wales, another small coastal community. The beach is popular with surfers, offers a picturesque landscape, well known right handed breaks, frequently visited by dolphins and is on the whale migratory route. The best part of this beach town is its very own dog beach park! We will be sure to get some footage of the local dogs enjoying the beach lifestyle. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16722602
STAGE 6 - Scotts Head to Port Macquarie 104.9 km
Before hopping on the ferry in Port Macquarie, we will take a quick look at the lighthouse of Hat Head National Park on the mid-north coast of NSW near South West Rocks. We will also explore Port Macquarie and visit the spectacular Glasshouse building set right in the heart of Port's vibrant riverside city centre. The Glasshouse building is large theater and performing arts center.
STAGE 7 - Port Macquarie to Old Bar 97.6 km
After the ferry ride, we will arrive at yet another coastal national park – we will stop in Crowdy Bay national park to relax on the beach before the last 1/3 of our journey! This 97 km stage will conclude in Old Bar, New South Wales. Old Bar has a number of businesses and restaurants. It is a tourist town, known for surfing, fishing by river, beach or rocks and various watersports. We will relax in the evening at the Taree Old Bar Surf Life Saving Club which boasts the best views in town with its classic Vic Rushby bar.
STAGE 8 - Old Bar to Blueys beach 64.3 km
This super scenic route will help us finish with ease. Right next to Forster, Booti Booti national park is comprised of an 8 km peninsula between the ocean and a lake, complete with pristine beaches and rainforests. This shorter scenic stage will conclude in Blueys Beach of Pacific Palms, New South Wales. A major attraction for visitors is the Green Cathedral at the north end of Pacific Palms. This outdoor Cathedral is within in a cabbage tree forest overlooking Wallis Lake.
STAGE 9 - Blueys beach to Raymond Terrace 121.9 km
Breakfast will be served before this longer, 117 km stage at the Twenty by Twelve café, which is a local, breakfast joint for cyclists and surfers. After breakfast, the beachfront scenery continues! This longer stage will go by quickly with an oceanfront view for more than half of the stage. We hope to get even closer to the water’s edge by taking kayaks in Tomaree national park to Point Stephens Lighthouse on Fingal Island to explore the lighthouse and historic ruins. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16723157
STAGE 10 - Raymond Terrace to Ettalong beach 142.1 km
The second to last stage – we are getting close with another fairly lengthy stage. We will take an early stop at Newcastle to prepare for the city life in Sydney. The Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales. If our legs are holding strong, we may take the recently completed ANZAC Walk – a zigzag pathway to the ocean.
STAGE 11 - Ettalong beach to Sydney 50 km
The grand finale!!! We are on our way to Sydney with only 50 km to cover! This super scenic coastal stretch will allow for constant ocean views and 3 ferry rides (ferry at Brooker Bay road to ferry at Palm Beach to ferry at North Sydney Olympic pool). We will gratefully complete this journey in the heart of Sydney, spending a long weekend in the city before venturing back to our roadog, Burton in Los Angeles. Live track for Route
ROAD DOGS RESCUE
Road Dogs & Rescue was founded by bulldog-loving Brit, Nikki Carvey. She started volunteering for an organization called Ace of Hearts over 10 years ago. They rescue a lot of American Bulldogs and she had a Pit Bull and an American Bulldog at the time. When her Pit Bull, Vinny died, she rescued English Bulldog, Huxley aka Bukowski aka Grumplestiltskin! She wasn’t planning on keeping him but he made her laugh so much she foster failed. Huxley cemented her commitment to rescuing bulldogs.
WHY BULL DOGS:
Because although they are ‘cute’ and expensive, many wind up in the shelters or unwanted because people do not realize how expensive they can be to maintain. Eye issues, skin issues, joint issues – you name it, bulldogs get it. They are the Lovable Lemons of the canine world!
FRIENDS OF MILO FOUNDATION
Back in 2002 I was looking for a very tiny chihuahua to adopt as part of our family. I answered an ad and was told that a local rescue group had gotten a 2 lb chihuahua out of the shelter and were having difficulty placing him because he was a bit "snappy". I was not concerned and was eager to meet him. I arrived at the vet clinic where he was being boarded and filled out all the necessary paperwork and they took my empty carrier in the back. When they came out, the carrier was rattling and shaking with the fear of the dog inside and when i looked, it was not a 2 lb chihuahua but a 7 or 8 lb mix. Im sure my disappointment showed, but the dog was so terrified I didnt have the heart to say no. As we were leaving the receptionist called out, "Ma'am you cant touch that dog at all." So i drove off feeling very apprehensive and disappointed with my terrified new friend. I looked over and said hello and he snarled. I got back to work and everyone was eager to meet the tiny guy and could not understand why I accepted this snarling little dog who was not what I was looking for. I put him in a large cage with the carrier and he huddled inside. He would come out and accept tasty treats from my hand, but if i tried putting my hand out without food I was met with growl and teeth bared. After 5 days I was losing hope and wondering what I was going to do with this guy. Suddenly he started barking!! I went in and it apperared he wanted to come out, so I opened the cage and he stepped out. I decided to brave putting a leash on and we walked outside. Suddenly I decided this was it, he was my dog and he was going to love me, and i scooped him up under one arm. He seemed to accept it. I took him home that night, where he promptly bit my husband. Everyday he seemed more comfortable with us and us with him.
Milo loved my husband and I with all his heart, but he never took to anyone else. He would let people do things for him that he liked such as throw a ball, but then he would bite if they attempted anything more. He was quite a character with some quirky little ways, but we loved him all the more for it. In 2014, he was diagnosed with a tumor in the wall of his stomach, and we lost him in 2015. Milo was such a special little man, whose love meant all the more to us because we had to win it, he did not give it readily like so many dogs. I cant imagine what happened to him so early in life to make him so untrusting of people. We will miss our little man forever. When I had the opportunity this year to start my own non-profit, I thought it a great way to honor him. RIP MILO you are forever in our hearts.-Melissa and Chris Leister