Mark engineers his 30th Ride for Sight

Thirty years involved with a charity is a long road, but it’s one that Mark Sage was happy to build. The Cardinia Shire civil engineer is about to embark on his 30th consecutive Lions Ride for Sight.


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This year’s Ride for Sight will be held from Friday March 22 to Sunday March 24 with a ride from Moe to Cowwarr and return, with all money raised going to CERA to fund research into and treatment for eye diseases.

The Ride is supported each year by Lions Clubs across Gippsland and is one of CERA’s longest-running charity events.

The first Lions Ride for Sight in 1994 saw participants cycle from Mallacoota to CERA at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital more than 500km away. This year, the Ride will take place with a 170km trip from Moe to Cowwarr and back.

Back in 1994, Mark worked with former Ride Chairman Ian de Bruyne, who is also riding in his 30th Lions Ride for Sight this year.

While Ian is a Lions Club of Warragul member, Mark is not – but that didn’t stop him getting involved back in 1994. They were colleagues who rode bikes together after hours for recreation.

“At the beginning, we figured that we could do one day. There was plenty of climbing and descending, and day one was 167km from Mallacoota to Newmerella, near Orbost. That was going to be a good challenge,” says Mark.

“It was a long day in the saddle, but the next two days was about 130km each. How doable was that? We were going to find out.

“It was a big outing. I was young and foolish then. I just got on my bike and pedalled. It was all brawn and no brains, spinning up the road for kilometre after kilometre.”

Mark says the camaraderie on the ride kept him coming back each year.

“It’s a real blast. You get to catch up with people, some you might see through the year once or twice.”

Raring to go: Longtime supporters of the Ride for Sight, Tara Daw and Mark Sage.

Mark says the riders’ philosophy is getting everyone through to the end of the day, which often means sharing resources such as food or equipment.

“They’re a great group of people united by a common interest in a very worthy cause. It’s rewarding to share some laughs and do a little bit of exercise while we’re raising money for a fabulously good cause. It’s a perfect balance, really.

“Over the journey, we’ve had people with varying degrees of impaired vision taking part in the ride.

“It’s been great to pilot a tandem bike sometimes to support their efforts to join the ride and the fundraising.”

Mark began training in recent weeks, with Pilates to stretch his muscles, indoor exercise bike classes to get his legs moving and free weights to build endurance.

“I have an office job, so I’m not out on the road doing kilometre after kilometre. It’s more targeted, intense training to get me in suitable condition to complete the Ride,” he says.

“I have been to the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, and I’ve seen the great work CERA does.”

Mark is raring to go for the 2024 Ride for Sight and to support the CERA’s research towards ending preventable blindness.

How can I help?

There are two ways you can support the Lions Ride for Sight.

Participants can enter the ride itself from March 22 to 24 with a $70 entry fee. They must raise a minimum of $400 in sponsorship.

Or, riders can enter the Ride with a Difference, where riders pay $30 to enter and nominate the number of kilometres they aim to ride anywhere across the month of March to raise a minimum of $250 in sponsorship.

Riders will meet at the Moe Community Groups Hub at 4pm on Friday, 22 March, enjoy a group dinner at participants’ cost and an after-dinner presentation from CERA on its work. They ride for Cowwarr on Saturday morning and return Sunday afternoon.

Lions Clubs from Moe, Heyfield and Latrobe Wellington (Toongabbie) provide all other meals, with other clubs and volunteers assisting.

To join the Ride for Sight or Ride with a Difference, or to support the riders, details are available on the event’s Raisley page.

For enquiries, or to volunteer to assist the ride, email paul.drinkwater@aussiebroadband.com.au or phone Paul on 0450 260 679.


Media enquiries: Jamie Duncan, Ride for Sight Media Coordinator – 0417 377 617, JDwritesalot@gmail.com

Join the Ride

Contribute to raising funds for research to achieve the goal of a world-free from vision loss and blindness.

Donate to support those doing the ride or sign up to participate yourself.

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