49-YEAR-OLD David Beacham stopped in Port Augusta on Friday March 24, with his bike ride from Perth to Adelaide drawing to a close.
The former infantry soldier is doing the ride to raise money for Help Save our Veterans and Overwatch.
Help Save our Veterans deals with the issue of homeless veterans in Western Australia and David aims to raise $15,000 to build units to accommodate for the victims in Boyup Brook, WA.
Overwatch is an organisation of first line responders, dealing with the prevention of suicide of ex and current defence force members.
David said the plan is to build three single unit blocks, with beds, bathrooms and toilets, as well as a laundry block.
“There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of homeless ex-servicemen; some of them couch surf, some of them live on the streets. It’s quite terrible,” he said.
Remarkably, David had not ridden a bike for over 20 years, but the idea was born over a few drinks with friends at his local RSL, the Eastern Regional RSL in Bassendean, WA.
Originally from Adelaide, David accepted the challenge.
“I had a disastrous first week because I tried to do it all by myself,” he said.
“So I had to go back home again to get organised to start again with a support vehicle to carry all my gear because it was just too heavy.”
I'm a nobody doing something, and it's something quite massive that I thought I'd never do.
Despite admitting that the journey has been a lot harder than he expected, David is surprised to be so close to the finish line.
“Here I am in Port Augusta, 300 kilometres from actually doing it and I’m fat, I smoke and I drink...it’s just insane,” he said.
“This is something I shouldn’t, wouldn’t and couldn’t do, but I did it.”
David’s official arrival in Adelaide will be celebrated at the Torrens Parade Ground in Adelaide on Friday March 31, with the Apex Club of Gawler set to reward him with $1500 upon completion.
Following his 2800 kilometre ride, David leaves for Bassendean on Saturday April 1 by car.
“I’m a nobody doing something, and it’s something quite massive that I thought I’d never do,” he said.
“We need lots of nobodies doing something and it makes this whole world a better place.”
David thanked Peter Bowen, Giant Cannington, the Royal Australian Regiment Infantry Muster, the Royal Australian Regiment Association of SA and his wife and family for all their help and support.
To donate to David’s ride, click here.