Kate Peck recounts her Rock 'N' Ride adventure!
Earlier this month, MTV’s very own motorbike-mad VJ Kate Peck joined forces with some big names in Aussie music for ‘Rock ‘N’ Ride’ - a race through four states over five gruelling days all in the name of raising awareness for headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation.
IT BEGINS!! We congregate in the lobby bright and bubbly at 6.15am ready to ride - eleven riders taking off from the Goldie including Paul Mac, Phil Jamieson, Jake Stone, Adam Zammit, Chris Joannou and yours truly! Such a motley crew and a true shamozzle of bikes - I’m on a 1700cc Victory Judge. As a team, we’re raising awareness for headspace, a youth mental health service that provides support to people all over Australia.
We are all feeling appropriately dusty from an insane Queensland Big Day Out which left Phil passed out on stage, and have 730kms to cover today. Three hours and 190km later we make it to Warwick headspace. The wonderful crew have graciously prepared a bangin’ breakfast BBQ so we smash some bacon and egg rolls, sign some autographs, tour the building and Phil performs.
Following a stop in Moree, we make it to Coonabarabran by 6.45pm, slightly delirious. High fives all around, today was epic. We eat a horrendous amount of Chinese food and I snuggle up to my computer. Tomorrow will be much the same and I can’t wait!
The morning kicks off at 7am, but sadly Julie Jamieson’s hand is in bad form - her ring finger won’t move therefore neither will her throttle, so she’s sent to the van.
The crew waiting for us at Bathurst is gigantic! We roll in two hours late, drenched by a recent thunderstorm. Phil jumps straight up on decks to bust out my new fav song ‘Passerby’ and we chat, tour and sizzle (sausage). It’s evident the difference these headspace facilities make in their communities and it’s truly fantastic!
Our next headspace meet and greet is at Wagga Wagga and we arrive three hours late, eep! We burn into the park at dusk - it’s simply stunning and there’s a fantastic turn out. So far we have been privy to some extremely talented local musicians performing with headspace and this is no exception!
We arrive at the hotel in Wagga zonked! 680km, 8am – 7pm on the bikes - my knees hurt, my nose is burnt and I’m starting to grow Red Bull wings from excessive consumption! Jake, who split from the pack after a fuel stop a few hours earlier, made it halfway to Melbourne before getting smacked in the face by a magpie at 120km/hr. It shattered his helmet visor and exploded on impact! He arrives in the dark, exhausted.
7am start today. It was a long night of hotel room prank calling from Nathan, Chris and Paul Mac. Such maturity. I’m mortified at the thought of more sausage sizzles, which seem to be the foundation of our daily diet accompanied by Red Bull, Space Food Sticks and beer. First stop is Glen Rowan, 220km away. We hit the town of Ned Kelly, eat a curry pie (so much better than a sausage sizzle, NOT) and head 220km to Bendigo headspace.
Another warm welcome - the town of Bendigo is really rather lovely! Adam does his always-entertaining Rock’n’Ride intro and Phil rocks out with another great tune. The local artists performing are incredible, each with inspiring headspace back stories. One young girl traveled three hours to see us!
We hit the road to Swan Hill. It’s 39 degrees and feels like riding into a fan forced oven. Not our longest day, 625km, but it’s still a bloody long way. We arrive into Swan Hill at 6.30pm, rip our gear off and launch ourselves straight into the pool. Sore shoulders, sore ass, but really I’m not too bad!
Early morning, 6am we aim to leave. Julie is back on the bike today, yippee! We ladies gotta represent. First stop Mildura Supercheap Auto, 222kms. You guessed it, breakfast is a sausage sizzle! We’re back on the bikes after signings heading towards Berri headspace, S.A. for lunch. By this stage we’re all sporting some pretty interesting biker tan lines! The turnout is brilliant, including a band and a BBQ set up on the river. YES. Another. Sausage. Sizzle.
The lovely team at Berri headspace takes us for a tour - they even have a few cheeky sandwiches with green bits in them (we’ve forgotten what lettuce looks like) prepared as they knew about our sausage situation. We sit down to chat about the issues facing the community, including the work they’re doing with indigenous Australians, very inspiring.
Later we head to Murray Bridge headspace. The temperature is pushing 40 and we are all poaching! Poached Peck. Murray Bridge headspace is bursting with people, and we’re only an hour late, which is pretty good for us. They have a hall set up and Adam wastes no time in getting the show started with Phil. We bunk down for the night - tomorrow it’s RADelaide Big Day Out!!! Whooo hooo!!!
It’s our last day! You would think I’d never want to see a motorcycle again but no, I just want to keep going! Perth anyone??
We arrive to a huge welcome party at Adelaide BDO; national news cameras, journalists, photographers, all the right peeps to spread the headspace message! We burn off after a couple of interviews, over to drop Phil Jamieson at the main stage where he literally jumps off the bike and gets straight on stage. He is a freakin’ machine! Most of us can barely walk, and he has to perform to thousands of Adelaide fans for an hour - and sh*t does he do a good job. What a way to end the trip, 2,700km later!
Music is a perfect platform for youth to express themselves and communicate - the connection between Big Day Out, MTV, and the Rock’n’Ride riders couldn’t have been more suitable and I hope we were able to inspire those that we met as much as they inspired us. It’s been one hell of an awesome trip – it was never about the destination, but all about the journey. A HUGE thanks to everyone on the Rock’n’Ride team, it was the experience of a lifetime and I know I’ve made some lifelong friends. I’m thrilled for headspace, and I hope our ride has made a difference. This is just the beginning guys!
Written by Kate Peck