1992 – 1st Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Triathlon held at La Perouse. The GLBT sporting culture is developing in Sydney. Sydney Spokes collaborates with other sporting groups to host this event.
1993 – 2nd Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Triathlon held at St. George Sailing Club in Sans Souci/Georges River. Sydney Spokes collaborates with other sporting groups to host this event.
1993 & 1994 – Red Ribbon Rides
The Red Ribbon Ride was part of the Mardi Gras sporting calendar in 1993 & then again in 1994. Ex-President Brett Heil was the organiser of these huge events. The 2 Red Ribbon Rides raised more than $80,000 for the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation & Spokes became its largest fundraiser.
The Red Ribbon Ride was a major event. Cyclists rallied at 6am at Moore Park before ridding out to La Perouse & back. Marshalls directed & cheered riders along the ride route. There was fan fare as each cyclist rode under the finish-line banner at Moore Park.
1993 Red Ribbon Ride – photo of the crowd. Many people are wearing the limited edition RRR T-shirts
Red Ribbon Ride cyclists were then served a glass of champagne & a fully cooked gourmet breakfast in a big marquee tent. Breakfast was catered by the impeccably groomed Park Hyatt chefs & waiters. Riders enjoyed silver cutlery, serviettes & china crockery. Channel 9 & SBS covered the event.
Most cyclists on the ride were wearing a Red Ribbon Ride T-shirt. The format of the event for both 1993 & ’94 was very similar but the artwork for the ’94 ride T-shirt was better & better.
The Red Ribbon Rides were polished & professional. Their unqualifiable success was attributable to the vision & organisational efforts of Brett H & Frank Howarth. Leo Schofield involvement with Sydney Spokes facilitated the participation of the Park Hyatt in this important fund raiser for people living with AIDS. The events were also tremendously successful in raising Sydney Spokes’ profile. In 1993/1994 everyone in the Gay & Lesbian community knew who Sydney Spokes was.
In 2009 Brett H recalls: “Although it was my idea and Frank and Leo helped enormously in the management capacity, the tireless support of so many Spokes members galvanized the club like nothing I had seen before or since.”
1994 - Incorporation as a Club
Sydney Spokes was incorporated on 21.09.1994. This was a priority for President Ken Ryan because incorporation was a prerequisite for opening a bank account & also taking out insurance to protect ride leaders. Prior to this time the club accounts had been maintained in a biscuit tin.
Brett H & Frank Howarth had gone to the 1990 Vancouver Gay Games. There was a plan for Sydney to host the 1998 Gaymes & Spokes would conduct cycling events. Incorporation of the club was also a prerequisite for membership of the NSW Cycling Federation & therefore official recognition of Gay Games race records.
1994 – Arrival of the Spokes Ride to Fair Day was listed on the Mardi Gras Fair Day Program.
1994 – Mardi Gras Parade – Foreplay
Spokes was invited by the Mardi Gras Parade Director to entertain the crowds before the Parade started. He devised the theme of ‘Chiming Cyclists’ and Mardi Gras paid for the bike decorations.
Spokes 1994 Parade Foreplay, ‘Chiming Cyclists’
1995 - Mardi Gras Parade Prize – Most Outstanding Foreplay
Mardi Gras again invited Spokes to entertain the crowds. In honour of our friends who had died of AIDS, Spokes chose the theme of ‘Spirits of the Night’ and mounted masks on the 30 bikes who rode theParade Route to the Funeral March from Philip Glass’ opera Akhnaten.
Spokes getting ready for the prizewinning 1995 Foreplay
Receiving award for Most Outstanding Foreplay
at 1995 Mardi Gras Awards night,
Sydney Town Hall (Ken Ryan, Kate Rowe)
1995 - Sydney Spokes joined the NSW Bicycling Federation. The Federation was willing to help Spokes run the Gay Games races if Sydney won the bid for the 1998 Gay Games.
1995 - 1st design of the Spokes Jersey becomes available. Featuring 3 wide, vertical bands & the feminist colours of green, white & violet.
Spokes’ Official NSW Cycling Federation Jersey
(David Smith, Robert M, Kate Rowe & Phillip H)
1996 - Team Sydney Gaymes Cycling Races (part of the Mardi Gras Festival, February)
Start of the men's cross country race,
1996 Gaymes, Heffron Park
1996 - Spokes Parade Entry - ‘Aussie Icons’
1996 Mardi Gras Parade float "Aussie Icons"
1996 Mardi Gras Parade float "Aussie Icons"
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