MEET BRAD MCGEE
31 OCTOBER 2023
Brad McGee is a celebrated Australian Olympic Cyclist, Coach, Athlete and Mentor who has been involved with the MS Gong Ride for more than 20 years - the last 10 as an MS Gong Ride Ambassador.
Brad first participated in the Gong as a laugh with his then girlfriend (now wife) when they completed the ride on a Tandem Bike!
“It was such a memorable day!” Brad laughs.
“The tandem was tricky to handle on undulations which made the ride tough, especially as this was well before the fancy new bridge was built around Seacliff. We found our rhythm along the flat section around Botany Bay, before courageously navigating the national park. An extended stop to load up on apple pie and coffee helped us through the lumps of Seacliff, which were the toughest (those undulations)! We finally worked out a way to ‘get out of the seat’ in unison which ensured a relatively easy finish.”
“What a way to move from childhood sweethearts to lifelong partners,” says Brad. “Ride the MS Gong Ride on a tandem!”
That was Brad’s first memory of the Gong, but what keeps him coming back?
“It’s an amazing, iconic ride in my own backyard,” says Brad. “I love rolling off that start line! Not only are there big waves of people coming together, but the diversity of people and bikes is always fun to see! I’m inspired by the riders that literally grab their bikes from the garage, pump up the tyres and off they go! I wouldn’t normally consider those bikes as great vehicles to ride from Sydney to Wollongong, but somehow, they courageously take it on. That coming together at the start line - that’s a huge part of the Gong experience for me. It’s good fun.”
“The other major part of the Gong for me, is coming out of the National Park at the top of the hill to that vista all the way down to Wollongong. You can practically feel the finish! Of course, there’s a few more lumps to get over, but it’s a great stop as lot of groups are reforming and waiting for their mates to catch up. That’s a great moment.”
This year, Brad is proud to be rekindling the NSWIS team (or the New South Wales Institute of Sport) where he is a High-Performance Coach Adviser, Coach, and athlete. “The team spirit across the event is cool. It brings together, not just the 10,000 riders and participants on the day, but so many more people who are supporting those participants! That’s what we’re looking forward to over here at NSWIS, rekindling that community spirit and making our contribution to an amazing day.”
Brad’s final words of encouragement to anyone thinking about doing the Gong, “Just sign up! As an MS Gong Ride Ambassador, I have seen the real impact of the funds raised which really do go a long way to helping people living with MS and their families. It’s an amazing day and it will be something you lock in year in year out thereafter.”
Keep an eye out for Brad and the NSWIS team on Sunday! No doubt they’ll be a team to beat.