"A good day is when you don't get hit by a car, chased by a dog or get a puncture."
That's Port Macquarie local Bill Webber's cycling philosophy.
The 81-year-old has just completed a solo fundraising cycle and kayak paddle to raise much-needed funds for dementia research.
The fundraiser consisted of a 500 kilometre bike ride and 100 kilometres worth of kayak paddling and was spurred on by Bill's older brother George's dementia diagnosis.
"I started the ride on Friday, September 3, in Port Macquarie before having Saturday off and continuing on Sunday through until Tuesday when I reached Tweed Heads," Bill said.
"I was averaging between 125 to 130 kilometres each day."
The ride was organised to coincide with George's 90th birthday.
"George is currently residing and being cared for in a residential facility on the Gold Coast, but unfortunately we weren't able to see each other because of the border closure."
Bill completed the 100 kilometres of kayak paddling locally and was given the green light to complete the bike ride along the Pacific Highway by NSW Health.
Although the ride was completed solo, Bill did have the continuous support of his wife Caroline along the way.
"Thank goodness for Caroline, I couldn't have done it without her.
"She was my road crew, masseur, tea lady and much more."
Bill has raised $11,444 for Dementia Australia. His fundraising page will remain open until the end of the month which will coincide with Dementia Awareness Week (September 21-26).
"We associate dementia with age, but it can also impact younger people and there are even children who have it," Bill said.
"It's pretty scary and there is no cure which is what hurts. But with efforts being made to research the disease, hopefully down the track there will be a cure."
Bill said that in 2016 and 2017 dementia was the leading cause of death in Australia for women and the second for men.
"I think research into dementia and trying to find a cure is something we need to work harder at. It impacts a large number of people and their loved ones," he said.
"There is so much more that needs to be done and fundraising for Dementia Australia is just one small way to help out."
Bill said spending time alone on the ride gave him plenty of time to think and his thoughts always circled back to George and the sadness of not having a cure for dementia.
He said it's only through public donations that vital research will continue.
"It does feel good to have completed the ride and paddle. We gave it our best shot, but I always feel like there is more that I could have done.
"It's not going to be enough until we have a cure."
Locals can read more about Bill's ride and donate through his fundraising page.
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