Riding for Dad

“Five years ago, I wouldn’t have said I was a bike rider, but here we are!” So says David Abud, who has cycled hundreds of kilometres to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.

Riding his bike down the country roads of Victoria has been cathartic for David, who has organised a group ride from Ballarat to Horsham for several years, raising over $27,000 for Alzheimer’s Research Australia, formally known as the Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.

David’s father is Dr Rodney Abud, who had been an active member of his community and a well-respected doctor since the 1960s. He helped consolidate the clinical practice in Horsham and was Wimmera Base Hospital’s management board president for many years. He established the Peter James Centre, which provides rehabilitation and aged-care services, and also set up a similar service at Donvale Rehabilitation Hospital.


A Small World

David said his father worked until he was 79 and was diagnosed with dementia at 82.

“It was a bit of a shock,” he said. Sadly, his father deteriorated rapidly and is now in full-time care at a facility in Heidelberg.

David, a Senior Theatre Technician in Melbourne, said, “I have worked with six doctors who have worked with my dad at some stage of their career. It’s a small world, the medical world.”


From Small Rides to Big Money

The seed of the idea to fund-raise by cycling has developed into an annual event, with David leading riders through the beautiful countryside from Ballarat, to Ararat or Hamilton, to a finish line in Horsham – a distance of more than 300kms.

David said the first rides were tough – riding through busy traffic, into the wind, uphill into the finish line — but now they plan their route much more carefully.

“This year we did 135kms on the last day, which was a lot. My father-in-law, who is 77, rode the last 100 km with us.”

Before taking up cycling, David played in the National volleyball team for 10 years, captained the Victoria volleyball team for 10 years, and played high-level AFL football.

“I think about my father a lot when I am riding,” he said.


Thank you David, for all you have done for Alzheimer’s’ Research Australia!