PETITE postie bikes lined up at the National Motor Racing Museum at Mount Panorama this week could have been seen as sacrilege.
But the bikes – and their riders – were in Bathurst for a good reason: to raise funds for the fight against prostate cancer.
The riders were with the Male Bag Foundation, which organises a trip on postie bikes each year to raise money for Transperineal Biopsy Machines and care services for regional hospitals.
Male Bag Foundation chairman Robert Glover said the foundation has raised funds for the machines and services in a number of hospitals in regional Victoria over the years and a country hospital in NSW will be the beneficiary this year, though the final decision won’t be made for some time.
“We picked NSW this year [for the ride] because of the drought and because of the pressure on farmers and rural NSW,” he said.
He said the Transperineal Biopsy Machine tests for prostate cancer through the skin, rather than the traditional, more awkward way, which has a risk of infection.
Mr Glover said “100 per cent” of the money raised by the Male Bag Foundation is used for prostate-related services in the country and we are “very, very proud of that”.
The foundation’s patron is prostate cancer survivor and former AFL player and coach David Parkin, who took part in his first postie bike ride with the group in 2013 on learner plates.
He said men were, too often, “bloody hopeless” at looking after their health.
“They don’t go [and get tested], they don’t care,” he said. “By the time something is wrong, it’s too late.”
Deputy mayor Bobby Bourke was at the motor racing museum to greet the riders.
“You can’t have too much awareness about prostate cancer,” he said.
He and fellow councillor Ian North set a record at Mount Panorama in 2010 for the longest chain of neckties in order to raise awareness about men’s health.
He said men thinking about getting tested for prostate cancer should stop procrastinating.
“While you are reading this [article] over breakfast, make the decision to go and do something about it,” he said.
This year’s Male Bag Ride started in Melbourne and will end in the same city this Sunday, having travelled through regional Victoria and NSW.