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Spirit of the Ride Award

‘Spirit of the Ride’ Award – In memory of Geoff Rasmussen

In 2017, the Hawaiian Ride for Youth Organising Committee unveiled a new honour, the ‘Spirit of the Ride’ Award – in memory of Geoff Rasmussen.

The Award is presented to a first-year rider who most exemplifies the attributes and example set by the late Geoff Rasmussen in capturing the spirit of this iconic event.

Criteria include:

  • An outstanding training attendance record
  • Improvement in strength and endurance over the course of the training program
  • Commitment to the fundraising objectives of the Ride
  • Positive engagement with other riders

Click here to see who the nominees for this year are.

About Geoff Rasmussen

Geoff – rider #190 (2012 and 2014) – was a larger than life personality, a big man with a big heart. But more importantly, he exemplified the whole-hearted engagement of a new rider in the Hawaiian Ride for Youth. Not only did he commit himself 100 per cent to the training program, he enthusiastically engaged with all aspects of the Ride; the camaraderie of the peloton, the Youth Focus cause and message, and the fund-raising goals.

Geoff started his journey as a rider at the 2011 Hawaiian Ride for Youth welcome home ceremony in Kings Park. At the time, Geoff was the Chairman of the Youth Focus Board and, perhaps overwhelmed by the occasion, stated in public that he was going to complete the Ride the following year. This was going to be a challenge – Geoff was a big man and at the time more than a little overweight. He didn’t have a bike. Lycra wasn’t just absent from his wardrobe, it was in all likelihood beyond consideration!

Geoff tackled training with a passion. Riders of the time will well remember his voluminous mountain bike shorts. He wasn’t to be daunted by the challenge. He rarely missed a training session and as the weeks rolled by, the kilos fell off and the fitness and strength multiplied. It wasn’t too long before he converted to Lycra and didn’t look out of place. After six months of training leading up to the Ride, Geoff had become a genuinely strong rider. The road held no fears for ‘Rastus’.

Clearly, Geoff came to the Ride with a strong understanding of Youth Focus’ mission and the importance of its work. He had been a Board Member since 2003 and Chair since 2008. He clearly embraced and enjoyed engaging with the young people at all the school presentations.

Geoff was also an enthusiastic and generous fundraiser; the Azure Capital team raised $196,560 over the 2012 and 2014 Rides that Geoff participated in.

Geoff not only embraced the Ride personally, he recruited a significant number of other riders in 2012 and many of them continue with the Ride today. At training and on the Ride he was easy-going and fun to be around.