Samuel Rauert is an avid cyclist who impressively volunteered and participated in the Great Victorian Bike Ride 2013 to complete his Duke of Ed Gold Award. The current VCE King’s College student has now completed all three levels of his Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Tell us about your experience with the Great Victorian Bike Ride?

For my residential project I was a route marshal in the 2013 Great Victorian Bike Ride. I enjoyed being able to ride the course as well as fulfilling my volunteer duties. The route marshals would be the first riders out each day, leaving early in the morning, riding to our assigned location where we directed every last rider and were then one of the last in.
Each day you were paired in groups of at least two, depending on the difficulty of the station. We were well looked after having our tents set up and packed down for us each day, food provided and no queues to wait in. I really enjoyed getting the chance to ride the course each day as well as marshalling.

What were the highlights and challenges?

I gained confidence in my leadership towards others from the point of being so young compared to everyone else. Many people were very thankful of our work and it was good to have our efforts recognised. I enjoyed meeting new people each night for tea and then seeing them on the road the following days. It was great making new friends with other marshals and riders.

On day six, I was assigned the trickiest intersection of the route, a three way intersection where riders had to cross over each other’s to get in and out of a rest area. I and one other marshal worked to coordinate the traffic of riders coming in and out of the rest area. I received a lot of praise from riders, volunteers and event organisers on this day. I had controlled the intersection to perfection. I was friendly and encouraging towards the riders, but also firm and commanding to keep the intersection running as smoothly as possible.

Samuel organised a mountain biking camp to enhance his skills. His undertook this camp for the Adventurous journey component of his Gold Award.

Share your experiences about the camp?

Getting the camp going firstly was a challenge, it was rebooked 3 or 4 times due to a heat wave giving the town (Forest) 40 degree temperatures. We stayed at the Wonky Stables, and went out to the trails each day, coming back for lunch and then going out again. We also did some geocaching and went swimming in the lake. On the second last day I crashed and went over the handlebars and in the process bent my derailleur hanger, giving me all sorts of grief with the gears.

How has the Duke of Edinburgh Awards benefited you?

I have learnt from many experiences which I wouldn’t have tried without Duke of Ed. I now take every opportunity that comes my way. I have become a very confident and capable leader throughout secondary school and was college vice-captain and Knox house captain at my school. These learning experiences have been invaluable.

Samuel continues cycling and believes it is important to continue the activities you begin with the award. The graduating student hopes to pursue a career in the design field, preferably graphic design. He is one of the many great participants receiving their Gold Award next month at Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award Gala.

Check out the event here.

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