By Sheree Hoddinett
When Ted Bakke sets his mind to something, it seems he becomes very determined to make it happen. His current mission is to break the Australian record for the longest convoy of mobility scooters and on Monday October 3 (which just happens to be a public holiday), that could very well become a reality. Ted’s Wheelie Challenge will get rolling from Deception Bay Library and travel through to the PCYC with all wheelies not only welcome, but very much encouraged to join in. Although the current record is sitting at 126, Ted is hoping to well and truly break it.
For Ted, getting around on his mobility scooter has become part of his life since a change in his eyesight meant he could no longer drive a car. The idea to break the record was initiated after a friend mentioned to him a long time ago about a mobility scooter run he had been a part of. Ted liked the idea and saw the potential to make something happen locally.
“I thought that’s a really good idea and it could work,” Ted says. “I lost my wife a few years ago and because my eyes weren’t 100% anymore I also couldn’t drive, so I decided to get myself a mobility scooter. So, I thought I’m going to have a go at this record and started planning, then of course Covid kicked in and it all went by the wayside. Now we’re back on track and going ahead with it. We’re hoping to have 130-140 mobility scooters running down the street.”
With interest coming in from across the region and even further afield, it seems the advertising from Ted’s mate John is starting to be noticed.
“John has a big banner on the back of his scooter, which we were fortunate to have made for us and he’s been travelling around Deception Bay and even all the way down to Redcliffe,” Ted says. “I’ve even had a phone call from a guy in the Glasshouse Mountains with four mobility scooters, so he’s interested in being a part of it all. That’s what we want, people who are keen to give it a go and have a bit of fun as well.”
When Ted first started researching for his plan, he discovered the Australian record from 2010 was 126 mobility scooters
“I’m hoping for 130. If I come under that I’ll just go do it all again next year. I’m just going to keep trying until I break it,” he says. “I’m a bit like Thomas the Tank Engine, I think I can, I know I can, I just keep going until I make something happen.”
For those who may have met Ted, they would know he has a cheeky sense of humour and he’s a true Aussie larrikin with a can-do attitude. He’s also very much a handy man. He used to fix lawnmowers and now makes different structures or objects to keep himself busy, including a guitar in the shape of a pizza and an old wheel hanging in the kitchen holding pots and pans.
“Nothing perturbs me at all,” he says. “I like to have a joke and a laugh and just get on with life.”
For anyone questioning whether the record attempt is all above board, Ted wants to reassure everyone, it’s all being done properly. He’s even spoken to local councillors, Sandra Ruck and politicians, Chris Whiting and Luke Howarth, about coming on board.
“We have to have the hierarchy to make sure we do it all correctly, cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s,” Ted says. “Each person, before they leave the library on their mobility scooter, need to leave their details (name and phone number) as confirmation they’re part of it and all that will go with all the official paperwork we submit.”
With shirts being made for the day, a barbecue on the menu following the record attempt and many other helping hands involved, Ted is grateful for the support and assistance he has already seen from others in and around the community. A big nod also goes to The Plumbdogs for their support.
“It’s all free to be a part of but we have so many people helping us out and taking care of so many things,” he says. “Pride Mobility Products Australia did up posters for us for nothing. Rehab and Mobility have donated a hamper for scooters with bits and pieces including covers. Debbie Gee’s going to help out if someone breaks down and we’ll have a few others helping out with that as well. We also have Bob, Ted’s mate, cooking sausages. I’ve got everything covered.”
One lucky participant will also win a brand-new Pride Pathrider 10 in a kindly donated scooter giveaway. For further information about the upcoming record attempt, contact Ted on 0458 955 170.