Cairns farewells cyclists on a cross-country adventure
Posted on Friday, 20 April, 2012
A GROUP of mad-keen cyclists will take off from Cairns next week on a fundraising adventure that will see some of them pedal their way across Australia.
On Monday morning, 10 riders will start the first leg (Cairns to Mt Isa) of Australia Ride, a three year, 20,000km journey to raise money and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) organised by All Trails Bicycle Tours.
Each cyclist can complete as many legs as they wish out of the eight stages from Cairns to Perth, which will take three months in total. Further stages over the following two years will take in the return journey via the south coast, Tasmania, Red Centre and up the East Coast.
All Trails director Phil McDonald said that with the cyclist ages ranging from early 30’s to early 70’s, the adventure was for anybody who has “always dreamed about riding a bike across Australia”.
“Once you get out in the open plains it’s a great feeling and there’s a lot of camaraderie amongst the guys, all talking flat out and sharing their experiences,” he commented.
Federal MP for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has farewelled riders on previous tours and will meet with this year’s group in Cairns on Monday morning to launch their adventure.
“I think it’s just incredible for these cyclists to take on an adventure like this – they’ll be riding through some fantastic country but there’ll be plenty of dusty roads and sore bums too,” he said.
“And MS is such a terrible disease that affects numerous young people in the Far North, so the fact that these riders will raise tens of thousands of dollars for MS and other charities is fantastic.”
Tour leader Ben Weigl has been taking cycle tours around Australia for five years, and said it was his love of Australia, and being surrounded by people that enjoy a challenge, that inspired him.
“It sounds a little bit clichéd but cyclists, especially those who take on big challenges like this, are always interesting people,” he said.
He added that it was appropriate to be raising money for MS through cycling as many of the funds raised go towards buying wheelchairs for people suffering from the disease.
For more information or to donate in support of MS, click on the link below;