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Local cyclists take part in C2K Charity Bike Ride to give bush kids a fair go

25/June/2021
Some of the cyclists from Innisfail, who will head off this Saturday to take part in the Cairns to Karumba Charity Bike Ride. Absent: Donna Darveniza, Frank Witt, Don Clark, Rhiannon Evans, Kate Ruthof, Jo Sanderson, and Lisa Delany.

A GROUP of cyclists from Innisfail and Mission Beach will participate in the Cairns to Karumba Charity Bike Ride from June 26 to July 2, where they will join around 195 other riders, and cover an epic 780 kilometres over seven days.

Most of the riders are part of Innisfail Bicycle User Group (BUG) who take part in regular social rides around the region.​

​Frank Witt is the volunteer truck driver, whilst Kathy Darveniza, Sue Pattison, Don Clark, Rhiannon Evans, and Lisa Delany, are part of the support crew.

Riders from Innisfail and Mission Beach are Narelle Clark, Pat Vallance, John Darveniza, Donna Darveniza, Kate Ruthof, and Jo Sanderson.

First timers of C2K are Mark del Aguila, Tracy Darveniza, John Toogood, and Jo Sanderson, with Lyndell Ghietti to do her second ride, whilst the most experienced is Tony Pattison, with 13 rides.

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The C2K Bike Ride has been running for 24 years and has provided disadvantaged children with educational opportunities, as well as connecting kids who live in remote areas of North Queensland.​

The ride is divided into two parts, a 780km road and a dirt ride and will see riders travel through spectacular rainforest, mountains, and dry savannah countryside. ​

A mobile kitchen travels along with the ride providing three meals a day and is being run by Navy volunteers.

Most people are camping, and there are two new camp sites at Tolga Turf Club and Mount Garnet Traveller’s Park.

Riders rise at 5:00am, then breakfast at 7:00am, before hitting the road, with the road riders averaging more than 100kms per day, and the dirt riders 60 – 80kms.​

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The road ride is divided into packs, based on speed, with escort vehicles to safely move traffic around the cyclists, and over 60 dedicated volunteers to help make the ride run smoothly. ​

A highlight of the ride is at Croydon, where cyclists will race the Gulflander train to Normanton. 

Despite some shady tactics from the local police at Black Bull Siding to delay the train, so far, pedal power has prevailed 4 – 1.

Since 1997, the event has raised $1,145,000 and most of the funds go to the Cairns School of Distance Education, supporting the School of the Air, and P & C Associations of the small schools along the route, including Mount Garnet, Mount Surprise, Georgetown, Normanton, Karumba, and Croydon.

Innisfail BUG, which currently has over 40 members, aged from 13 to early 80s, of all abilities, is particularly looking for members to join their slow group. 

The group advocates for safe cycling and alerts the local council on road hazards and signage, promoting safe sharing of the road with motorists.

Membership is $20 per person or $30 for a family, which enables riders to take part in rides around the region with a group.

Members ride as part of a group three times a week, completing different routes throughout the region, including Flying Fish Point, Etty Bay, South Johnstone, Garradunga, Fallon and Kirk Roads, Mourilyan Harbour, and Coquette Point.

Interested riders can join Innisfail BUG Cyclists Facebook group, or, to find out more information, send an email to innisfailBUG@gmail.com, or contact Activities Officer, Sue Pattison, on 0472 917 339.

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