Cy­cling a life-long pas­sion for John

Re­tired coun­cil­lor rides 30km a day

Central and North Burnett Times - - OVER 50S - Shirley Way shirley.way@cnbtimes.com.au

A LIFE on two wheels has formed John Mel­lor’s phi­los­o­phy of life.

The re­tired Gayn­dah Shire coun­cil­lor said he’d been rid­ing since he could ride.

His need for speed led him to race com­pet­i­tively from the age of 11, when he won a mile race at Bund­aberg Show­grounds, un­til the age of 13, when the fam­ily moved to Gayn­dah.

Mr Mel­lor con­tin­ued life on wheels af­ter he joined the fam­ily busi­ness, Mel­lor’s Drap­ery Store, which he de­scribed as his “whole life”.

John Mel­lor

They’re about 800 to 900km, but it’s get­ting a bit tough for me.

His life-long pas­sion for cy­cling has led to friend­ships – and his life phi­los­o­phy.

“I’ve got this the­ory that people who go on bike rides are all good people, be­cause you’ve got to put a bit of ef­fort into it,” Mr Mel­lor said.

“In the last 10 to 15 years, since I don’t run any more, I ride my bike ev­ery day, about 30km a day, and go on as many or­gan­ised rides as pos­si­ble.”

The or­gan­ised rides in­cluded so­cial and char­ity rides, he said.

Be­cause Mr Mel­lor spent 46 years in the aux­il­iary fire bri­gade, he had com­pleted three bike rides to raise money for the Chil­dren’s Burns Unit in Bris­bane.

“They’re about 800 to 900km, but it’s get­ting a bit tough for me,” he said.

This week, he was com­plet­ing a char­ity five-day, 520km ride through the Dar­ling Downs or­gan­ised by the Lions Club of Kallangur to raise money for chil­dren’s cancer re­search.

He de­scribed it as a “se­nior friendly” ride, with the choice of four groups, from fast to “cof­fee speed”.

While there’s no pres­sure, he has plans to be in the fast group.

When we spoke, Mr Mel­lor had just re­turned from the Otago Rail Trail in New Zealand.

“I did (the 50km ride) about six years ago with my daugh­ter,” he said.

“I met this Amer­i­can guy and his wife who did it then. He wrote to me and said: ‘We’re go­ing back to do the Otago Rail Trail; how about com­ing?’”

Whether cy­cling around Gayn­dah or from Mis­sion Beach to the Ather­ton Table­lands in north Queens­land, Mr Mel­lor will en­joy the “bit of ef­fort”, the ex­er­cise and the friend­ships.

PHOTO: SHIRLEY WAY

ON THE ROAD: Keen cy­clist John Mel­lor rides for char­ity.

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