From stock saddle to road bike trek
RIDE WITH THE ACTONS: Coalstoun Lakes’ Kim Corfield with cousin Philip Acton and his mother Cathy, who made the challenging journey from Townsville to Brisbane to raise awareness of a genetic disorder, PKU.
PHILIP Acton rode into Brisbane Tuesday afternoon after pedalling 1500km from Townsville in just 18 days.
The ride was a remarkable feat considering the father of three has spent his life on the land and hadn’t ridden a road bike until eight weeks before his journey began.
Despite his unfamiliarity Phil accepted the challenge to push his body to the limit to serve as a role model for his boys.
Philip and wife Sarah have three sons; Thomas (5), William (3) and Harry (22mths). BothWilliam and Harry have Phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare genetic metabolic disorder picked up by the heal prick test at birth. For those with the disorder, their liver cells cannot convert phenylalanine (PHE) to tyrosine (TYR).
Phil said the only reliable way the disorder could be effectively managed was with a strict diet. The boys’ food is weighed and the amount of protein is calculated to the gram.
“The boys also consume a supplement to make up for the loss of protein in our diet,” he said.
“Because of this Sarah does a lot of baking using low-protein foods.”
Phil’s mother, Cathy (who drove the support vehicle during the marathon ride), said everywhere Sarah goes she had her diary and a set of scales so everything could be weighed.
During the ride Phil stopped at his cousin Kim and Michael Corfield’s home at Coalstoun Lakes on Thursday night.
Cathy said she was enjoying spending quality time with her son on the road.
“People and businesses have been generous and terrific and truck drivers courteous,” she said.
Phil said he couldn’t have done it without the help of his supporters.
“The main reason for this ride was to spread awareness and to let the IEM and PKU community know they are not alone and not to feel isolated,” he said.
“For myself I now realise how much I live for my kids and there is more to life than working 16 hours a day.”
Phil set out to raise $20,000 for the Metabolic Dietary Disorders Association (MDDA) but has more than doubled that figure.
RAISING AWARENESS: Philip Acton with his family, wife Sarah and sons Thomas, William and Harry.