All aboard for worthy cause
Cycling more than 200km over the course of two days is no mean feat but 65-year-old Ian Anderson and his team of bike riders at the QEII Seniors and Community Centre have embraced the challenge.
Mr Anderson is a member of the five-strong QEII All Stars men’s team, who will take part in tomorrow’s Wild West Bike Tour through the Chapman Valley.
The team relay circuit will finish the following day, after riders cycle through Ellendale Pool and Walkaway on their way back to Geraldton. The retired teacher said he is no stranger to long-distance bike runs.
“I did a marathon from Northampton to Kalbarri about five years ago but I had to pull out. I hope to do better this time,” he said. “For me, it’s more about helping the charities and hoping the wind isn’t too strong. The rain doesn’t bother you too much when you’re from England but the wind could make things difficult.”
Funds raised from the ride will be split between WA Police Legacy and the Rotary Club of Batavia Coast charities.
Mr Anderson said experiences in his previous marathon helped motivate him to take part in tomorrow’s ride.
“When doing the Kalbarri ride I spent most of the time in the bus that follows the cyclists,” he said.
“There were police officers in there, we had great conversations, they’re fantastic people.”
“I also worked in voluntary emergency services in Carnarvon for six years and I developed a close relationship with the police while I was there. I really appreciate what they do.”
The senior men’s team is rivalled by the QEII Everlastings women’s team, who will also ride in the event.
“Some of the women cyclists are the best,” Mr Anderson said. “They will probably end up beating us.”
The two teams, with ages ranging from 51 to 73, have been meeting every Thursday for training, taking simple rides and building up stamina.
City of Greater Geraldton deputy mayor Neil McIlwaine said the senior teams were established to help expand the senior age bracket at the QEII Centre.
“The two teams were created as a way of attracting younger seniors to the QEII Centre and getting them involved in something that they are interested in,” he said.
“We’re extremely proud of our seniors who are about to partake in this big event.”
The event is being co-ordinated by the Rotary Club of Batavia Coast, which will use part of the proceeds to support local school programs and organisations such as Interact and the Fighting Back Parkinson’s Boxing Group.
The other half of the funds raised will be donated to WA Police Legacy to assist with the welfare of deceased police officers’ families.
City of Greater Geraldton councillor Bob Hall urged drivers and cyclists to exercise caution and be extra vigilant when using the roads this weekend.
The QE11 senior bike riding teams get ready to hop on their bikes for the Wild West Bike Tour.