Tandem pedal power to ignite Tour de Bay
Last year the monstrous incline of Ghost Hill had cyclists in the annual Tour de Bay reeling as they approached the base of the mount.
Luckily for newcomers Dean and Donna Cameron, who are set to take on the 100 kilometre charity ride for the first time on a tandem bike, a new route will see the pack cycle around the outskirts of Hervey Bay – a much less daunting prospect for the seasoned fundraisers who are surging towards their goal of raising $10,000 for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.
Mr Cameron, who is blind, took up riding the tandem bike with his wife in 2010 when the pair set themselves a personal goal to quit smoking, lose weight and cycle from Cairns to Brisbane unassisted.
Passing through some of the most challenging terrain between Cairns and Port Douglas, Mrs Cameron said the feat encouraged them to broaden their campaign.
Over the past four years the duo have completed a number of local and inter-state rides.
They are currently working towards riding from Perth to Brisbane next year.
As the Camerons prepared to make their maiden journey to Hervey Bay, they said they were excited to be able to lend their support to the Hervey Bay Community Centre and the Youth Mentoring Program – which will benefit from the funds raised at Tour de Bay – while also championing support for both the Australian Cancer Research Fund and stem cell donation and stem cell registry.
“Cancer can affect us all,” Mrs Cameron said.
“I have myself lost my father in 2006, mother in 2007, a close friend in April 2012 and a close family member in April 2014.”
Yet it wasn’t until their close friend Chris Melbourne (pictured above) was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin Lymphoma that the importance of raising awareness for stem cell donation and stem cell registry came to a head.
“Anyone who is aged 18 to 45 and donates blood is able to register to make a stem cell donation,” Mrs Cameron said, adding that the painless procedure had the capacity to save the lives of people such as Ms Melbourne who is in need of a donation to continue her battle.
When the couple’s fundraising efforts reach $5,000, Mr Cameron will be shaving his wife’s head himself.
Her pony tail will be donated to Pantene Beautiful Lengths to be made into wigs for cancer patients.
With sunny weather on the radar for Sunday, hundreds of riders are expected to turn out in support of the sixth Tour de Bay, which last year raised more than $20,000 for the Youth Mentoring Program.
Since the program started in 2005, more than 300 mentors have been trained to help 500 students.
While the pilot program was initially funded by the government, it is now funded solely by donations from the Hervey Bay community.
The first ride of the Tour – the 100km Centurion – will leave from the Hervey Bay Community Centre, on the corner of Charles Street and Torquay Road in Pialba, at 6.30am, this Sunday, September 21.
The 25km Scenic Cycle and 45km Biking Bruiser will leave at 7am and the 10km family-orientated Amazing Ride will start at 7.30am.
Participants will be able to collect their wrist bands and t-shirts at the Community Centre from 6.15am.
For more information visit http://www.hbnc.net.au/hbnc/.