Bridge to Bridge riders get ready
RANDAL Bishop will again line up with nine other riders to conduct the third annual Bridge to Bridge Cycle Charity Ride tomorrow.
The Bridge to Bridge riders will set out from Brisbane's Story Bridge for the classic eight-day 1000km-plus road trek and arrive in Warwick that afternoon.
Early Sunday, the ride heads out to Stanthorpe, then on to the New England Tableland and the Hunter Valley arriving at the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the following Saturday afternoon.
Those charity rides that are organised by Randal and a team of dedicated supporters have so far collectively raised almost $75,000 for the Cure for Life Foundation.
The foundation's focus is research into better ways of detecting, managing and hopefully curing brain cancer.
Mr Bishop, who lost his daughter to an aggressive tumour in 2009 is concerned that while this disease remains one of the most understudied cancers - receiving relatively small amounts of research funding - it causes extraordinary economic and social distress.
"About 1400 Australians will be diagnosed with brain cancer each year, of which over 1100 will die prematurely from their tumours," he said.
"While brain cancer continues to cause more deaths in children and adults under 40 than any other type of cancer, it is concerning that there have been no significant recorded improvements in survival rates in almost 20 years."
Mr Bishop will be joined in the ride by fellow veteran rider and organiser Mark Driver. Mark, who has participated in all previous rides, said the events were a real eye-opener to the extent that brain cancer affects Australian society.
"I suppose that is where gestures like the ride can help - ordinary people like Randal and the team doing the voluntary fundraising for the necessary research - and building that awareness through the broader community of the need to tackle this dreadful disease," Mr Driver said.
Mr Bishop said he appreciated the assistance received from local supports on the Downs and Granite Belt.
"It now seems a tradition that Doug Walker and the local riders give us an escort up towards Stanthorpe," he said.
"After a hard first day coming up from Brisbane, the Warwick cyclists' support really lifts morale.
"It makes the whole thing that much easier."