June 27, 2014
The Kingaroy Cruisers team can now sit back and relax … they’ve raised an incredible $15,300 for MS Queensland and last weekend’s Brissie To The Bay Bike Ride is over for another year.
Josie Potter told southburnett.com.au the Cruisers ended up with 16 riders this year.
“I think we were the eighth highest fundraisers in the event! We held the very successful Inverlaw Walk for MS and one of our other riders, Courtney Jones, held a golf day and a shave event up in Mackay. As well as that we had some very successful raffles with wonderful prizes,” she said.
Despite having multiple sclerosis, Josie has taken part in three previous Brissie To The Bay Bike rides.
In 2011 she rode 10km, in 2012 it was 25km, and in 2013 she made 50km.
Remarkably, she took part in the event again this year despite suffering an aneurysm and stroke last September.
She rode the 25km ride along with five other members of the Kingaroy Cruisers.
“I was definitely ‘the weakest link’,” she said.
“I have come a long way since last September, but I did have a bit too much expectation on myself and I was a bit disappointed with how much I struggled with the hills.
“If it weren’t for my wonderful riding companions, Kerry Stumm, Patrick Langan, Courtney Jones, Tamika Perkins and Tim Robe, I wouldn’t have completed the ride, as they had to help me over some of the hills by boosting me.
“I was almost in tears a couple of times as Kerry was getting off her bike and running over the top of the hill with her bike in one hand and me on my bike on the other side – that woman is amazing!
“The good thing, though, is I now know how much more work I have to do to try to get back to where I was before. I’ve never been afraid of hard work, so I will try everything I can, and if it’s possible to do it, in time I will regain that extra level of strength – otherwise they’ll all probably run for the hills if I ask them to ride with me next time!”
The rest of the Kingaroy Cruisers team this year consisted of Royce Bell, Shan Knight, Warren Knight, Caite Brewer, Sharron Flannery, Michael Jarrett, Steven Newland, Brian Ellis and Danny Langan.
“They were all very pleased with their efforts in the 100km event. Some of them had never ridden a 100km event before so it was wonderful,” Josie said.
“We also had Christopher Shepherd who completed the 50km event. Christopher is profoundly deaf, so we were lucky enough to find two other local riders David and Stacey Hughes who rode with him to help him with directions.”
Brisbane turned on a foggy day for the start of the 100km and 50km rides, but Josie said by the time her event started it was a beautiful morning “almost like a spring day”.
“About 5500 riders took part and at last tally MS Queensland have raised around $1.3 million which will help so many Queenslanders and so many of our local sufferers,” she said.
“Next year will be my 5th ride and 15 years since being diagnosed, so if I am blessed enough to stay healthy I would like to take the Kingaroy Cruisers again and hopefully get a really big team involved.
“So everyone should go out and dust off their bicycles and get practicing.
“And, hopefully if all goes well, we will hold the Inverlaw Walk for MS again in the lead-up so that those who can’t or won’t ride a bike can be involved with the team in a different way.
“I really would like to thank the whole community, not just from Kingaroy, but from all over the South Burnett, for supporting us in all of our fundraising efforts and in the Walk and Ride this year.
“The sponsorships and donations were wonderful, but also the messages and phone calls from people from all over the place have been so uplifting for so many of our team. We have a lovely community, that I’m proud to be part of.”
Anyone who knows Kingaroy woman Josie Potter knows just how determined she is.
Donations can still be made on the Kingaroy Cruisers’ page on the Brissie To The Bay website.