June 6, 2015
South Burnett cyclist Josie Potter and her team did well in this year’s gruelling Brissie To Bay marathon.
The plucky cyclist, who suffers from debilitating Multiple Sclerosis (MS), has been taking part in the Brissie To Bay Ride since 2010 to help raise funds for MS research.
And this year she was accompanied by a team of 24 other keen South Burnett riders.
“We had a great weekend for the Brissie to the Bay,” Josie said.
“Nine thousand-plus riders is a sight to behold, and the weather was absolutely perfect this time too. Not too hot or cold, and no horrible headwinds to slow you down.”
The 100k riders rode off in the pre-dawn and had “a terrific day” of it.
“The highlight for everyone was Royce Bell, who completed his first 100km event on his 70th birthday! That was something and we all enjoyed celebrating the day with him,” Josie said.
“One of our cheekier team members had bought him a 70 balloon and tied it to his bike for the ride. He was quite chuffed as people wished him happy birthday all along the course. And at one stop at a set of traffic lights, everyone sang happy birthday to him, including the people waiting in their cars!
“That is the spirit of the Brissie To Bay right there and that’s why its such a terrific ride to participate in. Its not a race and the camaraderie of the riders is fabulous.
“The only disappointment of the whole weekend was losing some of our riders due to illness, accident and the clash with Cyclismo – but we put that behind us and got on with it.”
Josie said that in her own 50km ride, her team were very honoured to lead it out as a high fundraising team.
Her small team turned out to be the fourth highest fundraiser in the Ride with a total of $18,100.
“The three higher teams were all Corporate teams, so that is a pretty amazing achievement for our area,” Josie said.
Many of Josie’s team-mates had never ridden a 50km distance before and were thrilled with their personal achievements.
For herself, she had a much better ride than in previous years.
“That’s not to say that the course is still not an incredibly difficult one. But we’d put in a lot of hours of training and it definitely helped on the day.
“It’s a wonderful thing when you ride in at the finish and the MS community are there lining the road cheering for you. It’s very humbling.”
Josie said she couldn’t thank the local community enough for their generosity and support.
“We have all been having a tough time in the South Burnett the past few years and the spirit of the local community continues to surprise and inspire me.”
She said she’d particularly like to thank major sponsors Peabody Energy Australia Pty Ltd, BGA Agriservices, Struddys Sports Kingaroy, Left of Centre Quilting, Go Property and Finance, Markwell Medical, BT Lawyers, Sengs Sales and Service, Ticket Training Solutions, Sanda Langton Physiotherapy, Cross’s Livestock Transport, Flemings Garage, In Touch Chiropractic, Rob Taylor Electrical, NAB Agribusiness, King Air (Qld) Pty Ltd and the Go Getta Girls for their support.
[Photos: Josie Potter]