June 20, 2017
Kingaroy resident Josie Potter is licking her wounds but is back in one piece after her eventful Brissie To The Bay fundraiser for MS Queensland.
The annual pushbike trek from Brisbane to Moreton Bay features routes for riders of different abilities.
This is the seventh year that Josie, who has multiple sclerosis, has taken part in the key fundraiser for the charity.
“The weather was gorgeous,” she told southburnett.com.au
“We only had a fairly small team this year, but I’m thrilled that we still raised over $5000, and once again we received tremendous community support.
“I wasn’t able to do the amount of fundraising this year that I’ve done in others as I had a lot of things going on in my own personal life that made it impossible.
“Most of our riders completed the 100km course on Sunday, with Debbie Dennien achieving a long-term personal goal and completing her first 100km ride.
“It took her quite a few hours and she was very elated when she finished.
“I completed the 25km course this year.
“I was having a tremendously wonderful ride up until about halfway through.
“My legs felt great and I was eating up the kilometres, but sadly, I had a really bad ‘MS moment’ shortly after the halfway mark which resulted in the bike and me hitting the bitumen quite heavily.
“I was attended to on the scene and treated by paramedics.
“They were going to organise a pickup for me, but I asked to be allowed to ride on and they said if I felt up to it, it was my decision.
“I then went on and completed the ride.
“I just rode slowly and put the bike in low gear at the bottom of each hill and just got through it.
“I was very relieved when I came over the last hill into Musgrave Park.
“Most people who know me will probably think I did this because I’m stubborn, but it really wasn’t that. I know I have a determined personality and that I like to finish what I start but that wasn’t it, either.
“I was sitting there on the side of the road and I just thought, ‘What if I can’t ride again for some reason and this is how I finish it?’ and I didn’t want my time at the Brissie to the Bay to end like that.
“So, I got back on and completed it, a bit bruised, but not broken.
“I’m going to be pretty sore for a few weeks. My ribs and one shoulder took the brunt of the fall, but they will heal.
“Do I want to do it again next year? Yes. For one thing that was my seventh ride and I’m a bit OCD so I can’t finish on an odd number and I don’t want that to be the ride I remember so, yes, I’d like to do it again.
“It’s very challenging for me personally to take part in this event and I actually enjoy that and I also want to be able to continue to help the people with MS that really have to endure so much each day of their lives.
“We are starting to make a big difference and I want to continue to be part of helping them.
“I really do want to thank the South Burnett community once again for their tremendous support.
“I would especially like to thank Glenrock Hay, Bill Hull Car Centre, NAB Agribusiness, Go Property and Finance, and the Woltmann family as well as all the personal sponsors who are just too many to name but who I greatly appreciate.
“And finally, our team and all the people who sent messages of support. It really is wonderful.”
[Photos: Josie Potter, Claire Kapernick and Debbie Dennien]
[UPDATED with correction]