Cyclists get on their bikes for week-long ride
THE Agnes Water to Coolum Beach Cycle Queensland bike ride was more than a relaxed pedal for the Clifford family.
Kay Clifford lost her 86-year-old father the morning of the bike ride at the weekend, but she and her family decided to embark on the ride in his honour.
She was joined by son-in-law Mick Petty, daughter Karen Petty, granddaughter Emily Gannon, daughter Melissa Gannon, and grandsons Edward Petty, 5, and William Petty ,3, at the start of the nine-day trip.
"We saw him yesterday, he has been sick. He passed today and we made the decision to keep going," Ms Clifford said.
Ms Clifford, who lives in Gayndah, said she had participated in three rides previously.
"We love the events, they are great exercise and motivation to keep fit," she said.
Grandsons Edward and William were chauffeured on a tag along bike by their mum and dad.
"They play on the iPad in their seperate carriages.
"I can ride on my own bike now. I don't need training wheels. I don't even need pushes," Edward said.
Cycle Queensland has been running for 13 years, hosting events at different destinations in sunny Queensland.
The aim is not to lay a foundation for stiff competition between riders, but to encourage people to cycle more and explore towns they might not otherwise visit.
About 753 riders set off from the SES Grounds at Agnes Water on Saturday, expected to cover the 540km distance at their own pace.
Bicycle Queensland events officer Parri Gregory said almost two thirds of riders return each year and one third are new riders.
There were riders from the UK, US, New Zealand, Victoria, Western Australia and more.
"More people have come from New Zealand this year than ever. We've got 65 people who have done 10 events or more this year," he said.
"We have live music each night, so 50% is about the ride and 50% is about the Cycle Queensland family."
Ziggy Cameron, 11, and mum Jenny Cameron, were from Maleny and participated in their first one.
Ziggy was missing five days from school but he was still using his brain whilst on the bike.
"We are doing maths by using my speedometre, like how many kilometres per hour."
He said he likes the resilience side of bike riding and "getting from A to B".
Childers resident Bryce Klaasen, 13, made his CQ bike ride debut in 2014 with mum Carmel Bust and friend Ming Hong, capturing their experience on his GoPro strapped to his helmet.
"I plan to make a movie out of it," he said. "I'm in year eight. It was good to get out of school."
Brothers Ian and Neil Byron, who live at the Gold Coast and Hobart respectively, made the trek to central Queensland for a bit of fresh air.
"It's fun and it's nine days away from work and off the phone," Ian said.
"I'm away with 100 of my friends."
The trip takes in Seventeen Seventy, Rosedale, Bargara, Childers, Biggenden, Widgee and Cooroy before finishing at Coolum Beach on Sunday.