Local CQ woman will ride 200km a day for nine days straight
STRAPPING on her helmet and buckling up her shoes in the cold of the morning, Anthea Boyd gears up to cycle a mammoth 150km.
This ride is to prepare her mind and body for the Brisbane to Townsville Bike ride she is about to embark on.
Today the local Biloela woman takes off on the first 200km leg of her 1600km Smiling for Smiddy Challenge.
Travelling in a group, Anthea will be among riders who have raised the required $5000 to partake in a ride down deserted outback highways and into warm country towns, with a purpose of spreading the message of sun safety.
As well as raising awareness of sun cancer, the funds will go to cancer research at the Mater Foundation in the name of Adam Smiddy, a 26-year-old triathlete and physiotherapist who died from an aggressive melanoma.
Anthea, who is a triathlete, first heard about Smiling for Smiddy six years ago when another local lady got involved in the challenge.
"That year I decided to start billeting riders from the challenge,” she said.
"In that same year I signed up to do the Noosa triathalon as a participant for Smiling for Smiddy because I had been a triathelete for quite a few years before that.”
From the very beginning of her association with the Smiling for Smiddy foundation, the Brisbane to Townsville bike ride had been on Anthea's radar but it wasn't until this year that "all the stars aligned” allowing her to take part.
"Now that my kids are a bit older this year was the perfect year to do it,” she said.
"We will be riding from Brisbane to Townsville in nine days so that will be eight stops along the way before we actually arrive in Townsville.
"We will be doing about 200km a day with a total of 1600km all up.”
To qualify for the challenge each participant had to raise a minimum of $5000, an amount which Anthea exceeded.
She put it down to a combination of raffles, money boards and generous donations from locals.
"I did a fun run earlier in the year which raised quite a lot of money,” she said.
"I also did a sore butts for cancer challenge in the shopping centre where I set up my bike and two stationary bikes and people came along with me and rode for 15 minutes, in total I did six hours.
"I had the Rotary Club of Biloela donate $500 which was great and CS Energy donated as well which was around $200.”
Leading up to the event Anthea trained four times a week, riding 40km some days and 150km other days, which would take a total of five to six hours to complete.
"I have done training mostly on my own whereas when we do the challenge we will be with a big group of riders,” she said.
"It is a lot easier to ride in a big group because you're not having to be the one up the front doing all of the work with the headwind.”
Anthea and the other Smiling for Smiddy riders will pass through Biloela this Sunday and Monday.
"We will arrive at Melton Park around 4.30pm on Sunday and go out to the Thangool race club for a fundraising dinner that night,” Anthea said. "Then in the morning there will be a breakfast at Melton Park before we tackle some school visits to spread the sun smart message.”