Ride for cancer

The ride. Picture: Supplied

by Violet Li

Three dads from the Casey BMX Club were successful in taking up a challenge to raise money for cancer research after riding 205km from Cranbourne to Ballarat on Saturday 10 February.

The Ballarat BMX Club hosted a race day on the day, attracting BMX riders from across the state as part of the 2024 Ballarat Cycle Classic.

The Ballarat Cycle Classic, in its 17th year, raises funds for Ballarat’s Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute. This year, the aim is $250,000.

Casey BMX Club members Brent Bailey from Cranbourne North, Adam Wright from Nar Nar Goon, and Nathan Leworthy from Narre Warren, on hearing of the event, thought it was a great idea to ride from their home club in Cranbourne to Ballarat’s BMX Club event, along the way raising money for the cause.

Leaving Casey Fields at 4am on their 20-inch BMX racing bikes, they arrived at Ballarat at about 5pm after 13 hours’ journey.

Adam said none of the three were professional cyclists, and they only made the decision to go three weeks ago.

“I think it just determination that kept us going, and we looked to get it done because so many people have donated money to support such a great cause,” he said.

“We’ve now tallied up over $10,000 for the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute.”

Along the journey, they also called into the Frankston Sharks BMX Club, Wyndham BMX, and the Bacchus March BMX Club on the way to Ballarat.

The inspiration behind their crazy idea has come from family and friends who have fought this horrendous disease.

Adam’s sister Hayley, who is only 33 years old, was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer last year.

Adam and Hayley lost their mother to breast cancer when they were children.

“We’ve had a lot of people within our club sort of touched by cancer, so we thought it was just a great way for us to contribute,” Adam said.

Nathan is not a bike rider nor goes to the gym but has a very personal reason also for this challenge.

When he first heard of this idea from his mates, his response was: “Well I have to try, my wife had cancer, I may not make it, but I am going to give it a red-hot crack!”

A support crew followed the team and met up with them at certain sections to facilitate the smooth completion of the journey.

The Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute is a world-class cancer research facility based in Ballarat, Victoria.

As Australia’s only regionally based cancer research centre, community funded, and rely on the generous support of the community to continue research into more effective ways to diagnose and treat cancer.

To support cancer research, you could donate at: https://ballaratcycleclassic.com.au/page/BallaratSebasBMX