Beaudesert has delivered a stellar training ground for some of the south-east corner’s most dedicated cyclists as preparations intensify for the RideWest charity bike ride.
When Kerry Valley local Jo Perry rides 1311km from Amberley to Longreach in April, she’ll do it with the support of Beaudesert behind her.
From 22 – 29 April, Jo will do the RideWest charity ride to help the Royal Flying Doctor Service bridge the gap in providing mental health support in regional areas of Queensland.
Over the last 12 years, the ride has raised more than $1.4m for the RFDS to deliver its Wellbeing Out West program.
It will be Jo’s second time riding in the biennial event, and she hopes to match the $5000 she fundraised in 2020.
On 13 February, Jo hosted a strong contingent of her fellow RideWest cyclists for a 90km training ride from Beaudesert to Stinson Park at Lamington, returning via Josephville.
Fellow locals Ken Ardrey, Aaron Collis, Zac Cunningham and Cr Michael Enright joined the RideWest peloton on the training ride.
While Jo is the only Beaudesert local who will do RideWest, she praised the dedication of the local friends she cycles with throughout the year.
Jo, 56, averages at least 300km of cycling across five days each week, including longer rides around 100km on weekends.
She has been a keen cyclist since her early 20s when she did triathlons, only taking a break from the bike when she and husband Matt had their kids.
Jo, who carries significant responsibilities as Disability Support Manager at Beaucare, said riding was also good for her own mental health.
“We have the most beautiful place to ride in, like Mt Barney, Burgess Park, Andrew Drynan Park,” she said.
“And it’s my mental health too – if I didn’t have my bike, working in this industry… We talk about self-care in this industry all the time. Cycling is a release for sure.”
As well as the training encouragement Jo receives from local cyclists, locals are getting behind her fundraising efforts.
Kerry Valley resident and keen mental health advocate and photographer Dick Moloney, who Jo used to cycle with, has donated a framed photograph he took of Mt Lindesay.
Jo, who is originally from Woodenbong in the shadow of Mt Lindesay and regularly rides to the impressive mountain, said she was blown away by the generosity and support.
Keep an eye out locally for information about how to bid on the Mt Lindesay photograph.
To donate directly, visit https://ride-west.raisely.com/jo-perry