A SEA of pink and green cycling jerseys is about to flood the Kennedy and Mulligan highways, as more than 250 cyclists embark on the annual Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge.
Each pack of up to 25 cyclists has “pack leaders” front and rear, to help the less experienced participants and this year the pack leaders will be distinguishable by their “hot pink” outfits.
Pack leaders talk to each other via UHF radio and each pack also is escorted by escort vehicles front and rear.
The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge is an annual fundraising bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown, raising funds for cardiac services in the Far North. Since inception in 2007 by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the event has raised more than $2.8 million. The Foundation recently announced it would be fundraising $1.4 million towards a second cardiac catheter lab in Cairns, which will mean less people have to travel away for vital cardiac treatment.
Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said the work of hundreds of volunteers was integral to making the ride a success.
“We have the pack leaders and escort vehicle drivers who do an outstanding job in keeping our riders safe on the road, we have SES volunteers also helping keep them safe on the road,” Ms Duncombe said.
“Police also escort the ride and manage any traffic issues and we have tremendous support from the motoring public as well,” she said.
All trucking companies and tourist operators have been advised that the ride is about to happen and particularly about the partial closure of Kuranda Range on Saturday morning.
“We’re pretty sure we’re going to raise at least $200,000 this year and every cent makes a difference,” Ms Duncombe said.
“We know that patients in Far North Queensland need a second cardiac cath lab and we have a lot of community support to make it happen. These riders and their supporters have done an incredible job to help bring this project to fruition,” she said.
“The cardiac unit at Cairns Hospital have an amazing vision of health care and we are working really hard to help make it happen.”
The Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge departs Cairns on Saturday, September 16 at 6am from Tjapukai.
For further information or to donate, visit HERE.
Photo: Tony Quinn, Trish Sexton, Michael Rumble, Judi Phillips and Gary Jackson model the pink pack leaders jerseys.
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