Bushfire victim rides for the kids

TURIA Pitt isn’t concerned about inspiring others by cycling nearly 4000 kilometres from Sydney to Uluru in the Northern Territory as part of the inaugural ‘Spoketacular’ event that stopped in Warrnambool yesterday.

Ms Pitt, of Ulladulla on the New South Wales south coast, was badly burnt in a bushfire when she was taking part in an ultra marathon in the Kimberleys in 2011. Her strength in overcoming her extensive injuries and continuing to have a full life, told in her 2013 book Everything to Live For, has motivated many people to find their inner strengths.

But she said she was taking part in the epic bike ride to raise money to help children who were sick, disadvantaged or had special needs to live life to the fullest.

“It’s not really about me,” Ms Pitt said. “I’m just trying to live life as best as I can.”

She said she had decided to take part in Spoketacular because her experience had taught her what it was like to rely on others for a good quality of life.

Some of the children at the service organisations the ride was supporting would also need to rely on them for the rest of their lives, she said. “That is something I can understand.” Ms Pitt, who is riding with her partner Michael Hoskin, said the ride had been challenging. Her burn injuries have diminished her body’s ability to regulate its temperature and some days have been too hot for her to ride.

She lost a number of fingers as a result of her injuries, and rides a modified bicycle that allows her to balance on her forearms and change gears with her thumbs.

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