THE Gibb River Road Mountain Bike Challenge will take Warrnambool cyclists Peter Worden and Jason Knight far away from home this month to raise money for cancer treatments.
Starting on May 27, the two mates will embark on the riding adventure along Gibb River Road, from the deep port Kimberley town of Derby to the El Questro Wilderness Park near Kununarra.
The gruelling trip through more than 700 kilometres of outback will raise funds for the Ryan Marron Trust, as well as Peter’s Project.
Diagnosed with the rare Murray Valley encephalitis last year, Ryan Marron is a 30-year-old Halls Creek police officer whose story has inspired this year’s bike challenge fund-raiser.
Mr Worden said he and Mr Knight had been training for about six months to ride up to 220 kilometres a day.
“I heard about Ryan Marron’s story and thought it was a good cause to do the ride,” he said.
“He’s battling along and has got to pay $4000 a day in the US for treatment.
“We’ve been doing any fund-raising we can; mostly barbecues and collecting money from the office.”
Mr Knight said unlike other rides, the Gibb Challenge required participants to organise their own support team.
“It’s been going probably over five years and it just keeps growing bigger and bigger over time,” he said.
“It started with just a few people, a bit like Relay For Life.
“It’s a trip you wouldn’t want to be doing all the time, out in the wilderness, covered in dust.
“The ride is definitely not a race for us.
“It’s more of a challenge.”
As well as the Ryan Marron Trust, the money raised will also support the Peter’s Project campaign to improve cancer services in the south-west.
Anyone who wishes to support the ride with donations can contact email@example.com