Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt today announced the inaugural ‘Ride for Isabel’ cycling event to raise awareness and funds for Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support (SANDS) Queensland.
Mr Pitt said the 85 kilometre ride, to be held on Saturday 13 March, is to honour the memory of his daughter Isabel and will also coincide with the launch of Bike Week 2010.
“Bike Week is Queensland’s major celebration for cycling and Far North Queensland has one of the highest rates of cycling in the nation – three times higher than Brisbane’s,” Mr Pitt said.
“The Bike Week initiative is supported by Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) in order to encourage more people to get out on their bikes to help reduce congestion, pollution and promote a healthy and active lifestyle.
“More than 11,000 people got involved across Queensland last year and I couldn’t think of a more fitting way to kick it off here in the Far North than with a ride like this.”
“The first 20 riders to register will receive a free Travel Safe pack including a backpack and water bottle. Registration is only $40 which includes sports drink and energy snacks, and funds raised will be donated to SANDS Queensland.”
Mr Pitt said that he and his wife benefited greatly from the support provided by SANDS when their daughter Isabel was stillborn at 41 weeks two years ago.
“We were devastated but sadly tragedies like ours affect families across Queensland every day. We were well supported during what was a traumatic period for us. It’s time to give something back,” Mr Pitt said.
“My wife and I have vowed to do whatever we can to raise funds that provide much-needed counselling and support services for families and those affected by the sudden death of an infant or through reproductive loss.”
State Coordinator for SANDS Liz Conway thanked Mr Pitt for his continued fundraising efforts on behalf of the organisation.
“Mr Pitt has been a strong supporter of SANDS since his election to Parliament and we support this charity bike ride one hundred percent,” she said.
“Bereaved parents often find the need to talk to someone who has had an experience similar to their own. SANDS offers 24-hour support services via telephone and email as well as regular support meetings.
“I hope people will dig deep to support the ride and I’d encourage them to get on their bikes and register.”
Mr Pitt said the ride would also be an opportunity for him to gain an insight into what cyclists have to negotiate between Flying Fish Point just south of Innisfail and White Rock in the southern suburbs of Cairns.
“On the ride I’ll get a first-hand look at the challenges faced by cyclists from one end of the electorate of Mulgrave to the other,” Mr Pitt said.
“I’ve already made public statements that the Wrights Creek Bridge needs to be upgraded as a matter of urgency for the safety of all road users – particularly cyclists. No doubt I’ll become aware of other danger spots over the course of the day.”
Mr Pitt said he was also disappointed with some recent adverse media coverage that cyclists are actually a danger on our roads.
“In the Cairns region there are more than 2,500 cyclists connected to cycling organisations and clubs alone – not counting the many who simply ride their bike as part of a recreation program or to school,” Mr Pitt said.
“On this ride, there’ll be riders of varying age and experience participating and this is typical of the cyclists that we see on our roads. It’s too easy to suggest that all cyclists are the same or ride for the same reasons,”
“Bike events like this go a long way to changing people’s attitudes towards cyclists and showcase that we have a highly organised and vibrant cycling community in the region.”
Mr Pitt said that investing in cycling is an investment in healthy, sustainable, liveable communities, and the Principal Cycle Network Plan announced in December last year set out this vision.
“The plan serves as a blueprint in determining priorities and delivering a connected, consistent and safe network of cycle routes from Wujal Wujal south to Cardwell,” Mr Pitt said.
“The Aeroglen to Cairns CBD route has already secured joint funding from the State Government ($4.5 million) and Cairns Regional Council ($1.5 million).
“I’d like to see this be replicated in the fast-growing southern corridor of Cairns and out to Gordonvale, perhaps as part of the roll-out of the Cairns Transit Network and Bruce Highway Upgrade projects.”
- For information about the ‘Ride for Isabel’ visit www.curtispitt.com.au/2010/02/19/ride-for-isabel/
- To register call the Mulgrave Electorate Office on 4056 3175 or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are unable to participate in the ride can make a donation online at www.everydayhero.com.au/ride_for_isabel_curtis_pitt_mp
- Learn more about the FNQ Principal Cycle Network Plan by visiting www.tmr.qld.gov.au
- The ‘Ride for Isabel’ is on Saturday 13 March and is scheduled start is from Flying Fish Point at 6.00am and conclude at Woree at approximately 2.00pm.
- The planned route is to depart from Elizabeth Street (Flying Fish Point), travel along Alice Street, Bay Road, Palm Avenue/ Flying Fish Point Road, across the Geraldton Bridge to Fitzgerald Esplanade, Campbell Road, Sundown Road, See Poy Road, Clifford Road towards Penda Street, Palmerston Drive, Bruce Highway, Bramston Beach Road (Miriwinni), McMahon Drive (Fishery Falls), Riverstone Road to Norman Park (Gordonvale), Cairns Road to Bruce Highway, and the riders will turn into Charlotte Close where they will finish in the McDonalds Woree.