Adam Carpenter at the Big W Distribution Centre on Tuesday before today’s start of the big ride.
Adam Carpenter at the Big W Distribution Centre on Tuesday before today’s start of the big ride. Gerard Walsh

Cycling in memory of our Roger

BIG W Distribution Centre employee Adam Carpenter will ride in memory of the late Roger Gray when he leaves this morning on the Big W Townsville to Cairns Bike Ride to raise funds for the Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia.

Roger was training with a Warwick cycling group for the ride when he died suddenly at home early this month.

Adam worked under Roger in the inventory section at the Big W Distribution Centre and has jumped in to ride in memory of Roger.

“Roger had become a regular in our riding group on a Saturday or Sunday,” Adam said.

“He had raised $10,000 in the past few months and planned to keep cycling after he completed the ride.

“Roger was very passionate about this ride and it is a great honour to represent him this week.

“Both Roger and I received great support from workmates at Big W and the community which supported our fund-raising efforts.

“We have a couple of other fund-raising events organised afterwards.”

Roger’s death was a great shock to the Warwick community. He was heavily involved in many community organisations, was a past coach and player in the Redbacks AFL club, as well as inventory manager at the distribution centre.

Adam will be part of the Big W team this week.

They will wear black arm bands in memory of Roger and have special water bottles with Roger’s favourite saying “if you believe you can, you can” inscribed.

And Adam certainly believes he can ride 358km in three days, after being a regular on Warwick cycling group rides for the past four years.

“The toughest day will be Friday when we ride up the Cardwell Range which starts 17 kilometres north of Ingham,” Carpenter said.

“I have done rides like Brisbane to Noosa but not a three-day one.”

Adam will be the third rider from the Big W Distribution Centre to take part in the ride in the past three years. Big W is the major sponsor of the ride.

Last Sunday, 25 riders cycled from Warwick to Freestone, Goomburra, Clifton, Allora and back to Warwick in what they dubbed the “Ride for Roger”.

“We raised $350 for children’s cancer on Sunday. I am grateful for the way the riders chipped in and Rooster Lucas from Redback Cycles who organised the ride,” Adam said.

There are 250 cyclists in this week’s ride and a support group of 50.

The riders have been split into groups based on speed. Adam is in the 25 to 30 kilometre an hour group.

Yesterday, he left Warwick at 4.30am to catch a plane to Townsville with his bike and four spare tubes for the trip north.

There was a briefing at 6pm last night and the ride kicks off at 7.30am today.

Donations towards fund-raising can be posted to Lorna Tucker at the Big W Distribution Centre in East St.

 

Ride program

  • Today 110km Townsville to Ingham.
  • Tomorrow 158km Ingham to Innisfail.
  • Saturday 90km Innisfail to Cairns.
  • The ride was founded in 1999 by Selwyn Hardwick who felt helpless when his sister passed away from cancer, and one of his grandchildren became ill with leukaemia.


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