Doing the ride thing

Riding for someone who can’t: Claire Wilson and her son Dylan (8). Picture: Martin Kennealey         d442723
Riding for someone who can’t: Claire Wilson and her son Dylan (8). Picture: Martin Kennealey         d442723

The duo will complete 14km at the Dwellingup 100 event on September 5 as part of the Ride For Someone Who Can�t initiative, which matches riders with a person who has muscular dystrophy.

This is the second time they have taken part together, with Ms Wilson first getting involved with the challenge through her work and completing 40km in 2011, 2012 and 2013. For the past five years, she and her workmates from Leeuwin Barracks have ridden in support of Conor Murphy, a former colleague�s son who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at age three and died last year aged 25. This year, the 19 members of Team Leeuwin will ride for Jordan, a bright and bubbly nine-year-old girl who loves to sing.

She has never walked because of her muscular dystrophy but does not let that stop her with help from her assistance dog Wanda.

Ms Wilson said raising money for Muscular Dystrophy WA drove her to continue taking part in the event.

�It is a fantastic charity � they provide funding to world leading research as well as providing essential equipment to the WA muscular dystrophy community such as the cough assist machine Jordan received last year,� she said.

�Also, participating in the fundraising for such a great cause gives us a sense of pride and there is also a great feeling of achievement from finishing the ride.

�A number of our team members and families will be camping at Dwellingup for the weekend so there is a great feeling of camaraderie.�

At just eight years old, Ms Wilson said she was �very proud� of Dylan for taking part in the ride.

�The minimum age for the ride is eight, so I had to get special permission for him to do it as a seven-year-old last year,� she said.

�Considering he was the youngest rider in the event, he did a fantastic job and had a better time than a number of riders.

�I think it�s important for children to have an understanding of people whose lives are very different from their own and some of the struggles they may face.�

She said the pair was currently in training for the ride.

�The Dwellingup 100 is a hard ride � 14km doesn�t sound like much but as anyone who has done any mountain biking knows, it is much tougher than riding that distance on the road,� she said.

�It is very hilly and the tracks are either slippery pea gravel or boggy mud so it�s important for both of us to get a few miles in our legs before the big day.�

Last year, they raised just over $1000 and Team Leeuwin raised $7960.

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