Kieron blazing a trail for cancer ride

Kieron Safstrom will ride the Munda Biddi track in preparation for a charity fundraiser later this year. Picture: David Baylis
Kieron Safstrom will ride the Munda Biddi track in preparation for a charity fundraiser later this year. Picture: David Baylis

KIERON Safstrom will ride the world’s longest continuous off-road bike track – twice – to prepare for a road cycling event that’s only a tenth of the distance.

The young South Perth man works for WA’s biggest charity bike ride, the MACA Cancer 200: Ride for Research, a 200km ride that raises money for cancer research at Perth’s Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

He found that in helping the riders with training or fundraising, conversations often turned to the rider’s connection with cancer.

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“I found it moving that these people, many who’d never done much cycling, were willing to ride 200km over two days to Mandurah and back because they wanted to make a difference by raising money for cancer research,” Mr Safstrom said.

“I was inspired to sign up and do something to help too.”

He registered with Team Perkins and then decided to prepare by riding 2000km along the Munda Biddi Trail from Mundaring to Albany, and back.

“It’s 1000km each way and is apparently pretty tough going but I’ve been telling people all year they can do the 200km ride if they just do 20km at a time, take a break, eat a Snickers, and do another 20, so I might take my own advice if the going gets tough,” he said.

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The 24-year-old nutrition science graduate from Curtin University has long held up as a hero the Australian endurance cyclist from the 1920s, Sir Hubert Opperman.

He’s got a copy of Opperman’s biography with him on the ride for inspiration.

“Also I am sure I’ll feel motivated by the cancer stories people have shared, as well as the story of a young guy called Scott Kirkbride, who died of the skin cancer melanoma at just 27 years old,” he said.

“He was a golf professional at Cottesloe and I row surf boats down there.

“Just knowing his story and knowing that, years later, people like Hawthorn footballer Jarryd Roughead, who had the same cancer, is still alive because of advances from medical research really drives me to raise money for cancer research.”

How to help

Donate at www.cancer200.org.au/fundraisers/KieronSafstrom

Register to Ride in the MACA Cancer 200: Ride for Research at https://www.cancer200.org.au/

 

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