Hale School student to tackle fifth Gibb River Challenge


Taj Mueller from Hale School has nominated as a soloist in the Gibb River Mountain Bike Challenge, and is the youngest participant to attempt the arduous 660km event. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Hale School student to tackle fifth Gibb River Challenge
Taj Mueller from Hale School has nominated as a soloist in the Gibb River Mountain Bike Challenge, and is the youngest participant to attempt the arduous 660km event. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

HALE School student Taj Mueller (16) will tackle his fifth and final Gibb River Challenge alone, making him the youngest solo rider this year.

Taj last year completed the 660km, five-day cycling event from Derby to El Questro Wilderness Park with his dad David, but wanted to mark 2017 with a solo effort.

A drive to complete the challenge runs in the family, with his mum Lisa and grandad Colin also giving it a go in the past.

“I’ve done it four times before and I’ve done it in teams every time and a duo with Dad last year,” he said.

“Pretty much as soon as I finished the ride last year I decided to do this one alone because it will be my last year that I’ll be able to do it, because next year I will be focussing on my studies in Year 12.”

MORE: Bentley mum crowned Earth Australia Ambassador

MORE: Travelling Snack Restaurant proving a success for young chef

MORE: City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi refuses to quit, issues challenge to Premier

Though he is experienced with the ride, Taj said he has had to step up his training and preparation for this year’s ride, which kicks off on May 21.

“I am doing lots of water polo, lots of swimming at the moment; I’m trying to do 150km riding on the weekend in one go then leading up to the event I’ll try and do 300km a week then some bigger rides to prepare,” he said.

“The first day of the challenge is 220km.”

His fundraising efforts have received a boost from his Hale School classmates who will host a Tie Free Day and a barbeque, with funds going to Youth Beyond Blue.

“I chose Youth Beyond Blue because it’s really relevant for people around our age I had a friend back in Broome who suffered from mental health illnesses,” he said.

To sponsor Taj to get him to the starting line, contact Lisa and Dave at monscapes.com.au.

To donate, go to https://give.everydayhero.com/au/solo-mountain-bike-challenge-for-youth-beyond-blue.