500km cycle challenge

By Daniel Hughes

Finley’s Sharon Pyle will hop on her bike for her seventh year of the Great Cycle Challenge this October.

The challenge will see Mrs Pyle ride 500km to help raise money for the Children’s Medical Research Institute.

Having her own brush with cancer, Mrs Pyle continues to push herself to complete the challenge to raise funds and awareness for CMRI.

‘‘I was first introduced to the Great Cycle Challenge in 2014 by Roz Patterson, and wanted to raise money for cancer research after having my own brushes with cancer in 2009 and 2012,’’ Mrs Pyle said.

‘‘I consider myself extremely lucky and others are less fortunate; I have lost family members and friends to this disease.

‘‘Since beginning in 2014 I have ridden approximately 4500 kilometres and raised about $4500 for GCC.

‘‘In 2016 I also rode in the cycle to conquer cancer event simultaneously with the GCC, which was a two day 200 kilometre ride in Sydney, raising $2500 for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, completing this with Roz Patterson.

‘‘That year I managed to ride a total of 1500 kilometres for the month, which included many early morning rides before work in the dark around the streets of Finley.

‘‘This year I have set myself a more realistic goal of 500 kilometres and $500 hopefully to take both my total k’s and dollars raised for Great Cycle Challenge to more than 5000.’’

Since starting the challenge, CMRI has raised more than $16 million and ridden more than 13,000kms in support of research to develop better treatments and find a cure for childhood cancer.

With less then a month to go before the challenge begins, Mrs Pyle has already raised more than $120, contributing to the already $767,051 that has been raised Australia-wide so far this year.

‘‘My main motivation for participating in the Great Cycle Challenge is to raise funds to assist with research in the hope of one day finding a cure for cancer, as it touches so many people’s lives in so many ways,’’ Mrs Pyle said.

She said while the COVID-19 pandemic will not prevent people from completing the challenge, donations nation wide may see a decrease due to the financial strain on many Australians.

‘‘I am unsure if the current climate will affect the challenge this year, but people may not have the money to donate to this worthy cause.

‘‘I hope there are still many supporters around as we still need to fund research.’’

Mrs Pyle previously took on the challenge last year with a team of like-minded Finley residents called the Finley Bandits.

This year however she will be taking on the challenge solo, but encourages any local riders to join her.

‘‘Each year I sign up to ride; if other locals join we try to get some rides in together, it all depends on the kilometres pledged by each rider for the month as to how many rides are needed.

‘‘If I ride solo I may join a team online, usually in support or memory of one of the children featured by the Great Cycle Challenge. Anyone can join by going to the Great Cycle Challenge website and signing up to ride in October.’’

To support Mrs Pyle, visit.

Also participating in this year’s challenge is Berrigan’s Carol Hovenden, who will ride 300km during the month of October.

Ms Hovenden has already raised $1302.36.

To support the cause, donate here.