Cyclists go the distance to support cancer research

GREAT CYCLE CHALLENGE: Justyna Grosse and Shane Lewis cycled a combined 3924km during October as part of the Great Cycle Challenge – a national initiative held annually to raise funds for the Chilrden’s Medical Research Institute. Picture: BRITTANY DENTON

AVID cyclists Justyna Grosse and Shane Lewis rode the equivalent of four return trips to Adelaide between them last month to raise money for cancer research.

The friends participated in the national Great Cycle Challenge, an initiative held annually in October to raise funds for the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) – a cause close to both Ms Grosse and Mr Lewis’ hearts.

“This is my fifth year participating in the challenge – I’ve been involved since it started and I’ve raised around $20,000 total,” Mr Lewis said.

“I became involved initially because I had a cousin who battled cancer and one or two years into it a student at the school I work at was diagnosed.

“He is now in remission, but he was my little hero and inspiration.”

Ms Grosse said she signed up for the first time in 2016.

“This is my second year completing the challenge,” she said.

“My sister in law passed away from cancer two years ago and I decided I wanted to do something to make a difference.

“Another friend was diagnosed recently and she fought cancer and won, so I ride for her too.”

Ms Grosse completed her ride goal of an even 1800km, while Mr Lewis exceeded his 2000km goal, riding a massive 2124km in 31 days.

“I go nuts in the school holidays and when school starts back I’m up at 4am to squeeze a ride in before 7.30am,” Mr Lewis said.

“I was averaging 70km a day, which is about three hours riding a day.

“Audio books save me – I finished seven books this October.”

Justyna said she preferred to listen to music.

“My husband understands October is my riding month and I work in my riding around other commitments,” she said.

“It is a solo activity most of the time, but Shane and I ride together a few times a month for extra giggles.”

At the time of print, Ms Grosse and Mr Lewis had raised $6815 and $6395 respectively and were ranked 10th and 12th on the national leader board.

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PEDAL POWER: Shane Lewis and Justyna Grosse completed the Great Cycle Challenge last month and raised a combined $13,210 for the Children’s Medical Research Institute. Funds donated will support research to develop better treatments and find a cure for childhood cancer. Picture: BRITTANY DENTON