Thursday, October 12, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Mackay's annual BMA River 2 Reef Ride, now in its impressive 11th year, recently transformed the region into a hub of cycling excitement. Taking place on the weekend of October 7th and 8th, this event saw hundreds of cycling aficionados converge at the stunning Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens for a two-day cycling extravaganza.
Known for more than just its thrilling rides, the River 2 Reef Ride has earned its reputation as a charitable powerhouse, consistently raising funds for two essential local non-profit organizations: this year the charities of choice were RACQ CQ Rescue and Disabled Sport & Rec Mackay.
This cycling festival has become a fixture on Mackay's social calendar, drawing participants and supporters from across Queensland. Cyclists of all skill levels, hailing from various backgrounds, united for a common cause – raising funds for the less fortunate.
The weekend commenced with the Golding Kids Colour Ride on Saturday, where young pedal pushers aged 3 to 12 took on an exciting 1.5km course around Mackay Botanic Gardens, each vibrant splash of colour representing a charitable effort. Sunday was reserved for the adults, offering ride distances ranging from 30km to 100km, ensuring that cyclists of all abilities could take part and contribute to the noble causes supported by this remarkable event.
Linda Murry, General Manager of BMA’s Hay Point Coal Terminal, said BMA is once again proud to sponsor this significant community event for the region.
“BMA employs so many people in the region and is part of the community,” she said.
“We recognise the importance of events such as this, which bring the community together, whilst also raising funds for local organisations who play a much-needed support role in the Mackay area.”
What sets this year's BMA River 2 Reef Ride apart is its ability to inspire new community groups to join in the mission of making Mackay a more inclusive and healthier place to live.
One such organisation that has enthusiastically embraced the event's spirit is Selectability, a not-for-profit charity committed to improving the mental wellbeing of people in regional Queensland and contributing to suicide prevention.
Carl Holland, Selectability’s Bike Shed Coordinator, shared his excitement for the event, saying, "We believe in the power of community and collaboration. The BMA River 2 Reef Ride has given us a unique opportunity to create a focused goal for Mackay's youth."
Carl Holland's dedication to empowering Mackay's youth saw his “Selectability Youth Team” come 8th in their first year participating in the ride.
Selectability is an example of how the BMA River 2 Reef Ride serves as a catalyst for positive change. By encouraging young people to develop valuable life skills and engage in physical activities, the event not only raises funds for worthy causes but also promotes the overall well-being of the community.
The winning cycling teams for 2023 for riding the most kilometres across the 3 distances: 30km Queensland Country Health Fund Dash, 60km City Fitness Epic and 100km Corry Cycles Gran Fondo were:
1. Tri-ActiV8: 38 Riders, 3118km
2. BMA: 37 Riders, 1737km
3. Muscle Garden: 12 Riders, 780km
4. Tied: Queensland Country Health Fund: 16 Riders, 480km and Marian Multisport: 8 Riders, 480km
5. Sugar Australia: 10 Riders, 450km
6. Uppaaahhh!!!: 4 Riders, 400km
7. Selectability Youth Team: 11 Riders, 330km
8. Rural View Dental: 5 Riders, 210km
Photo supplied: River 2 Reef