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HOT: The Annual Perko Memorial Ride, MB Coaching, 12 McDougall St, Milton

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These days, find cycling seems to be one of Brisbane’s favourite past times and the city has a lot to offer when it comes to cycling routes, for sale paths and facilities.  Cycling is a lifestyle choice and it’s like vegemite – you either love it or you hate it. Without entering into the controversial debate of motorists vs cyclists, shop I’ve got a touching tale to tell about a ride held annually to raise public awareness of cyclists on our roads.

In November 2007 a tragedy occurred on one of Brisbane’s most popular cycling routes at Mt Coot-tha.  In an accident during a standard training session, one of the Brisbane cycling community’s well known members Ian Perkins was involved in a fatal head-on collision with a motorist.  I didn’t know Perko, but I heard of the tragedy the day it happened as news like this travels fast in these circles.  I can’t begin to imagine how witnessing such an event would leave you feeling and God knows it would be nearly impossible to get back on your bike.

In true Aussie spirit though, Perko’s team mates and the extended cycling community came together just days after his death and held a memorial ride on the popular “River Loop” to honour their mate’s life and courage.

Now, two years on, Perko’s family and friends with the extended cycling community gathered again to celebrate his life and raise awareness for cyclists.  The 200 strong peloton departed for the River Loop from MB Coaching’s headquarters in McDougall Street, Milton, at 5.15am in the presence of a police escort.  What an invigorating yet humbling experience it was to ride with such a large group of people, all gathered to achieve a common goal.  Most cyclists have experienced one or more near-misses with cars in their time and on those occasions you realise just how vulnerable you are.  On last week’s memorial ride for Perko, no one was racing.  There were no prejudices about how shiny your piece of carbon was.  There was minimal added wank-factor that is often synonymous with cycling.  How refreshing!

We don’t often take time to reflect on how precious life is, and it’s unfortunate it takes a tragedy to remind us of this.  Thanks to MB Coaching for organizing the ride and providing Perko’s mates the chance to remember and celebrate his life and The Lifestyle.

  • The Annual Perko Memorial Ride, MB Coaching, 12 McDougall St Milton +61 7 3367 2488
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Discussion

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  1. As someone who rides to work every day, I think anything that promotes awareness of cycling is a great thing.

    Personally I’d like to see hoards of cyclists on the roads become a more normal occurrence – not just the lycra/carbon brigade but ordinary commuters too. I felt safer on the roads in London – there was always a steady stream of bikes around me when I rode to work there, so the motorists were used to it. We’re still a few years off that here.

    In the mean time, us cyclists can play our part by being less aggressive, respecting the road rules (I’m as guilty as anyone on that) and using bike paths rather than roads when they are available.

    And, since I’m standing on my little soapbox, I want to point out that the “wank factor” (as you call it Caz) doesn’t help either. Cycling for me has always been a healthy, cheap, convenient and environmentally friendly way of getting from A to B, not a race or an expensive toy contest. The prevalence of that attitude is a very Brisbane (or perhaps Australian?) phenomenon – it’s very different in Europe and Asia.

    Maybe it’s because our national obsession with sport leads us to see cycling as a sport rather than a mode of transport. In any case, I don’t think it helps the motorists vs cyclists hostility to have so many Cadel Evans wannabes.

    Just wanted to get that off my chest – I’ll step off the box now.

    Posted by Brett | November 17, 2009, 9:57 pm

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