CYCLIST Randal Bishop lost his daughter to an aggressive brain tumour in 2009.
In a commemoration to his daughter, he road from Gympie to Sydney later that year, which quickly turned into an annual event.
And, the Bridge to Bridge charity ride stopped in Armidale on Tuesday.
First time rider Peta Baddock said she became involved because brain cancer remains one of the most understudied.
“It receives relatively small amounts of research funding – yet causes so much personal, economic and social distress,” she said.
“About 1,600 Australians are diagnosed with brain cancer each year, of which over 1,000 will die prematurely from their tumours.”
“Brain cancer continues to cause more deaths in children and adults under 40 than any other type of cancer.”
The ride runs over Brain Cancer Action Week, and travels more than 1000 kilometres from Brisbane’s Story Bridge to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
It takes the riders eight days to make the trek, and so far they have raised more than $250,000 for brain cancer charities.
This year, the ride is supporting the Charlie Teo Foundation – that focuses on researching better ways of detecting, managing and curing brain cancer.
An immediate target of the research is to improve the survival rate over the medium term.
The cyclists addressed students at Ben Lomond and stopped off in Guyra before having breakfast with mayor Simon Murray in Armidale.
Eight time rider Mark Driver said there are a lot of positives in tackling the disease.
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“Our ride is contributing to funding some very innovative research through bringing world-class clinical trials to Australia that provide children and adults with brain cancer access to new treatments faster,” he said.
“We have seen some of the magnificent effort being put in, when we have toured research facilities such as the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, at the University of Queensland.
“We have left these places convinced that we have our best people on the case.
“We’re proud to be, in some way, helping these wonderful researchers beat this thing.”
Mayor Murray said he appreciated the event’s focus on regional Australia.
“We in the Armidale region applaud the route chosen by the Bridge to Bridge team in deliberately passing through a number of regional agricultural communities,” he said.
“As such, the ride recognises that brain tumour issues also affect those living in rural and regional areas where there are many challenges such as people being able to readily access support services.
“Often people in communities like ours feel that they get left behind.”