Team Guyra get ready for the 2017 Great Cycle Challenge

Lettie, Peta and Polly Kerr last Friday. Peta was rushed to John Hunter Hospital earlier this year with a tumour on the back of her neck. Now, she will participate in this year's Great Cycle Challenge.
Lettie, Peta and Polly Kerr last Friday. Peta was rushed to John Hunter Hospital earlier this year with a tumour on the back of her neck. Now, she will participate in this year's Great Cycle Challenge.

One of Australia’s biggest cycling events, the Great Cycle Challenge, is back again and this year Guyra has a very special team.

Thirteen riders have already signed up for the October challenge, including 10-year-old Peta Kerr and her older sister Lettie.

Peta was rushed to John Hunter Hospital earlier this year for emergency surgery to remove a tumour at the back of her neck.

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She has signed up to ride 20 kilometres, while 12-year-old Lettie will tackle 50.

“I joined for Peta … I wanted to help,” Lettie said.

“We live on a property so I’ll probably ride around it.”

The girls’ mum, Kate Kane, said Peta had been riding around Newcastle during her time at hospital.

“At Newcastle there’s lots of bike paths around and we’re just trying to keep her going with some fitness,” she said.

“Somebody actually donated her a bike which was really wonderful so she was riding every day.”

RIDING FOR A CAUSE: Members of team Guyra (so far) Donna Mayled, Leanne Mayled, Richard Burey, Judi Wark, Dave Mills and Jenni Jackson are preparing for a month of cycling. Photo: Rachel Baxter.

RIDING FOR A CAUSE: Members of team Guyra (so far) Donna Mayled, Leanne Mayled, Richard Burey, Judi Wark, Dave Mills and Jenni Jackson are preparing for a month of cycling. Photo: Rachel Baxter.

Jenni Jackson, who has also signed up, said Peta would be their motivation. 

“We have a little girl in town who has been diagnosed with brain cancer,” she said.

“Knowing a child that’s suffering in our community gave us a local cause.”

Mrs Jackson said anyone could get involved.

“We’d love more to sign up to be part of the team,” she said.

And you don’t have to be the next Tour de France champion to participate.

“We’re trying to encourage more people to use this month as a way of getting into a cycling program for themselves and as a way of getting some fitness,” she said.

“New riders are very much encouraged to join some of the more experienced riders and we can show them some of the tracks we do.”

Seasoned rider Dave Mills said there’s still time to sign up.

“You can jump in at anytime and do as little or as much as you like,” Mr Mills said.

Judi Wark has signed up to ride 500 kilometres throughout October.

“I ride Monday to Friday and usually about 30 kilometres a day,” she said.

“That should knock a fairly big hole in it.”

Guyra Cycling will also participate in the Walcha Mountain Festival’s weekend ride in October.

Other members already signed up for team Guyra include Ken Porter, Pip White, Mick Mayled, Mick Bavea and Kirsten Porter.

To find out more or to donate visit greatcyclechallenge.com.au.