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Meet the Team: Leeanne

The 2023 Ride for Country Kids is just around the corner! We chatted to first-time rider Leeanne about why she’s riding over 400km from Cooma to Lake Hume Village to support country kids.

Tell us about yourself

I am a proud mum of 3 with 4 beautiful granddaughters. I enjoy city living but equally enjoy time out in the country or relaxing on the beach – my dream life would involve a combination of all three.

I like to enjoy life to its fullest by travelling to other countries to learn and experience other cultures, and I also love touring and camping in our beautiful country Australia.

What is your connection to Royal Far West?

I’m connected to RFW through Craig Poynton, a work colleague who has participated in the Ride for Country Kids for the past 6 years. He asked me to join him on the previous two Rides but, unfortunately, I was unable to commit.

Late last year when he asked me again, it was a case of “third time’s the charm” and I said yes…all while knowing full well I didn’t have a bike and hadn’t ridden one for over 30 years! I do love a good challenge but didn’t realise at that point what was actually ahead of me on this year’s tour.

Why did you think it was important to get involved and help raise funds supporting the country kids? 

Children living in rural and remote areas simply don’t have the same access to developmental and mental health services and support as we do in the city – but this fact isn’t widely known. I wanted to increase awareness of this among people in my network.

I’m hoping my commitment to the Ride, along with my fundraising efforts, will make a difference to country kids who need the vital support of Royal Far West.

Are you an experienced rider?

I am definitely not an experienced rider. I am totally new to the sport. The last time I rode a bicycle was when I was 16 years old.

How is your preparation going? Are you ready to clock the 400 kms? 

Good but there just isn’t enough time to prepare for such a distance. My actual first ride on the road was the first Manly to North Head hill repeat training with the Entoure team a few months ago.

I distantly recall Kent [Director of Ride partner Entoure] saying, “If you are behind me or I lap you, then you have a lot of work to do to ensure you are able to participate in the Ride for Country Kids this year.”

Well, let’s just say OMG! It was an eye-opener as I am so unfit, with no road bike experience or training under my belt. I have prepared myself by investing in a coach – Sarah Anne [Evans from Karmea Fitness], who is fantastic – to get me bike-fit-ready, as suggested by Kent. I have followed Sarah Anne’s instructions to a “T” and I’m now training 5 days (consisting of around 200+ kms and lots of hill repeats) per week. I’ve also invested in getting my bike fitted out by Brad the Bike Fitter. I did not realise or know how important or what a huge difference it would make to my riding and training. I’ve been training in Jindabyne (thank you to Craig for the accommodation) to get myself prepared not just physically but mentally. There is never enough time to prepare, but I am definitely dedicated and committed.

selfie photo of Leeanne on a bike ride      Group of 4 cyclists stop to take a selfie

What are you looking forward to most about the Ride? 

Riding through the country and meeting the people who live in the area to demonstrate that there are people out there who care and who are passionate about giving back to their community. I’m also looking forward to networking and meeting like-minded people. Not to mention taking in and appreciating just how far removed some of these areas are from the medical resources and services that we take for granted in the city.

How can people get behind you and donate to the Ride?

Starting from zero kms of road cycling experience and committing to putting in hard work and training to ride over 400kms – not to mention 7000m of elevation – over 3 days has been no easy feat. I’m hoping that sharing my story will inspire people to get behind me.

The other Mulesoft riders and I are proud to be involved with the Ride and donate to this very worthy organisation. Let’s make a difference and help our country’s kids.

You can Sponsor Leeanne here.