Employees use pedal power in support of local causes

A group of cycling enthusiasts from Mount Isa Mines have put their pedals to the bitumen to help raise funding for local causes as part of the challenging 2021 Border Ride.

The 12 riders were led by team captain Jason Ahearn and included fellow employees Ron Pickering, Fiona Bryant, Rory French, Ben Russell, James Postle, Simon Wilcox, Jarrod Toogood, Jay Bryant and Ben Alcorn.

The team was also bolstered by Ben’s wife Kim Alcorn and long-time border ride participant, Tony Sweeney.

They were among almost 100 riders who entered the 200-kilometre charity ride from Mount Isa to the Northern Territory and Queensland border, near Camooweal.

Looking relaxed as the team prepare to embark on the challenging 200-kilometre event. (Left to right): Top Row – Ben Russell, James Postle, Ben Alcorn, Jay Bryant, Simon Wilcox and Rory French; Middle row – Kim Alcorn; Bottom row – Ron Pickering, Jason Ahearn and Jarrod Toogood.

Border Ride President, Steve Carsen, says over the years more than $110,000 has been raised and distributed to various charities, worthwhile organisations and individuals.

“A big thank you to the amazing local people and businesses who supported the ride – they helped ensure the success of the event again this year.”

“This ride and everyone’s participation and support will help make a difference to the lives of people who need it,” says Steve.

For Jason Ahearn, who’s the Lead Safety Advisor at the Mount Isa Copper Operations (MICO), it was his fifth time participating in the border ride. Since the event first kicked off in 2008, George Fisher Mine, Ernest Henry Mining and MICO operations have entered teams and for three years the MICO Safety Advisors have also entered a team.

(Left to right): Fiona Bryant and Tony Sweeney.
(Left to right): Jarrod Toogood and Ben Alcorn celebrate reaching the border.
A relieved group of participants reach the border between Queensland and Northern Territory near Camooweal.
The border of Queensland and the Northern Territory near Camooweal.

In preparation for the ride, Jason started increasing his cycling in March, striving for an average of 200 kilometres a week, which included a 100 kilometre ride on a Sunday morning.

Jason says the event is a test physically and mentally.

“It’s not until you get through the first 35 kilometres that you get the full advantage of the tailwind which makes a huge difference,” says Jason.

“There is also a fair bit of bunching up until this point and that’s when the main pack splits up into smaller groups.”

“At the 100 kilometre mark, I felt like I could take on the world. But, just after 150 kilometres a bit of doubt sets in as your legs start getting sore,” Jason says.

Ride participants leave Mount Isa for the 200 kilometre charity ride to the Northern Territory border.

But he says that’s when entering the ride as a team really pays off, with members rallying to help one another to ensure they all make it to the border.

The ride is one of the biggest cycling events on the local calendar and for seasoned participants like Jason, the personal goal is to beat their previous times, but the key focus is on the community objective.

“Also, it’s good knowing that someone in Mount Isa or the surrounding region going through a tough time will benefit in some way from the nomination fees.”