Coral Priestley will be riding through the CLEM7 tunnel on the Great Brisbane Bike Ride.
Coral Priestley will be riding through the CLEM7 tunnel on the Great Brisbane Bike Ride. Alistair Brightman

73yo to tackle 45km bike ride

A HIP replacement and absolutely no bicycle riding experience until 2002 have not stopped Coral Priestly, 73, from stepping up her pedal power to tackle the March 21 45km Great Brisbane Bike Ride, including the CLEM7 tunnel.

The Hervey Bay Bicycle User Group member of four years says she may have been “the slowest BUG rider for a long time” but now she clocks up to 45km six days a week – and loves every spoke turn of it.

“I forget about my hip and my arthritis and just go for it. It’s as though none of that is with me when I bike. It’s the best thing I ever did in my life.”

Grandmother of two and mother of two Coral has tackled long-distance rides from Miles to Mooloolaba, across the Darling Downs and from Brisbane to the Gold Coast.

“With the addition of the new tunnel, I believe the Great Brisbane Bike Ride will be one of Australia’s most unique road rides,” Coral said.

“I’ve completed a number of fantastic cycling events across Queensland but this one will be pretty special. It’s not often you get the opportunity to cycle under a stretch of water – especially one the size of the Brisbane River.

“I’ll be participating with nine other Hervey Bay residents and we can’t wait to fly the flag for the Fraser Coast.”

Coral and her late husband Ray bought mountain bikes in 2002 and started to enjoy cycling in Hervey Bay.

“I just want to encourage more older women to do this because it’s such fun and BUG members really support you as you progress.”



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