January 29, 2013 0 comments

Rider Spotlight – Professor Ray Morris

Ray Morris

1. How did you first hear about Rabobank SuperCycle and what motivated you to sign up?

I recently retired from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital after almost 30 years of service and having been the beneficiary of much of The Hospital Research Foundation’s great work, I saw this as a golden opportunity to give something back. The SuperCycle cause is also close to my heart, having experienced a cancer scare with my elderly mother 3 years ago.

2. Why do you think building family accommodation for rural SA cancer patients close to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is important?

When my mother was going through her recovery from cancer it was only natural that all her family gathered to give her continual love and support. After viewing the You Tube video for Rabobank SuperCycle 2013 several times, one cannot help but be very moved by the stories of these country patients with cancer, and how they have struggled with being away from their families and support networks at this crisis time in order to receive treatment at TQEH.

3. How much money do you hope to raise for The Hospital Research Foundation? What are you doing to raise this money and do you have any tips?

Initially I hoped to raise $5000. However it would be great if I can do even better. I have been looking at corporate opportunities such as booking the charity booth at West Lakes Mall, a BBQ at the Basil Hetzel Institute, getting in-kind support for the ride to help reduce costs, getting support from local coffee shops frequented by cyclists, and gathering a table of guests and acquiring silent auction items for the SuperCycle fundraising Quiz Night.

4. You are doing the 7-day challenge, why have you chosen to tackle the 7-days opposed to the 1-day ride?

Having done 2 previous 7/8-day charity rides of similar distances, the prospect is not threatening, although obviously still a big endurance challenge. Plus my cycling mates would likely think I was a “Wus” if I only did 1-day!

5. To ride 1000kms you must love cycling! When did you first get an interest in cycling and have you ever participated in anything as long in distance as SuperCycle before?

Cycling is my personal mid-life crisis. I got really serious at about age 50, so nearly 10 years ago, and have recently bought my 4th ‘crisis bike’ in that time. I have averaged over 1000km per month of the past 2 years, and did nearly 14,000km in 2012. That’s not to say that I am ‘fast’, just persistent!

6. Have you been under taking any extra training preparations before the 7 day cycle? If so what?

Before my first 8-day challenge in March 2011, the training schedule for riders was to do 1000km a month for 3 months leading up to the event for training, so essentially I haven’t stopped that schedule since. So I feel fitter than I’ve ever been in my life, now in my 60th year, and would be quite happy if we were leaving next week. So I haven’t really been doing any extra training.

7. What would you say to people who are either thinking of signing up as a rider, or supporting your ride?

‘Bite the bullet and get ready for an adventure of a life-time’

I have made strong friends through the 2 previous 7/8 day rides, folks I continue to ride with on a weekly basis. I think that when a group takes on such a significant challenge as a team, the bonding that follows through sharing this basic hard-slog in all weather, is palpable.