What began as a holiday for Redcliffe Hospital's Dr Joel Dulhunty, has become a 40-day, 2500kms marathon bike ride almost the length of Queensland – and it starts tomorrow.
Dr Dulhunty, the Director of Research and Medical Education, and his wife Naoni will drive up to Cairns and then cycle back to Brisbane, via Cooktown and the Atherton tablelands, along Queensland’s coast.
They will aim to do 60-100kms a day for the trip to help raise $120,000 to fund a senior university researcher at Redcliffe Hospital.
“My wife and I both have seven weeks long-service leave and were thinking what could we do,” says Dr Dulhunty, who is 45.
“We love cycling, especially long-distance cycling. We’re always on the bikes at weekends and have done various rides throughout parts of Australia and overseas.”
That includes cycling from Canberra to Brisbane; Sydney to Melbourne; Melbourne to Adelaide and Seoul to Tokyo via Busan and the Korea Strait.
“This one will be our longest tour and the weather could be a challenge,” says Dr Dulhunty, “it could be very hot or very wet in Cairns. That’s the main consideration on our minds.
“We ride safe and minimise risk, but there is always the unexpected. A big part of this is planning, having flexibility and back up options.
“This is part of the adventure. It could be a mix of boiling hot, long days, feeling sore, but also the pleasure of seeing new places.”
Dr Dulhunty, who is part of the leadership team at Redcliffe Hospital, is a medical administrator and researcher in sepsis and critical care.
“Research is my other passion,” he says, “the trip is how I can give back to the hospital and raise awareness for a conjoint professorial position.
“It would be a partnership with a senior researcher at university, embedded in the hospital bringing expertise and supporting our staff.
“We have a strategic fundraising goal of $120,000 for the position over three years. It’s a tried and tested model but there’s always a challenge funding these positions.”
Dr Dulhunty is already donating $1 for every kilometre he rides to the Raise it for Redcliffe fund which supports medical research, equipment and other initiatives at the hospital.