• "If I can do it, anyone can"

Oncology nurse Lucy never saw herself as a cyclist—until her mates persuaded her to commit to 580km on the bike with Smiddy.

While she had previously taken part in triathlons, cycling was Lucy’s least favourite of the three legs and she had never considered attempting a long-distance ride like the 2015 Midi Smiddy.

But after some convincing from some triathlon training mates who have been involved in Smiddy, she took the plunge.

“When I signed up, my mates all thought I was crazy,” Lucy said. Crazy or not, the reaction of Lucy’s friends and family has been amazing, providing massive support both in person and through fundraising. Lucy has already raised almost $5000, an incredible effort.

 “It feels inspiring to know I’m attempting something outside what I ever thought I was capable of.”

Lucy is also finding out that signing up for Smiddy is more than just signing up for the ride—she is now part of the Smiddy community.

“The people involved are incredible—I’ve been on Smiddy training rides, and people that you know could just take off and drop you on a climb don't. They make sure they’re riding with you, will have a chat if you’re struggling, will pace you and make sure you stay in the right place mentally.” The supportive atmosphere of Smiddy has set this experience apart for Lucy: “It’s really comforting knowing people aren’t there just to race to the finish, but to go on a journey together.”

Lucy's training schedule has not only made Lucy a stronger rider, it’s also helped her enjoy the rides more. “Destination rides, like to Mooloolaba or the Gold Coast, are always much easier to get into. I’m also really enjoying getting to know the lycra-friendly cafes.”

Lucy is also enjoying getting used to peloton riding, a big change from her triathlon riding. “I love it, it’s great being able to tuck in on someone’s wheel.”

With the Midi riders rolling out of Brisbane on 22 May, Lucy is buoyed by the knowledge it is for more than just a ride. “It means so much more when you’re riding for a reason. And trust me, if I can sign up and do this ride, anyone can.”

The Mater Foundation is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission ABN 96723184640.