Tweed Heads cyclist Jack Griffin, 85, will attempt a 2500km bike ride from Townsville to Darwin next year.
Tweed Heads cyclist Jack Griffin, 85, will attempt a 2500km bike ride from Townsville to Darwin next year. Blainey Woodham/ Tweed Daily News

My way is the highway

CYCLING extraordinaire Jack Griffin cannot stay off the bike seat.

The 85-year-old Tweed Heads resident has vowed to ride again, this time on a mammoth 2500km journey from Townsville to Darwin to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctors Association.

Mr Griffin is no stranger to these treks; two months ago he completed a 1700km, 17-day ride from Brisbane to Cairns to raise money for a new stress machine for The Tweed Hospital.

For the man attempting to live to 100 or die trying, Mr Griffin hopes to complete his upcoming ride in 25 days next May.

“I just love the freedom about cycling. I love to just hop on and disappear. It invigorates me,” Mr Griffin said.

“You are never old until regrets take the place of dreams.”

He previously rode from Townsville to Darwin in 1985, 1992 and 1996 as part of 14,900km trips around Australia.

He hopes to get sponsorship from the Royal Flying Doctor Service, who have several bases between Townsville and Darwin.

“They do such great work and I would love to help them out,” Mr Griffin said.

Central Queensland University associate professor Peter Reaburn from the faculty of sciences, engineering and health, met Mr Griffin during his latest ride.

“As I am an athlete and sport scientist, I am in awe of this man (Mr Griffin),” prof Reaburn said.

“His physical fitness and strength is that of a man 40 years his junior, no doubt as a result of the many years of consistent cycling he has done.

“While most people Jack's age have passed away or are sitting in homes waiting for the inevitable to happen, Jack refuses to give in. He sets goals athletes half his age don't consider. He plans, he executes and he executes with style, integrity and a smile.”

Rides of his life 1985, 1992 and 1996: Around Australia, 14,900km each. 1999: Tweed Heads to Canberra to meet then Prime Minister John Howard, 1100km. 2009: Brisbane to Cairns, 1700km.

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