Cycling gurus shift up a gear
IT IS the end of an era for Toowoomba cycling as Kerry and Donnamaree Cosgrove prepare to hand Bikeline over to new owners in April after 28 years.
The couple admit to mixed emotions in saying farewell to something that has been so much more than a business, and such a huge part of their lives.
Kerry said it was the customers who had become friends, and what he and Donnamaree had been able to achieve in terms of initiatives and facilities for Toowoomba, that really stood out.
That includes the Norwegian Olympic cycling team training in Toowoomba in the lead-up to Sydney's 2000 Games, having the Australian cycling team race in Toowoomba and, at the other end of the spectrum, working with the PCYC on children's bicycle safety training. Kerry also lobbied for and was instrumental in construction of the purpose-built criterium track in 2011, rated one of the country's best.
The annual Bikeline Pinktober Ride raises funds for St Andrew's and St Vincent's hospitals and Bikeline has also been part of Rotary's charity Ride the Range since it began 10 years ago, helping to design the course with Rotary Club of Toowoomba members.
The March 29 ride, this year raising funds for MND and ME, Protea Place and Rotary District 9630 Drought Relief, attracts entrants from across the country and has raised more than $300,000 for charity.
"I'm really proud of the community stuff we've done … that's what I remember most," Kerry said.
It's a big list of achievements and he almost passes over one … having been chairman of the Australian Paralympic Federation, the forerunner of Paralympics Australia when it formed in 1990.
He was executive director of the Amputee Sporting Association of Australia at the time, having lost his leg when he "went through a harvester as a young bloke".
Kerry said he was overwhelmed by how the Paralympics had taken off after the first combined event with the Olympics at the Barcelona Games in 1992 - the same year he bought Bikeline.
That Paralympics brought a young Louise Sauvage to fame and arguably changed the face of sport and views on ability and disability for ever.
"Those are definitely the things that give you a good kick out of life," he said.
While Kerry and Donnamaree have never actually competed in Ride the Range, that's because they are always there supplying on-road support.
To celebrate its 10th year, Ride the Range has added another test to its 2020 line-up - the epic 200 Double Range Climb. Labelled the toughest and longest charity ride in the state's southeast, it is estimated to take nine-plus hours, travelling more than 200km. To find out more about Ride the Range, go to https://ridetherange .org.au.