Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

{Endurance Test } {World Race Awaits }

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

{Endurance Test } {World Race Awaits }

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew Lee

THOSE who commute to Brisbane on a regular basis from Gympie understand the long nature of the trip.

Two hours, if you enjoy the benefits of a clean run, sitting in a car, slowly creeping towards Queensland's expanding capital.

And even if you do manage to make good time, there is the congestion of Brisbane's inner city to contend with - cars madly beeping their horns out of frustration, countless light changes and the odd spot of roadworks as well.

But for Gympie endurance mountain bike rider Sean Bekkers, the trip to Brisbane for work during the week at times takes on an entirely new meaning.

Instead of paying for fuel, soon to be dearer thanks to Anna Bligh, and battling the rat race, Bekkers, 26, cycles and stays in Brisbane before returning for the weekend to spend time with his loving family. He even sold his car.

It's an accomplishment very few would even remotely contemplate attempting, but for Bekkers it is as natural as fastening the seatbelt in the family car.

Bekkers' wife Kiri laughs when people express amazement at her husband's antics.

"A lot of people are convinced he is insane," she said.

Once arriving in Brisbane, the benefits of a bike become a little more obvious for Sean.

Instead of becoming yet another frustrated driver confined to the long line of cars wishing for a run of green lights, Sean simply takes advantage of many of Brisbane's bike trials throughout the inner-city.

"It's definitely quicker to get around," he said.

Kiri and the couple's children, Charlotte and Kaitlin, meet Sean at Pomona on his way back to Gympie in the mammoth journey.

"The girls love it," Kiri said. "They have grown up thinking it is normal to spend seven and a half hours riding on a bike to get work."

The long trips to Brisbane will be put to good use next month when Sean flies out to Canada to for the 24 hour World Mountain Bike Endurance Championships.

SEAN qualified for the event twice, despite only taking up the sport 12 months ago after an earlier stint in the Navy saw him purchase a mountain bike for fitness. …

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