Middle-aged men on bikes to arrive in Albany in effort to raise money for critical cancer research

Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
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Finishing a past MACA Cancer 200 Challenge.
Camera IconFinishing a past MACA Cancer 200 Challenge. Credit: supplied/supplied

A group of middle-aged men in lycra will ride into Albany this weekend as they prepare to finish the final leg of a 2000km bike ride raising money for cancer research.

As part of the MACA Cancer 200 Challenge, the MAMILs are riding from Perth and back via Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Albany and Bunbury to raise funds for the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

There are more than 1000 riders registered to ride 200km throughout October or the MACA Cancer 200 Challenge — Australia’s biggest cycling community fundraiser.

But the MAMILs are taking their personal challenge to new lengths by riding 2000km over five days.

“It’s just another zero, right?” member Craig Wells said.

The MAMILs started in 2012 when Franko Roberts was diagnosed with throat cancer.

MAMIL Craig Wells.
Camera IconMAMIL Craig Wells. Credit: supplied

In support of his friend, Mr Wells signed up to ride 200km in aid of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in his honour.

“Franko was there on the morning to see me off and he greeted me at the finish line with his two sons, who were about the same age as my boys,” he said.

“We had a bit of a cry. He was a shadow of his former self due to all the treatment and was beginning to look like a stick insect, but he walked over and registered himself for the next year’s ride, so that was how the team was born.”

Since Mr Roberts’ recovery, the duo have been riding together ever since.

The pair will ride in a group of 15, covering the 2000km distance in relay format with a minimum of two riders on the road at any one time.

“Each MAMIL rides for their own reasons but they ride as one when it comes to why,” Mr Wells said.

So far this year, the team has raised more than $50,000 for cancer research in WA.

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