Bike Month Interview Series: Tour De Cure

Virgin Mobile is giving away 25 premium pushbikes a week through bicycle scavenger hunt, A Fair Ride For All. Each weekday, Virgin is hiding bikes in secret locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane and releasing clues on where to find them at To win, simply ‘like’ the hunt for the bike (or bikes) you want to win at and then check back on the day of the hunt to get clues. You can even save the hunt to your calendar to be reminded when the hunt is on. It’s then up to you to get out and hunt them down. To celebrate the initiative, Pedestrian is publishing weekly interviews with key members of Australia’s cycling community, the second of which is Geoff Coomes, Co-Founder and Director of Tour de Cure.

What are your tips for people if its there first time getting involved on a long bike ride? There’s a lot to learn about riding, especially when there is distance involved. In the context of getting into cycling or long distance cycling, preparation is the key, to understand the ride your about to partake in and work backwards to make sure you have a training program, the right equipment, and support from those people you are to undertake the training with, in order to get the most out of it, when you get there and start riding. There is nothing worse than being under-prepared, and not being able to enjoy it.

There is a perceived cyclist versus driver mentality that exists. Do you agree? It’s unfortunate, there is certainly a mix of animosity that exists between certain groups of heavy road users and cyclists. The objective however, of the future is to work out how to share the road, for cyclists to show respect for the delicate place they hold on the road and for motorists to allow us to enjoy the sport that we are doing and to be able to do it in a safe and predictable way. There for we will be reducing the incidents and making sure the frustrations are alleviated.

Do you listen to any tunes when you are riding that you might suggest motivating riders? Definitely do not listen to music. I do not recommend it; you need all your senses functioning when you are on the road to remain safe and alert. When you are riding with a good bunch, the chance to chat and catch up on things with one of your friends and debrief on matters and generally have a good conversation on the bike, that’s generally the beauty of the sport. It allows you to have a physical work out, to see some incredible scenery and catch up with good mates. And there’s usually coffee involved as well…

Last week we interviewed Joshua Chaplin from BFF who was opposed to compulsory helmet use, how do you feel about the mandatory use of helmets as a rider in Australia? I think its an import one to address and for those who spend a lot of time on the road and if its road cyclists, not those doing short commutes, than I think there crazy not to wear helmets I do understand the philosophy around short distance and people just jumping on a bike to get from A to B. But I think if you are spending as much time on the road as we do, than you would be crazy not to (wear a helmet), and we have seen people walk away from accidents, and if they were not wearing a helmet, they definitely would not be walking away from it.

Tour de Cure is a 1600km trip, any tips for riders out there that would like to give it a go one day? The tour is annually a 10-day trip, anywhere form 1400 to 1600km. I think if you sign up to take on our charity to ride, or another, the key is getting involved and jumping in with both feet. The training and the riding becomes almost secondary, you are on the road, and you get to spend time with the community, your inspiring a lot of people with your endeavor to raise funds for a worthy cause. Jump in with both feet. Enjoy it, embrace it, get to know everybody and make the most of the opportunity and you’ll pay back much more than in fact you expected.

To learn more about the Tour de Cure and their efforts to raise awareness and inspire national fight against cancer go to the website

Title Image Provided by Geoff Coomes