THINKING about that notorious Mount Buninyong climb scares Tommy Quick a bit - but this is a handy hurdle to overcome in preparing for his next epic adventure.
Mr Quick is training to cycle to the four most extreme points in Australia on his recumbent tricycle in a bid to raise awareness for strokes and social inclusion across the nation.
Growing up in Melbourne, Mr Quick is familiar with Mount Buninyong, looming in the background of where his grandmother and uncles live. He estimates the climb will take him the best part of an hour in Ballarat Cycle Classic.
Mr Quick was 12 years old when he experienced a stroke. Upon regaining consciousness five weeks later, he was scared, panicked and had to re-learn everything.
About 15 years on, Mr Quick still has physical and mobility impairments and sometimes still slurs his words but has a strong passion for physical challenges.
He graduated year 12 and went to TAFE to study personal training. This was when Mr Quick started to seriously consider his future and how he could make a positive impact for others.
In 2014 he walked the Kokoda Trail.
"After my stroke I was confused but throughout that time after, there were prompts along the way to give things a go," Mr Quick said. "One day, when I decided to give things a go I found out how much I like it."
One day, when I decided to give things a go I found out how much I like it.Tommy Quick
Mr Quick took up cycling after getting his L-plates to drive. Blind in his right eye, Mr Quick said driving was "nuts" and always in the back of his thoughts were concerns about "worst-case scenarios", like potentially hurting others.
A recreation coordinator suggested Mr Quick try a trike as he tried to look for alternative ways of independent transport. He relishes the challenges this brings.
Ballarat Cycle Classic's 50-kilometre road ride will be a key step in Mr Quick's training preparations to ride 9000km, setting out in five months' time.
"Because of COVID and uni, which I've finished now, it's been a bit of a hassle to work in climbs - I've just been trying to get out and get my Ks up," Mr Quick said. "I'm a bit worried about elevation but I suppose this is a fun thing to do."
IN OTHER NEWS
Mr Quick will have an extra three weeks to get ready to climb after the Classic was delayed to March 14, a decision organisers made in the wake of Victoria's snap lockdown.
His uncle has been training to take on endurance test, the Spud100 to ride 100 miles (or 160 kilometres) about the region, including the notorious Mount Buninyong climb.
The Classic also features mountain bike courses, family rides, running and a pet-friendly walk to encourage people of all ages and fitness abilities to get moving.
Every cent from registrations supports Ballarat's Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute. For more details: ballaratcycleclassic.com.au.
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