Cycling for the love of it

Maree Prenner will be taking part in Bike Week from March 16-22.
Maree Prenner will be taking part in Bike Week from March 16-22. David Nielsen

MAREE Prenner is part of an ever-growing group of bike riders who don't fit the stereotype of cyclists as lycra-clad fanatics.

Maree, 52, from Barellan Point, got involved in riding bikes with a recreational group through Bicycle Queensland in 2007.

Now, don't bother calling at her home on weekend mornings because she and her husband are out on the road with riding groups.

They have also done Cycle Queensland - the Bundaberg to Brisbane ride - and went to France for six weeks for some cycle touring.

Gearing up for Bike Week from this Saturday to next Sunday, she said the key to enjoying riding was finding like-minded riders.

"I think it's about finding the right group for you," said Mrs Prenner, who works in administration in a school at Pullenvale.

"Some people want to keep pushing and pushing while others just want to enjoy the journey.

"In the group I ride in there's a gentleman who's 70 and they do touring and riding."

She said bike safety was another big issue facing people planning to take up riding.

"Cycling has been in the media a lot more, probably for the wrong reasons - that it can be dangerous; particularly in Ipswich where we've had a couple of tragedies in the past three years," she said.

"There really aren't any bike facilities out this way, especially compared to Brisbane.

"We've come along in leaps and bounds with things like the Brassall Bikeway, but even the country roads can be dangerous with people throwing things at you and that sort of thing.

"But you're out there for the enjoyment so you overlook that and just enjoy the ride."

Bike Week 2013 presents a range of rides and mostly free activities catering for cycle fanatics and riding newcomers such as Ride to Work Day next Thursday.

Mrs Prenner volunteers each Bike Week and this year she's trying the Women's Mountain Bike Ride, which is being offered for the first time.

"Each year we try something different; last year we tried an indoor training session," she said.

"Last year I organised a ride from Bellbowrie to where I work at Pullenvale and this year we're organising a group of students to ride to school."

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