Sharon Milne, second on during one of her visits to Noosa's Sunshine Butterflies with Leanne Walsh, centre.
Sharon Milne, second on during one of her visits to Noosa's Sunshine Butterflies with Leanne Walsh, centre.

Spurred on to ride for Sunshine’s gain

WHEN the going is tough during the HNF Bike Ride from Torquay to Adelaide, for Sharon Milne and her partner Pam Schmidt, it will be a special place in Noosa that will spur them on to go the distance.

While Pam is doing the hard yards cycling in the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation charity event, Sharon will be working long days as her main support crew.

Last year’s event, which the team tackled as novices, was so daunting they had to cut a couple of staged rides short, but this year they have been inspired by Noosa disability support service Sunshine Butterflies and Sharon’s friendship with founder Leanne Walsh.

Foundation funds raised in the ride will go towards supporting Leanne’s Cooroibah farm style support centre.

Sharon’s brother Stephen, 53, has an intellectual disability and from the moment Sharon heard Leanne speak at a Herbal Life function on the Gold Coast, she was keen to help further her cause.

“I get goose bumps thinking about it even now,” she said.

Sharon visited the Our Back Yard centre recently and said it had “pulled heart strings” and motivated the pair to give this next ride their very best shot.

“I just know how different his life would have been had he (Stephen) gone to a chill-out space like Sunshine Butterflies, to be able to go and just mingle with similar people and not be pressured.

“The situation and the set up that Leanne has got down there is just magical.”

The ride will leave Torquay on Saturday, January 11 and roll into the Adelaide CBD on Thursday January 16.

The HNF Bike Ride has raised more than $440,000 since 2014.

“We did it this year for our first time and absolutely loved it so jumped on board again to give it a go this year,” she said.

“I love the crewing because you’re there supporting the riders.

“They’re there doing the hard yards with their legs, but we’ve got the long hours making sure they’ve got the right nutrition along the way and plenty of cold water.

“It’s just to make sure they’re looked after all the way.”