THE road ahead is long and Courtney Preo pedals more than 110 kilometres some days, but her biggest challenge has been something she never expected.
The ex-Bletchington Public School was in Orange yesterday as she neared the end of a mammoth 3000km bicycle ride from Cairns to Sydney.
Since the 40-day ride began on August 19, she has been challenged by long, hot roads, but she says one of the biggest challenges has been magpies.
“They come at waist level and torpedo towards me,” she said.
Ms Preo has lost count of the numbers of times she has been swooped by the birds.
She is raising funds and awareness for four charities: the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Lymphoma Australia, Humpty Dumpty Foundation and Spinal Injuries Association.
The first two charities have assisted two of her family members, her aunt and her cousin.
“My auntie Kay has battled Lymphoma for more than 20 years,” she said.
“It makes you question your right to complain over a three-day virus or a flu. Being 27 [years old] I can’t even comprehend battling an illness for 20 years.”
Ms Preo said the Royal Flying Doctor Service had saved her cousin’s life more than once.
“If it was not for the RFDS, David would not be here today,” she said.
So far Ms Preo has raised more than $14,000 and hopes to raise even more before she arrives in Sydney on September 27.
She has been accompanied by her father Barry Preo in a support vehicle and has enjoyed their time together.
She will continue on the next stage in her ride tomorrow in what she says is a “short 60km ride” to Bathurst.
To support Ms Preo on her ride visit www.bikeyoumeanit.net.