Jess biking to find organ donors

Jessica Watson plans to ride for charity.
Jessica Watson plans to ride for charity. Warren Lynam

SHE successfully solo circumnavigated the world in a yacht, but sailing sensation Jessica Watson is certain she would make a fool of herself on a push bike.

Yet the recently crowned Young Australian of the Year is hoping to make it to this year’s Cycle of Giving event on Saturday, February 26.

The ride helps to raise awareness for organ and tissue donations, and recognition for donors and their families.

“Being young and not having a car, I tend to ride my bike around a fair bit,” the 17-year-old joked yesterday.

“But I do think that organ and tissue donation is an important topic and it’s important to talk to your relatives about it.

“It’s definitely something I believe in.”

Jessica plans to participate in a short leg of the event.

The event begins at Landsborough and finishes at Brisbane’s Prince Charles Hospital, an 80km ride.

The ride was initially organised by Mary Long and her husband Mal, who received a heart transplant in 2004 at the Chermside institute.

The couple organised the inaugural ride between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane in 2006 to recognise the donor, the donor family and the clinical staff and to raise awareness about the cause. Sadly, Mal died from cancer in 2007.

Family consent is always sought before a donation can proceed, even with registered donors.

Register for the ride at

Join the ride

There are four legs

1. 6am for 6.30am start, Landsborough Railway Station to Prince Charles Hospital.

Riders to maintain speed of 30km/h for 80km

2. 6.30am for 7am start, grounds opposite Caboolture Railway Station to Prince Charles Hospital

Riders to maintain speed of 20 to 25km/h for 50km

3. 7.30am for 8am start, Bray Park State High School to Prince Charles Hospital

Riders to maintain speed of 15km/h for 20km

4. 8.45am for 9.15am start, Whites Street Cricket Grounds to Prince Charles Hospital

All cyclist will assemble here to complete the ride lead by recipients

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