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Rail Trail Double record for Mandy Cook

Mandy Cook Rail Trail Double
Bundaberg mother Mandy Cook is passionate about cycling. Photo: Jane Hart Photography

Bundaberg mum Mandy Cook is passionate about cycling and she is now the record holder for the first ever Women's SBRT-BVRT Rail Trail Double.

It was pitch dark and a shivering three degrees when Mandy strapped on her helmet and left Kilkivan just before 3am Saturday morning, and after a few initial hiccups she crossed the finish line at Wulkuraka Station, near Ipswich, 19 hours, 23 minutes and 31 seconds later.

Mandy said the SBRT-BVRT Rail Trail Double consisted of two rail trails joining via a stock route and all up the total ride was 306.5km and 2200 vertical metres.

Riding in below-zero degrees for some of the journey, the 36-year-old said she was accompanied during parts of the ride by current men’s SBRT-BVRT Rail Trail Double record holder Mike Zander and other parts with her training partner Stephen Chapman.

It was 10 minutes into the ride from Kilkivan when Mandy and Mike encountered some very minor setbacks of a broken bike chain and two punctures when they had to return for repairs before setting off again on a fresh start.

Mandy Cook Rail Trail Double
Mandy Cook is passionate about cycling and she is now the record holder for the first ever Women's SBRT-BVRT Rail Trail Double. Photo: Jane Hart Photography

“I have done all of the rail trails before, but this is the first time I completed it as a double,” Mandy said.

“Riding is just a hobby for me, it’s sort of second nature as my husband does a lot of competitive riding.

“For this I trained between 12 and 15 hours a week.”

Setting a pace of 16kmh and the equivalent of climbing up the Hummock 45 times, and a temperature average of 12 degrees, Mandy said her legs remained fine throughout the ride and it was the seat and handlebar contact points that were least comfortable.

“I had a little discomfort in my hands and bottom, I was just glad I didn’t hit the wall or bonk it,” she said.

“It was mind over matter, I just really wanted to finish.”

Mandy said she enjoyed riding on rail trails as they opened smaller communities up to more people.

During the 306.5km journey, Mandy passed many riders and she said it was nice to see other’s passion for cycling was the same as hers.

Mandy said she was proud of her achievement and her reward was a photo shoot with local Photographer Jane Hart to show her three-year-old daughter Penny, named after the penny farthing bicycle, when she gets older that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

“There are just so many amazing people out there that want to give it a go,” Mandy said.

“Don’t be afraid to be the first to complete something, and don’t be afraid to then be beaten.

“Let it encourage you to be faster next time.”

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