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Mount Isa Border Ride

Proudly sponsored by

The Mount Isa Irish Club



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2018 Ride - Wrap up from Steve Carson

Posted on 16 June, 2019 at 0:50 Comments comments (9595)

Well 2018 proved to be another successful Border Ride.

While numbers were down slightly I feel this in part is due to the number of events on the calendar.

On the positive side the number of cyclists seen on the roads are certainly increasing. People are already enquiring as to what date is this year’s ride and teams are already starting to form.

As for the ride committee it would be without doubt one of the smallest but one that does a giant job. None of the team has failed to deliver on what they have committed to do and for that I am extremely grateful.

I’m always reluctant to name anyone in particular because I inevitably forget someone but here goes. Russel Peters for the use of his block at the border. Peter Lehman for organising the refreshment bar, well done. A special thanks to Sue Wicks who could have ridden out of town, sent her best wishes every year but instead stayed on as treasurer.

To those I have missed I owe you a pint. In closing I guess all that’s left to say is well done to everyone and to each and every cyclist, supporter and sponsor without who this event would not happen:

From a lot of people who you may never meet,

But whose lives you have helped change forever.

Thank You.

2015 Border Ride Wrap Up - by President Steve Carson

Posted on 22 January, 2016 at 22:45 Comments comments (5481)

Hi all,

Well with the Border Ride done and dusted it’s time for a few thank you’s and a couple of comments.

Firstly to everyone whether as a rider, supporter, sponsor or even only turning up to wave us off a big thank you to all. 2015 really was the biggest and best yet and though the flu knocked a few of the start line one hundred and fifty seven cyclists nominated.

Beginning on Thursday night at the annual Border Ride dinner eighty plus cyclists and supporters heard a number of stories from an ex local who has always been, and always will be, a proud Mount Isan, Chris Carson. Listening to some of his stories possibly explained the reason for the number of grey hairs I have.

On arrival Saturday morning of the race you could be forgiven for thinking you had stepped into a Marvel Comic tale. Alan and Elspeth Wood along with the other Super heroes in costume put a smile on the faces of all and I must admit they leave me wondering what next year’s theme will be. Their effort won them five hundred dollars which they gave to the Kath Hinder appeal. A grand gesture from a group of great people.

Upon departure Brett Peterson and Border Ride patron, Tony McGrady, gave the ride a touch of the Tour de France when they lead out the bunch at the start with the top rolled back on Brett’s little Fiat and Tony stood up holding the red flag up till the First and Last.

The start was something to see this year with so many teams riding in team colours. Definitely one of the most resplendent was the George Fisher team. The Border Babes had outfits for both on and off the bikes which won them the category of best dressed. This gave them five hundred dollars which they also donated to the Kath Hinder fund. Carol Mayer once again returned to Mount Isa as the Babes honorary ambassador. Anyone who has met Carol will agree she truly is an inspirational woman.

Also returning for the fourth time was Glen ‘Hightower’ McMurtrie. This man has become what I’d call the ‘Legend of the Ride’. If you haven’t seen this guy in action you’ve missed a lesson in courage, determination and a never give up attitude. The fact I’ve smashed him every year will not deter Hightower coming back for another crack next year for our personal challenge. If you’re reading this buddy I’ll be in Brisbane in November and you owe me a couple of Guiness.

Accidents, incidents or stuff ups during the ride were well covered at the presentations by M.C. Sue Carson though a special mention of Kymberly Stokes must be made as she rode on two near flat tyres for one hundred and twenty kilometres. We all have a fair idea why your legs were sore Kymberly and are wondering if you still have the same mechanic booked for next year.

Also I’m wondering when folk will learn not to say too much in front of Sue as everything is noted and filed away for presentations.

Once again Annette and Shaun English, along with their team of Guides, Scouts and parents did a marvellous job with the dinner and breakfast. Dave Whitehead’s trio of musicians kept everyone entertained throughout the evening while Chris the publican made sure everyone kept hydrated.

There are a lot of others to thank but they know who they are and more importantly know how much I appreciate everything they do. Next year we hope to make the event bigger and better with some new ideas and for this we could probably do with a few more hands on the committee. So, if you think you would like to help out please get in touch. There is a job waiting for you and no, we don’t meet every month and yes, you can have one task only.

Lastly, in this ride everyone’s a winner. If you achieved your goal, had a laugh, caught up with an old acquaintance or made a new friend, you won, but most importantly,


Rodeo Queen entrant Alex Burgaretta, who is fund raising for local animal welfare group Paws, Hoofs and Claws, Inc

Posted on 27 March, 2014 at 1:30 Comments comments (4763)

If you enjoychallenges (such as the Border Ride) and would like to set yourself, eithersolo or along with friends, a new goal to add to your cycling resume, then thiscould be for you. On the last weekend in June, Rob Bounds is going to ride from Townsville to the Isa in forty- eight hours.  

Yep, you read it right, within 48 hours!

For those of you who reckon this is a bit ambitious, Rob did this same distance inreverse, from Isa to Townsville, last year in three days with time to spare. He did the ride to raise funds for Olympic silver medallist Jai Taurima’s littlegirl, Indie, who was suffering from Leukaemia.  His ride last year, by the way, was against aheadwind for most of the journey.

This ride this time is to raise funds forRodeo Queen entrant Alex Burgaretta, who in turn is fund raising for localanimal welfare group Paws, Hoofs and Claws, Inc.  Rob is hoping to encourage more riders toparticipate this time which will add some comradeship to the event. 

Steve Carson has put his hand up tohelp Rob organise the ride and is the first additional rider to ‘have a go’ tosee how far he can cycle in the two days. “Since my wife Susan is the president of the animal rescue group, I get to seefirst-hand the wonderful work being done by her group and I am prepared to helpin any way  that I can” said Carson. “Ihave a guy who is prepared to sponsor me with $500 if I can do ten kilometres forevery year of my age which is sixty three.  That’s $500 dollars for six hundred and thirtykilometres and this will be a personal challenge I’m determined to meet.”

He added that he would love to see afew people taking up the challenge in teams.   Steve ran an event the same as several years’ago.  He recalled that the quickest team completedthe trip in about twenty seven hours and the last team rolled in to Isa inaround thirty-six. “There were a number of memorable moments, but the sight of PaulWragg out of the saddle sprinting down the main street of Julia Creek at 2:30in the morning with a couple of wild dogs chasing him will stay with a few ofus for a while,” Steve said.   

Both Rob and Steve have stressed itis not a race with the emphasis being on fun and participation, while atthe same time raising funds for a very worthy cause. So if anyone is interestedin hearing a little more about the ride, get in touch with Steve and becomeinvolved in an event that you’re going to look back on for years to come withfond memories (hopefully) and a sense of great achievement.  

Steve’s contact details are, phone  47438117, facebook, or email [email protected]                                                                                                                                                       

P.S. Thoughit has been emphasised that it’s not a race the latest rumour is three or four ‘Guns‘ may team up just to see what sort of time can be set.

To give you someidea of what’s required if you’re going solo:                                                                                                              

48 hours you get no break and would need to average18.5 k’s an hour.                                  

40 hours youget an 8 hour break and need to average22.5.                                                              

36 hoursyou get a 12 hour break  and your average 25.                                                          

30 hours gives you an 18 hourbreak but need to average 30.                                                        

And the magical time of TWENTY FOUR HOURS  you’d need to average 37.5.  

Thereare already a number of people looking to form a team so if you need teammateslet Steve know and don’t forget, you’ll be helping Rodeo Queen entrant AlexBurgaretta, Paws, Hoofs and Claws, and a lot of little creatures that will loveyou ‘FUREVER

Message from the President Steve Carson

Posted on 22 March, 2014 at 19:00 Comments comments (4573)

Hi all,

Just an update on this year’s Border Ride. With theAGM done and dusted planning is well underway for what we hope will be thebiggest and best Border Ride yet. And as we all know, the next five months willfly by. We’ll be trying for fortnightly updates and our first is the excitingnews that the committee has secured Blair Stockwell, MBE, as our guest speakerfor this year’s annual dinner.

Blair’s accomplishments include representing New Zealand atthe Munich Olympics, 1972 and four Commonwealth Games 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982.He has won over twenty NZ Cycling championships and was awarded an MBE forservices to NZ cycling in 1984.

Blair said he was looking forward to meeting up with SteveCarson again. “I remember the first time I met Steve at the Barkly Challenge inMount Isa a few years ago,” he said. “Absolutely bloody useless on a bike butsmashed the peloton Sunday night at the Irish”.

So, pencil in Thursday the 31st of July for dinnerand Saturday August the 2nd for the ride and don’t forget, if you have any ideas for the weekend please feel free to getin contact.

It’s your ride as much as ours. 

Steve Carson


2012 Border Ride in Review

Posted on 8 February, 2014 at 21:30 Comments comments (7704)

Ninety eight cyclists along with almost sixty supporters took part in last year’s ride. The Mount Isa Irish Club, Xstrata Mount Isa Mines, Bell and Moir, Harvey World Travel, M.I.Sprints, Sportspower and Sam Balch from QH2O Water, all who have supported the ride since the first, once again came on board as sponsors. 

Joining the sponsors list last year were legends of Australian cycling, Eddie Salas and Domonic Caravello. Eddie’s list of accomplishments in cycling include the Seoul Olympics, European professional along with winning numerous Australian titles. There will be many remember Eddie from the Barkly Challenge and as an ambassador for the ride.Domonic’s  ‘Caravello Cycling Team’ has long held the reputation of being one of Australia’s top domestic cycling teams. There would be few, if any, races or tours around Australia where Domonics team have not stood on the winning podium.These two Sydneysiders sent up jerseys, knicks, winter jackets and an enormous amount of cycling gear for the presentation night.  

As for the ride, the highlight would certainly be Glen ‘Hightower’ McMurtrie's one hundred and forty three kilometre effort on a handcycle on which he had only five training rides prior to the weekend. The longest of which was twenty five kilometres. 

There were a number of other highlights in this year’s ride which saw an increase in visiting riders from Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Townsville and as far away as Victoria.  

Though not a race most riders go for a personal best and visiting Sydney rider Wayne Sanchez finished the two hundred and two kilometre ride in 5:14:00, one second ahead of local Jessie Fergie. A very good effort by anyone’s standard.Officials at the finish line were considering getting portable flood lights for race director Steve Carson who rolled over dead stone last on 8:18. Steve’s claim that stopping at the Camooweal pub for the traditional whiskey and beer chaser on the way caused a forty five minute delay fell on deaf ears.  

The ladies of the ‘The Border Babes’ were once again resplendent in their pink outfits and impossible to miss during both the ride and presentations. Of their members Dale Rackham won the inaugural Hightower shield for most inspiring rider while team mate Lynda Jones completed the whole two hundred.Other women to do the two hundred this year were Lyn Roughan, Linda French, Amanda Gowing, Clover Cross and visiting American Nichole Knepprath. Congratulations to all. 

Ex local and now resident in Brisbane, Mathias Schwarze, can now sleep easy after at last beating Frank Longs time of three years ago. Triathlete Geoff Baker showed he’s no slouch at cycling either when he and Ron Whitehead came across the line together at 5:17.  

Seems Shane Breen’s brother Dan was not the best recruit for support. While the rest were handing out sports drinks, bananas, protein bars etc it seems all Dan had in the esky was beer. Rumour has it Carson has approached Dan for next year’s ride. 

The miners helmet (Lantern Rouge) went to Dale Atkinson who, it must be pointed out, gave all a head start by staying back with Hightower for the first forty. Two others Alistair Grubb and Tom Curaton stayed with Glen and then rode onto Camooweal. All efforts to drag them from the pub to finish the last twelve k’s failed. Seriously, a wonderful display of mateship by all three of them and one which epitomises the spirit of the ride. 

Tony Sweeney was up at two a.m. preparing for the ride, watching the Olympics and when the sun came up fed the cows obviously unaware the clock was at five to seven, not, as he thought, five to six. West street was deserted when he arrived. Finished the ride with a respectable time though. 

Apparently Bob Jakeman’s team captain Ted Larson, who came up from the Sunshine Coast to compete in his second Border Ride, is a bit of a dab hand with the guitar. “Let’s hope next year when Ted comes up he thinks he’s Lance Armstrong and not bloody Eric Clapton,” Bob remarked when asked about the teams dismal performance. 

Thanks go to co-organisers of the event, Erin and Nathan Cross, George and Debbie Alford, Dave and Teresa Knight and Jenny and Dennis Potter. As they do each year the Potters also rode the event.    

A special thank you must go to Liz Flood from the Drovers Camp. Liz has opened up the camp to the ride since the first and will be sadly missed as Liz and Col heading south to enjoy retirement and of course the Grandkids. Liz’s contribution over the five years has played a big part in the rides success.