Gran’s super effort for a special cause

Roslyn Claringbold with grandson Gilbert.

By Luke Voogt

Barwon Heads gran Roslyn Claringbold hit the pedals last Thursday, riding 400km in four days for grandson Gilbert, who has muscular dystrophy.
“I’m scared to death, but I’m excited to take it on,” the 67-year-old said before the ride.
“I try to get out and get a few hills into my legs when the weather’s good.”
Ros described herself as a novice rider, who only started after retiring from teaching at age 60.
“I bought myself a bike, and thought I would ride to the supermarket for the groceries,” she said.
“I soon found a group of friends who encouraged me to ride around my local area and further afield.”
Ros only started training recently on her new road-bike for her “chief coach and superhero” Gilbert, following a caravan trip with her husband.
“We came back six weeks ago, and I intended to do lots more training than I did, but the weather’s been a bit against me,” she said.
Gilbert’s diagnosis at two years of age devastated his parents, Ros said.
“Currently, he’s just a beaut little four-year-old, but things are not going to progress as well for him as for other kids.
“We didn’t know what we were in for, and we still don’t. But he’s being treated very well by the Royal Children’s Hospital.
“He’s good fun – he’s the best jigsaw puzzle person I’ve ever seen for four.”
Ros rode with training partner and fellow Lions Club member Lloyd Smith from Ballan to Daylesford Saturday – one of the legs on the ride.
“It was so beautiful going through trees and everything,” she said. “I think where this ride’s going will be gorgeous.”
Ros and Lloyd raised $5000 each at an Ocean Grove Barwon Heads Lions Club trivia night recently, while Ros’s fund-raising page has reached more than $10,000.
“I’ve been very lucky,” she said.
“I’ve had enormous support from my local community in raising funds for this event.
“I’m just delighted that everybody is supporting me to do this and supporting my family.”
Muscular dystrophy is a degenerative muscle-destroying disorder affecting one in every 625 men, women and children in Australia.
The condition can lead to heart, breathing and mobility complications, and sufferers are commonly fully dependent on a wheelchair by age eight.
About a dozen amateur cyclists will set off from Muscular Dystrophy Australia’s North Melbourne headquarters next Thursday.
The riders will cross the picturesque Victorian Goldfields to raise money for research into the debilitating condition.
To support Ros visit
Hendry Cycles provided her roadbike for the event.