Be inspired

Meet Matt Glaetzer, Olympian and Ride for a reason Ambassador

Matt Glaetzer is a South Australian Olympic Cyclist and also a cancer survivor.

Back in October 2019, Matt was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, having an operation a month later to remove the tumour from his throat.

“Receiving a diagnosis like that out of the blue, especially when I was so fit and healthy, was a complete shock. It was pretty heavy to get the call, but I’m also incredibly thankful that the doctors caught it early and I was able to get onto it pretty quickly.”

Now on the road to recovery, Matt is making his K’s count and is looking to support other South Australians facing the uncertainty of a cancer diagnosis by taking part in Cancer Council’s Ride for a reason January Distance Challenge.

“The whole cancer experience taught me a lot of things and I now want do my part to make things a little bit easier for those diagnosed in the future by sharing my story and helping organisations like Cancer Council SA.”

Meet Pat Jonker, your Ride for a reason team trainer

Pat Jonker is a legend in the world of South Australian cycling. A two times Olympian, 2004 Tour Down Under winner, and five times Tour de France rider, Pat was a professional rider from 1993 to 2004 and has taken part in events around the world—but it’s Ride for a reason which continues to have a special place in his heart. 

A Ride for a reason Ambassador, Pat has been involved in the event since it started in 2009 as both a participant and a coach, following his Tour Down Under win in 2004.

“During my first few Tours it was known that my mum was going through breast cancer so when Cancer Council SA asked if I could help out and become a coach for the team after I retired I never hesitated. Twelve years later and I haven’t looked back.” 

“It’s been great, but also at times very sad. I’ve seen too many people pass away throughout the years which makes me even more motivated to come back every year.” 

Pat has become an integral part of Ride for a reason, supporting riders by holding monthly training rides, providing tips on how to become a more effective rider and going out into the community sharing why Ride for a reason is more than just a cycling event.

For Pat, the event is not only a chance to raise money, it’s also a chance to meet new people and join together for a common cause.

“The best part of the event is meeting the riders every year and listening to their reason. The training rides are by no means a race; those days are far behind me! They are a chance for us to get together, share stories and exchange fundraising tips.”

Throughout the years, Pat’s motivation remains clear. He rides for those he knows impacted by cancer, which in recent years, has included his best friend and riding partner Peter Montesi. 

Pat and Peter met in 1984 cycling around the hills in Adelaide. Pat had just moved back to Adelaide from Amsterdam and was training for the professional cycling tour. 

“Not many people rode their bikes back then and Adelaide was definitely a car-worshipping city—completely opposite to Amsterdam, so to meet someone in Pete with the same dreams and ambitions was great. We headed to Paris together to pursue our dream of racing the Tour De France and we raced together in the amateur ranks all the way around France.”

The pair continued to ride together until 2011, when Peter learned some life-changing news. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare form of blood cancer that affects the plasma cells and bone marrow. Currently, there is no cure.

“Before Pete’s diagnosis, I thought of cancer as a disease that mostly affects older people, so when Pete got diagnosed in his late 40s it was quite a shock. I never thought someone so young, fit and healthy could get cancer.”

Pat says Peter’s strength is now become the driving force behind his annual Ride for a reason campaign and encourages other cyclists to register and find their own reason to ride.

“I’m thrilled to be involved in the event again this year by supporting Cancer Council SA and leading the Ride for a reason charge. Even though the route might be challenging, it’s nothing compared to the challenges faced by those impacted by cancer, which motivates me to come back year on year and ride for the ones that I love.”

So what are you waiting for? Sign up to Ride for a reason today and get the chance to learn from Pat Jonker, one of the best in the business, through his monthly training rides.

Meet our current 2021 RFAR riders 

We chatted to some of our riders who attended a training ride and asked what their motivation is for participating!

Meet fellow riders

Training rides calendar

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Join our next training ride on Sunday, 31 October 2021! 

Road Ride:

The Ride starts at 7:30am from the High Street Café in Kensington and we’ll finish back there for a coffee. You’ll need to fill in a ride Waiver and COVID sign in and we’ll head off once we’ve done a quick rider briefing.

The classic Adelaide Hills ride is on offer for this ride—38km of riding, taking in a climb up to the Bollards, a quick look at the view from Lofty and back down Norton.

Gravel Ride:

The Ride starts at 7:30am from the High Street Café in Kensington and we’ll finish back there for a coffee. You’ll need to fill in a ride Waiver and COVID sign in and we’ll head off once we’ve done a quick rider briefing.

A 38km ride is on offer that takes in the Winter Track through Cleland and also the Wine Shanty Trail. We’ll cut back down to the Norton Summit decent via Debneys road and will have a much deserved coffee on return.

Great local rides icon

Find some Great Local Rides to make your kilometers count and complete your distance challenge.


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Competition coming soon! 

Tips for boosting your fundraising

When you sign up to Ride for a reason, you will get access to some tried and tested fundraising tips and tools, as well as access to a dedicated team who are here to support you to reach your fundraising goals.

Here are our simple tips and ideas from our expert team to help make your fundraising easy and successful.

  • Log into your Fundraising Dashboard and update your personal fundraising page with your reason for riding and your profile picture.
  • Set the benchmark and show you’re serious by making the first donation and then ask your existing network of friends, family and colleagues to follow suit.
  • Facebook, Twitter and emails can be a huge help. Use your Fundraising Dashboard to send emails using either the email templates we’ve built or send your own emails out of your Fundraising Dashboard
  • Explore ways to use your own interests to fundraise; offer your handyman or gardening skills, provide a service such as dog walking or run a mega car wash day.
  • Thank, thank and thank your supporters! Let them know how grateful you are, and do it as personally as you can, no matter how big or small the donation.

Quick and easy

  • Give something up for a week like chocolate or coffee or take your lunch to work and donate the money you save.
  • Sell a service—be the office coffee runner for a week.
  • Ask for donations instead of Christmas or birthday presents.
  • Set up a swear jar at home or work.
  • Have a casual clothes day in the office.

Needs a bit of planning

  • Run a BBQ at your local Bunnings or Mitre 10.
  • Organise a Movie Night and sell tickets.
  • Host a quiz, bingo or karaoke night or talent show.
  • Host a dinner party and sell tickets or ask friends to donate the money they would normally spend at a restaurant.
  • Have a garage sale or sell unwanted items online.

Up for a challenge

  • Set a big personal change, like giving up chocolate, coffee or alcohol for a month.
  • Shave your hair or dye it a wacky colour.
  • Get your workplace to dollar match every dollar that you raise—don’t be scared to ask the question, there are lots of workplaces that do it.

Register your ride today!

Share your story!

Your story can help inspire others to get involved in Ride for a reason or support someone they know who is riding this year.

Contact Cancer Council to share your story.