Tommy Q – the man, the myth, the legend. Setting out on a cycling journey that would tax even the fittest and most experienced rider, Tommy has a goal and he’s determined to succeed. When we were approached by Tommy and introduced to his 4 Points Australia project, we were instantly intrigued and eager to sponsor his ride. With the goal of cycling to the four furthest points of Australia within 50 weeks, all in support of the Stroke Foundation and raising awareness of stroke in Australia, Tommy set out on his journey this week, and is already going strong. Unfortunately, COVID-19 put a spanner in some of his plans, but in true Tommy fashion, he didn’t let this phase him and readjusted to make sure he could still do the ride.
At the age of 12, Tommy suffered a stroke. He woke up one morning with a dull headache, which progressively got worse until he woke up 5 weeks later in hospital and learnt that he had suffered a stroke. “I’m not going to lie, I just didn’t believe it at first. I actually thought I was in a video game for quite some time...,” Tommy says when describing the experience.
Tommy had to relearn everything; how to eat, walk, speak. Stroke takes away a person’s normal functions, things that are second nature, and forces them to have to learn them all from the beginning. Tommy was driven to return to normal life and didn’t let anything stand in his way. Despite still having difficulty with his right arm and mobility, Tommy started playing table tennis again, a sport he had loved growing up, and he relearnt how to run.
Fast forward to today, Tommy has studied personal training, walked the Kokoda Trail in 2014, and now is undertaking his most extreme challenge of all, cycling to the four points of Australia. A journey that will take over a year to complete and covers almost 9000km.
As much as this is a physical challenge for Tommy, a test of his strength and endurance, the purpose is to raise awareness and money for research and support for stroke victims. “I can help promote increased social inclusion. I can help to break down the perception of disability and often the limited mentality people have about this,” Tommy says.
Setting out on his recumbent trike, Tommy encourages any and all cyclists to join him on his ride, whether that’s just for a trip around their local town, or a full leg of his journey. Tommy wants to share his story and experience, to tell other stroke survivors and people who have been told they can’t do something, that they can, and he’s going to prove that they can. When there’s a will, there’s a way, and Tommy embodies this fully.
Steadyrack are proud to be sponsoring Tommy’s journey and promoting inclusivity in the cycling community. Cycling is a sport everyone should have the opportunity to participate in, and that is why it’s so important to have people like Tommy advocating for this. We want everyone to be able to jump on a bike or recumbent trike and enjoy the experience of cycling!
You can follow Tommy’s journey on his Instagram, or by visiting his website here. Donations can be made through his website if you wish to support his journey and the Stroke Foundation.