Dean's saddling up to help others get a Viking

Published 6:00am 19 November 2021

Dean's saddling up to help others get a Viking
Words by Nick Crockford

Dean Cameron has lost most of his sight. “The only thing I have left is a bit of light perception in my left eye,” he said.

But that will not stop him saddling up on December 5 for the Moreton Bay 100 and helping to raise money for Guide Dogs Queensland.

The 52-year-old has had “low vision” from birth and lost most of his sight in his 20s due to retinitis pigmentosa, for which there is no cure.

However, Cameron is still a long-standing member of Moreton Bay Cycling Club (MBCC), a paracycling national champion on a tandem and State Champion Individual Time Triallist.

Dean's saddling up to help others get a Viking
Dean Cameron, who is riding the 100 to help Guide Dogs Queensland

Changed my life

He is also among 380 current entries for the Moreton Bay 100, but organisers are aiming for 700 and to top the $27,000 raised for Lions and Smiling for Smiddy in 2019.

“I’m just supporting my club and wanting to raise money for guide dogs,” said Cameron, who now has his first guide dog, Viking.

“I wasn’t looking for a guide dog because I was independent. I wanted to do things on my own and wanted someone younger to get the dog. I thought I was too old.

“But it’s the best thing I ever did. He’s (Viking) a great mate and has changed my life. I’m more active now than I have ever been,

Dean's saddling up to help others get a Viking
Dean Cameron and his guide dog Viking

So supportive

“Guide Dogs is one of the best organisations I’ve come across. A really top organisation. So supportive, not just in the dogs, but everything else.”

Guide Dogs Chief Executive Officer Michael Kightley said: “Dean is a perfect example of how much a Guide Dog can change your life. 

"We are extremely grateful that Dean wants more and more people to experience that life-changing experience of being matched with a Guide Dog.

“It takes about two years and costs more than $50,000 to train one qualified Guide Dog, so Dean’s fundraising efforts will go a long way towards helping another
Queenslanders achieve their independence.”

Dean's saddling up to help others get a Viking
Action from the Moreton Bay 100. Picture: Stu Allen Photography

Enjoying region

The Moreton Bay 100 brings cyclists, visitors, fundraising and a business boost to the region with its 22kms, 60km, 100kms and 167km rides open to all ages.

All rides start at Woody Point, then take routes which include the waterfront at Deception Bay, Redcliffe, Sandgate and longer rides to Bunya, Dayboro, Mt Mee and D’Aguilar.

“It is a community-focused event where we try and work with our local businesses and promote one another in the community,” said Event Organiser Tony Williams from MBCC.

“It is about bringing people into our region to enjoy the pristine riding conditions and scenery of the Moreton Bay Region.”

Dean's saddling up to help others get a Viking
Scenic setting for the Moreton Bay 100. Picture: Stu Allen Photography

The event’s major sponsor is the Belvedere Hotel at Woody Point which also sponsors the 100km event. Other rides are Torque Toyota 22km, Maxxis 60km and the SG Fleet 167km.

Within the event, there will be a Starva section where riders can race for honours over a selected distance with a Jakroo Cycling Clothing race jersey to top prize.

Spot prizes will also be available during the day, including $2000 in four $500 cash prize sections; a $500 voucher for the biggest fundraiser; $1500 voucher for Maxxis tyres for a car or 4WD and $2500 vouchers supplied by The Belvedere Hotel.

Entries will be taken through the Moreton Bay 100 website moretonbay100.com.au and Facebook page.

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