Emeritus Professor Ken Collerson with his beloved bike in UQ's Great Court.
Emeritus Professor Ken Collerson with his beloved bike in UQ's Great Court.
11 February 2016

For most people, cycling up a mountain at full speed sounds like anything but fun, but for 70-year-old UQ Emeritus Professor Ken Collerson “the burn” is an almost daily addiction.

The former head of UQ’s Earth Sciences tackles the challenging Mount Coot-tha circuit at least three or four times a week on his bicycle commute to work from Wilston.

This weekend he’s taking on the Coot-tha Burn UQ Teams Time Trial, along with  legendary German cyclist Jens Voigt and a UQ corporate team.

“I was always healthy, but since taking up cycling about 12 years ago I’ve dropped 10kg in weight, lowered my cholesterol and lowered my blood pressure,” Professor Collerson said.

“I’m now riding the Mount Coot-tha time trial, which is nine per cent grade, in about 13 minutes.

“I think I sometimes shock younger cyclists while I’m going up the hill.“

Professor Collerson has so far raised $1450 for the Coot-tha Burn, which supports the Children’s Hospital Foundation and Karuna Hospice Services.

“I’ve almost hit my goal of $1500, thanks to some very generous friends and acquaintances — I am very grateful for this kind support," he said.

“Though I’m still looking around to raise as much as I can.

“The two charities do great work, funding research which really interests me, and they support sick children and their families.”

For Professor Collerson, cycling is about much more than the physical health benefits.

“I love the challenge. When you’re going up those hills it is really a case of mind over matter,”

“But it’s great to plan the day while you ride to work and then destress on the way home.”

You can donate to Professor Collerson’s ride on his fundraising page.

Entries are still open for the Coot-tha Burn, or you can watch the event this Saturday 13 February.

Media: Coot-tha Burn, Emily Davies, emily@chem.net.au, 0419 648 296; UQ Communications, Casey Fung, c.fung@uq.edu.au. 07 3346 7887.