MONTHS of preparation will be put into practice when five Lockyer Valley women get on their bikes for a punishing 220km ride.
Sonia Maddy, Sarah Stratford, Bronwyn Dawber, Charleigh Simons and Lesley Sandell have formed a formidable quintet to tackle this year's Rio Tinto Ride to Conquer Cancer.
The friends have helped each other raise more than $2500 each ahead of the tough, two-day event, which will see thousands of participants ride from the University of Queensland's St Lucia Campus, to Wivenhoe Dam and back again.
Ms Simons said she already shed 15kg while training for the event, which will take riders through undulating hills north of Ipswich as it winds its way into the Brisbane Valley district this weekend.
"I have already done a 200km fundraising ride up in Emerald and we did a training ride from Boondall to Redland Bay and back," she said.
"My fitness and muscle strength has improved greatly."
Any improvement in stamina will be welcome once the ride gets into its Ipswich leg, with riders to tackle some very hilly terrain along Pine Mountain Rd.
The ride will start at St Lucia at 6.30am, weaving through Brisbane's back streets as it makes its way towards Richlands and the Centenary Hwy. About 2000 cyclists will then enter Ipswich via Yamanto, passing through Leichhardt, Brassall and Fernvale via Pine Mountain Rd.
The more skilled cyclists will then peel off to do an extra 50km loop out around Lowood and Coominya, before returning back to Fernvale to continue up the Brisbane Valley Hwy.
They will continue on to Captain Logan's Inlet at Wivenhoe Dam, where they will camp the night before embarking on the return leg on Sunday morning.
The cause holds a special place in the heart of Coolana resident Ms Dawber, a high-school teacher who is part of a fundraising team that has already collected $40,000.
"I rode last year in support of a dear friend with bowel cancer, who has since sadly lost her battle," she said.
"This year I am riding in memory of her, as well as other friends and family who have fought cancer, as well as in support of two colleagues who are currently fighting cancer."
Money raised from the ride will help fund work that is taking place at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.
HOW TO DONATE
If you wish to help, you can make a donation at conquercancer.org.au.
Click on "Brisbane" then select 'Donate' from the left-hand menu.
For more information phone 1300 11 7433.