Many Canberrans have likely driven past the memorial bike covered in flowers opposite the Bruce Stadium, and wondered who it was dedicated to.
The answer is Robbie Williams, who died suddenly at the age of 27 in 2012 as a result of a heart irregularity condition, when he was cycling down the same road.
On Saturday, his dad Bruce is taking part in the Paceline Charity ride, which has raised $50,000 for research into cardiac arrhythmia in the hope of preventing deaths and hospitalisation. The 1200-kilometre ride starts in Braddon and ends in Melbourne eight days later.
Robbie was an extremely fit athletic, but was unaware of his heart condition which caused his death.
"He'd had many tests because of his athletic prowess, and never had anything like that," Mr Williams said.
"Sometimes you've got to catch the condition as it comes."
Arrhythmia is when the heart "fires" its electrical current erratically through the heart instead of from top to bottom, causing it to beat uncontrollably.
One in four people over the age of 40 will suffer from cardiac arrhythmia, and are seven times more likely to suffer a stroke and three times more likely to suffer heart failure than the average person. It's responsible for more than 450,000 hospitalisations each year and costs the Australian economy $1.25 billion a year,
according to Paceline founder, Steve Quinn, who was diagnosed with two heart disorders at 35. He has had lots of treatment and four operations since then, and will be taking on the cycling challenge along with 30 other riders.
He said it would be extremely difficult for him as he had a long recovery from his most recent surgery 12 months ago and has been unable to train very hard.
But he's passionate about raising money for the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, which are undertaking studies to find the cure and cause of arrhythmia.
"What they are researching are the generic factors to find out why one person who has the gene gets the condition when another person who has it doesn't," Mr Quinn said.
For more information, visit paceline.org.au
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