Tommy Quick Is Riding 10,000 Km To Support Young Stroke Survivors
Tom Quick is a stroke survivor. He had his stroke at just the age of 12. He is now on an incredible mission to cycle 10,000 kilometres across Australia. Tom's journey is really about resilience, including the accident that almost derailed his dream. An extraordinary story of determination and hope.
More information on The Four Points Ride: https://www.the4points.org/
Connect with Tom:
Connect with Peta:
Peta [00:00:02] Hello and welcome to The I Can't Stand Podcast. The podcast answering our questions on what life is like when you have a disability. My name is Peta. I have cerebral palsy. And I'm your host this week. I have Tom Quick on the podcast. Tommy is an advocate and a real support for the Stroke Foundation. He's currently riding on his recumbent bike around Australia to raise money for young people who experience stroke, having had a stroke. 12 years old himself, he understands what a life altering event a stroke can be. I really enjoyed this conversation with Tommy, particularly as he was feeling the pain around his busy schedule of riding. He's on the road so you will hear background noise. I've done my very best to take it out for you, but he's on the road and we were struggling the y thigh. Regardless, this is a really excellent conversation and I hope you enjoy it. So without any further ado, I'm going to hand over to Tom Quick.
Tom [00:01:28] Hello Peta and the wider audience. I'm Tom Quick. I'm 30 years old and I was just a normal kid until 12 years old. I had a stroke. I can remember running around with my dad in Metung in the park and just kicking a footy. Running and kicking a footy. Having a stroke and then not being able to do everything. I couldn't speak, couldn't talk and walk. Couldnt move my arms. I couldn't even lift my head up. I had to have a nasal tube to feed me. I didn't adjust well at all from being an able bodied person. Like you kind of sit back and say why. Why? When I spoke to surgeons many years ago now. The statistics back then I can remember her saying the statistics back then were 2 to 3 million kids will suffer a stroke. And now, you're looking at now 600 kids will suffer a stroke every year in Australia.
Peta [00:03:18] Tell me why you're sitting in sunny Queensland right now. I can see the palm trees swaying behind you.
Tom [00:03:27] Obviously, I've been on an absolute trip, journey of a lifetime. Doing the Four Points Bike Ride. Right now we are traveling back down from the tip of Cape York where I finished my ride and taking our time to get down to Adelaide where we will resume the ride. From Adelaide and finish in Melbourne.
Peta [00:04:05] So for people who don't know what Four Points Ride is. Can you explain it for us?
Tom [00:04:11] So Four Point Ride was a goal that was created over a cup of coffee by a mate. It wasn't even my idea. So I just picked up a new recumbent trike so a lay down trike. I thought why not ride over there. So we rode over to Yarraville which is maybe 5kms. Got talking about goals because I had a lack of them. So when we were talking about it. He looked at me, looked at the trike and then back at me and said why not ride around Australia? And was how the Four Points came about. So from Steep Point in WA. To Willson's Prom the most southern point in mainland Australia. To the most Eastern Point Cape Byron, Byron Bay and then on to Cape York to Weipa [in Queensland]. Three days into the ride I got hit by a car. So a lot of recovery about a year of recovery.
Peta [00:05:43] I definitely want to touch on the accident that you just mentioned, but first and foremost, my goodness, you have friends that know how to challenge you. Like, that's not exactly the easiest thing for a mate to just say, hey, let's let's do this right And you're on a recumbent bike. Like how many kilometres in total are you set to do?
Tom [00:06:04] So all in all it will be close to 10,000km.
Peta [00:06:05] My God.
Tom [00:06:10] So if you want to put that into perspective, that's almost a quarter of the US circumstance. It's a fair amount of ks.
Peta [00:06:24] And how do you go about training for something like this? I know you mentioned before that you've done the Kokoda Trail, so clearly you're a guy that likes to challenge himself. But was the training different for full points versus Kokoda, or did you implement what you learnt from Kokoda?
Tom [00:06:44] I'm not a guy who likes to train. I just like to go and do it. Laughs. Three months before we set out to do the Four Points Ride. Well, because it was covid (in Melbourne) we could only do the 5 km radius. We live on a hill so literally down one street, up the other. Down one street up the other. I ended up getting up to 100 laps. I get fatigue and soreness in my left leg but not in my right leg because of the numbness and the messages to my brain.
Peta [00:07:35] 10,000 kilometres is such a big thing to achieve. You did have that road accident while you were doing the four points and you were doing one of the stages. I'm pretty sure you shattered your pelvis like you were really, really badly injured. How did you get back on the bike and know that you wanted to keep on achieving this big goal for yourself?
Tom [00:08:01] That was 3500 km in and the accident happened on the 17th of November 2021. Just before the surgery, I got a message from a guy that was an international recumbent trike editor. He wanted to do a story and I explained what happened to me. He said we might be able to help you out with sponsorship for a new trike and so that evolved into the trike I have today. Thanks to Zoo Recumbent Trike. The day after that, was the day where I had the interview with Channel 9. Kate Lambe did it and she was great. When I was being interviewed. I said, I'll be back. And then didn't think about the consequences. A while later. We kind of had a trail run. It was to see whether I had the capacity and the willingness to go on. I did the Great Victorian Bike Ride which was brilliant aspect as the roads are closed and all that safety. That kind of gave me a bit of momentum to have that belief that I could do it. Then three days later [for the Four Points Ride] we were doing the Melbourne to Wilsons Prom section. Reaching that, that was the decision to go on. Right there right then.
Peta [00:10:14] Often people tell me I'm inspirational and I totally reject that. Like, for me personally, I just, you know, see myself as a normal person. But I'm sitting here listening to you and I'm like, Oh my God, you're so inspirational, you know? So how do you feel about when people say that you're an inspiration?
Tom [00:10:35] I want to ask you. Why do you reckon people say you're inspirational?
Peta [00:10:49] I think it's because I'm doing things that people don't expect disabled people to do, and therefore by default, it's inspirational.
Tom [00:11:02] Yeah, people can call me an inspiration. I thank them for it but to me, it's just a word. I'm definitely proud of myself as to achieving it but you've gotta come back to the goal and the purpose and why you are doing it. Doing anything in life. The cause means a lot more to me now.
Peta [00:11:46] And so talk to me about the cause. You're raising money for the Stroke Foundation.
Tom [00:11:53] Yeah. And specifically to young stroke, young stroke section. I would like to see some research done around the why because a lot of researchers don't touch on the why in young children. And I would like to know. Simple as that.
Peta [00:12:23] So how much have you raised so far?
Tom [00:12:26] Just under $110,000 grand.
Peta [00:12:31] Great work. Congratulations. You must be so proud of yourself.
Tom [00:12:37] Yeah, like I reckon I'll be prouder when we complete the entire journey and linked up all the dots.
Peta [00:12:51] And so when you finish the journey?
Tom [00:12:57] 19th, 20th to the 22nd of October  And we want as many people riding. People can come and join and be a supporter and ride with me but yeah. It's all on the website [https://www.the4points.org]
Peta [00:13:20] I'll be sure that when you share the final details, that I'll share it with my followers. And I always put all the links in the description of the podcast. So anybody listening to this that wants to follow Toms and of this massive achievement, massive journey, please do. If it's not too presumptuous of me, tell me I'd love to come to the finish line. So whenever you decide when the finish line is, I'll be there cheering you on.
Tom [00:13:46] So we don't know where it will be but it will be on the 22nd of October. That'll be the day where I hung up the boot and never ride again.
Peta [00:13:59] Really. You're done with riding.
Tom [00:14:03] Actually, I've got another idea that I would like to. And I have no idea how good, good I'll be. Um, and only time will tell. I would like to TRY and see how far I can get with the para, Paracycling. See where that goes. See where that path takes me.
Peta [00:14:44] Well, I've really appreciated your time. And I have one final question for you, Tom, if that's okay.
Tom [00:14:51] Go for it.
Peta [00:14:53] What is one thing you wish non-disabled people would better understand about living with a disability?
Tom [00:15:02] Coming back to a time. If you're having a conversation or whether it's walking at my pace, talking at my pace. Just allow us [disabled people] to be with you. I think it's human connection that everyone needs.
Peta [00:15:37] Thank you for listening to this episode with Tommy Quick. I hope you enjoyed it. I certainly did. Talking to Tom, and I can't wait to be at the finish line cheering him on in late October. I'll put all the links in the description if you want more information about the Four Points Ride or just Tom in general. As always, if you have a question that you'd like me to ask for a future episode of the podcast, you can get in contact with me via email. My email address is email@example.com or by Instagram my handle is @petahooke, but until next week. Have a good one guys. By. I'd like to pay my respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, but especially to the Bunarong people where this podcast was recorded.