IF John Piccone can step outside his comfort zone and ride a bike to Cooktown, anyone can.

The well-known retailer will join his brother Peter who manages drink and snack stops along the way on the Mount Franklin Cardiac Challenge in September. The Piccone family also supplies most of the food for meals along the way.

“I’ve got my whole family behind me, Dad thinks it’s great because I won’t be so fat by the end of it,” John Piccone said.

On a serious note, he said it was important to him to support the event, hosted by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, because the Foundation supports his family.

“The Foundation supported my mum and my family when she had cancer, the Foundation supports my dad with his heart and other health issues. The Foundation is part of my community and it is important to me personally, to support my community,” Mr Piccone said.

“Plus Glenys (Duncombe) challenged me,” he said.

As part of his training Mr Piccone has started going to the gym, will soon buy a bike and of course get fundraising.

The Cardiac Challenge started in 2007, is now in its 13th year and in that time, has raised almost $4 million for cardiac services in FNQ.

$800,000 of the Foundation’s $1.4 million contribution to the second cardiac catheter lab project, came from the Cardiac Challenge.

Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said she was thrilled John was saddling up for the event.

“We have had support from Piccones for this event, almost since the beginning. Pete has come along almost every year and he loves it. We’re pretty sure John is going to love it too,” Ms Duncombe said.

 Registrations are now open. Early bird registration closes on May 31 and registrations close on July 31. www.cardiacchallenge.com.au. The Cardiac Challenge will be held September 21-23, 2019.