Supporters dig deep for charity ride
CYCLISTS hit the road for charity on Thursday, as the fifth Central South Island charity bike ride begins.
This year the ride has been reversed in order to provide a new challenge the 165 participants will ride from Timaru to Tekapo, Tekapo to Kurow, and then back to Timaru.
The ride kicks off at 7am on Thursday at the SBS Events Centre on Morgans Rd, returning to the same point about 3.30pm on Saturday.
Event organiser Phil Laurie said riders were coming from as far afield as Balclutha and Kaikoura, and range in age from 13 to 77. A further 33 people are involved in the event, with three vehicles assigned to each of the seven groups of riders.
In the first year, the ride raised $28,000 for charity. Last year, proceeds topped $128,000. Riders have to raise $350 to enter, with many contributing up to $4000 to $5000.
The three main charities to benefit this year are South Canterbury Hospice, Arthritis New Zealand (Canterbury branch), and Aoraki Community Care Trust. Also benefiting are Neighbourhood Support and the Order of St John, and then Parent to Parent, Lysomal Diseases New Zealand, and Epilepsy New Zealand.