Dogs on a bike finish Big Easy with $1640 in donations
Nicky Martin would have been pleased if she raised a couple of hundred dollars for the SPCA by cycling the Big Easy over Easter weekend with her two dogs.
But the following week, once all her sponsorship and donations were in, she and her jack russells had collected $1640 for the Napier charity.
For years Martin has cycled with her two dogs, Pypa and Lacee, sitting in baskets on either side of her bike's back wheel.
An avid supporter of the Napier SPCA she decided to take part in the Big Easy 42 kilometre ride from Havelock North to Taradale on April 15 and collect donations.
In the lead-up to the event she continued on long rides with her dogs to prepare and approached businesses and members of the public for sponsorship.
While out cycling people had stopped her to give donations.
On the day she said the cycling stretch from Clive to the Sound Shell was hard with a strong head-wind.
"But a coffee and a piece of chocolate fudge at Ahuriri and I was off again," she said.
"The vibe around Ahuriri, it was just blue T-shirts and bikes as far as you could see."
The 42 kilometre ride was a relaxed event, but this distance was always going to be a challenge for Martin and her barking cargo.
"I can do 30 kilometres quite happily, but it's that last 10 [kilometres]."
Once the cycling was over she spent nearly an hour collecting donations at the Church Road finale concert.
"They would ride by and say, 'we don't have any cash but we will give you something at the end'.'
Sure enough many people she saw on the ride returned with notes and coins. She collected $520 at Church Road alone.
"People were so generous when we got to the concert," she said. "My money boxes front and back were absolutely stuffed."
She wanted to thank everyone who donated and was looking forward to a rest before she was back collecting for the SPCA cupcake day and annual collection later in the year.
"Unless I have any more big ideas before then."