Ulmer supports charity bike ride

FLYING VISIT: Sarah Ulmer speaking at a fundraising event at Hotel Coachman.
FLYING VISIT: Sarah Ulmer speaking at a fundraising event at Hotel Coachman.

Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ulmer has made a whistle-stop trip to Palmerston North in support of a fundraising bike ride for the Palmerston North Cancer Society.

Ulmer was interviewed by Newstalk ZB's Russell Harris in front of a room of cycling enthusiasts and supporters at Hotel Coachman yesterday in the first of the fundraising events in the lead-up to the "Christie 250" in March next year.

Now in its fifth year, the 250km ride from Palmerston North to Taupo was the idea of Mike Christie, who at first wanted to tick it off his "bucket list", but the involvement of Palmerston North cyclist and cancer survivor Luke McCarthy saw it evolve into a fundraiser for the Cancer Society.

The Palmerston North Cancer Society is the latest recipient of the ride's fundraising efforts, and it is hoped it will make $20,000 for the society to put toward a new vehicle.

Ulmer said she knew Mr McCarthy and his family, and was happy to support the cause.

"What they are doing is incredible, when local communities get together and support the local branch, it has a lot more local significance, they know where the money is going."

Cycling for her these days was primarily commuting with her children on board, she said.

Ulmer said she wasn't sure if she was going to be in the country when the ride happened, but would love to be involved in other ways.

Mr Christie's wife Christine, who runs the Palmerston North Pedal Pushers relay group, came up with the idea to have a women's ride on the way back from Taupo.

The upcoming ride will see a group of about 20 men cycling to Taupo, and the same number of women cycling back. The groups will act as each other's support on the trips.

Mrs Christie said they had already raised about $6000 toward their $20,000 goal.

There would be more fundraising opportunities as the ride came closer, and Ulmer had signed some items for auction.

The ride itself would take the men about nine hours, and maybe a little longer for the women, and would involve numerous stops along the way.

But it was not a race, she said.

Mr McCarthy said he had participated in all the rides since they began and would again next year.

Manawatu Standard