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Biker bear rides far for cancer kids

ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY
Last updated 05:00 07/12/2013
Tracey Reid
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ

READY TO ROLL: Temuka motorcyclist Tracey Reid with Worldwide Relay Riders Charlie Bear during the toy’s New Zealand trip to raise funds for children with cancer. They are sitting on her husband Brendon’s motorbike, a High Booster 1350R.

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Globe-trotting teddy bear, Charlie, has arrived in Temuka ready for the next leg of his Worldwide Relay Riders journey, this time on the back of a Kawasaki 650.

The cuddly toy will be Tracey Reid's first pillion passenger when she takes him to Dunedin today to help raise funds for the Make-A-Wish foundation.

She learned to ride motorbikes about three years ago after riding on the back with her husband, Brendon.

When chatting online with other motorcycle enthusiasts earlier in the year, Mrs Reid came across the plan to take Charlie Bear on some amazing trips around the world.

An Australian called Daryl first came up with the idea but it was United States motorcyclist David Perkins who ran with it. On July 31, he set off with a passport and travel journal for Charlie Bear, who was strapped on to his bike.

Online updates of his trip were posted and other riders offered to be part of the relay. As each rider finishes the trip they have devised, they pass Charlie Bear on to the next rider on the list.

The worldly bear has so far been around the US, Iceland and is now seeing New Zealand.

He arrived in Temuka in a box on Wednesday and will be picked up by a rider from Invercargill when Mrs Reid delivers him in Dunedin. Once that rider has finished his trip, Charlie Bear will be off to Australia then Indonesia and who knows where after that. His touring will continue until he has been to every country on Earth.

The collected stories from his journal will then be published in a book and the money raised will be donated to a hospital where Charlie Bear will be hanging out with young cancer patients.

"It's a good idea to raise awareness and especially for children [to read the stories] when they can't travel themselves," Mrs Reid said.

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- The Timaru Herald

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