Over the past 10 years the Central South Island charity bike ride has clocked up more than 3000km and $1 million.
Starting out in 2004 with 56 cyclists, ride veteran Sharyn Nolan said they didn't think there would be another. But it was so successful, raising $27,000 in the first year for charity, they have done it every year since.
Ms Nolan is one of 11 riders who have participated in all 10 rides. She said this is her favourite year because she is a lot less stressed this time.
At 6.45am today 184 riders head to Waimate for lunch and then Kurow for the night.
One of thems is Anne Russell, who at 76 is the oldest cyclist taking part. This is her second year and said it is an amazing and uplifting experience.
"I never thought I would be doing this at my age. I should be at home with my feet up reading a book."
This year eight charities will benefit - Family Works South Canterbury, Bellyful Temuka, Hospice South Canterbury, South Canterbury at Heart, Early Childhood Centre, Alzheimers South Canterbury, Riding for the Disabled and ADG 101.
Ms Nolan said each cyclist paid an entry fee to cover the ride costs and had to raise a minimum of $500.
Cyclists cover 369kms in three days from Timaru to Kurow, to Tekapo and then arriving back in Timaru on Saturday.
- The Timaru Herald