Charity ride set to return next year
Cycling event the biggest yetMATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
One of the organisers of the Central South Island Charity Bike Ride is certain it will take place again next year, but unsure of his own involvement.
From Thursday till Saturday, 184 sponsored riders cycled from Timaru to Kurow, on to Lake Tekapo before returning on Saturday to Timaru, a distance of almost 400 kilometres.
More than $186,000 has been raised this year, with charities Alzheimer's Foundation, South Canterbury Hospice, Bellyful Temuka, Family Works, SC@Heart, Riding for the Disabled, adg 101 SC and He Manu Hou (an early childhood education centre) benefiting.
Co-organiser Phil Laurie said this year's ride was the biggest yet in terms of the number of entrants and the amount raised.
"It gets bigger each time, but we are lucky our support team of volunteers has grown with it. We couldn't have asked for better weather either.
"The public really gets behind this; as soon as cyclists tell the local bike shops they're participating, they're guaranteed of getting support," he said.
"We had a couple of young students participate this year, and they hosted all sorts of events to raise money."
However, Mr Laurie said he was unsure about his involvement in next year's ride.
"It will be held next year, that's for sure, but I'm not sure how much I am going to be a part of it. It's been 10 years, and that's a lot of effort to put into something like this," he said.
"There will be some changes to the event, but we will just wait and see."
The youngest rider was Faith Turner-Walker, 15, a Craighead Diocesan student, and the oldest was Walter Hume, who celebrated his 75th birthday on Saturday.
Riders were split into seven speed groups, and there were at least 12 weekend training sessions before the main event.
"It takes us almost a whole year to put together the event, but it's the training sessions that are logistically the biggest part of it. Safety is a big priority. You have to ensure every shape and size of rider is catered for," Mr Laurie said.
He would decide about his involvement after the organising committee's meeting in June.
- The Timaru Herald