Cyclists from across the central west and beyond will undertake the journey of a lifetime next week in a special charity ride.
The 75 cyclists will travel 500 kilometres over three days in the Royal Far West’s, Ride for Country Kids fundraiser.
Funds raised from the ride will go directly to the work of Royal Far West, who care for country children by providing specialist health services that are not accessible to many children living in rural and remote areas of Australia.
Riders will start in Lighting Ridge, then travel to Walgett, followed by Brewarrina, and finish in Bourke.
Andrew Price, from Orange, co-founded Ride for Country Kids and has ridden in every ride since its creation in 2014.
Andrew said what makes this fundraiser so different from others is that those involved directly see who they are helping.
“We stop at the schools along the way and see the kids.. I think that makes a big difference,” he said.
“And the feedback we get (from the riders) is they love doing that with the kids as they see where the money goes.”
Cyclist Liz Smith is based in Bathurst and this will be her second time involved in the fundraiser. Her first ride was in 2017 and Lizzie admits she had no idea what she was in for.
“I didn’t even own a bike or ride,” she said.
But after signing up, Lizzie started training with a local cycling club and when the day came for that first ride, she said it was “so much fun.”
“You make friends for life… And no-one is left behind… we all look after one another. Everyone does extraordinary things,” she said.
Now Liz is preparing for the 2018 ride, getting up at 4:40am every day.
“It’ll be good to see the country and catch up with all of the other riders,” she said.
Growing up in regional NSW, Liz said she saw first-hand the amazing work that Royal Far West do.
“The ride isn’t as tough when you compare it to what those children are going through,” she said.
For more information or to donate visit rideforcountrykids2018.gofundraise.com.au, or www.royalfarwest.org.au
Royal Far West’s CEO Lindsay Cane said the riders were “an amazing bunch.”
“They have a huge place in their hearts for the communities and families and living in rural and remote areas,” she said.
Day one will see riders commence their journey in Lightning Ridge on Sunday, April 29, where they will journey to Walgett.
The next day they will depart Walgett for Brewarrina.