Andrew Fraser, NSW State member for Coffs Harbour, will send 55 volunteer cyclists off on a six-day 720km ride on Sunday, October 4, hoping to raise more than $100,000 to help the fight against drug and alcohol addiction. Fraser will fire the gun to start the fifth annual Bicycling Australia Challenge in which riders of varying talents have paid up to $2500 each to make the trek from Coffs Harbour to Mooloolaba, finishing on Friday, November 4.
This is the fifth time the charity ride has been held in aid of Teen Challenge, a world-wide charity organization that boasts 77 countries and 440 centres world-wide - six in Australia. The ride has raised $300,000 in total over the last four years but Teen Challenge organisers are hopeful of a record return this year.
The ride will begin at 2pm on Sunday from the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort on Charlesworth Bay Drive, Coffs Harbour. Riders from Queensland, NSW and Victoria will overnight in Dorrigo, Grafton, Ballina, Kingscliff and Brisbane before finishing their exhausting journey in Mooloolaba on Friday. Participants will be in cycling mode when Australia stops for the Melbourne Cup next Tuesday (November 1), and when the summer of international cricket begins the First Test against the West Indies at the Gabba in Brisbane on Thursday (3 November).
The Challenge begins with a 70km ride from Coffs Harbour to Dorrigo that will quickly test the participants, because the last 10km into Dorrigo is all up hill. The longest leg will be the 152km ride from Kingscliff to Brisbane on day five.