Australians rally behind bushfire victims

The Australian cycling community has been busy over the past week, raising money and donating equipment to those who have been affected by the nation's worst bushfires. Over $42,000 dollars and some 65 bicycles have been donated through various fund raising events over the weekend.

Victorian mountain biking clubs held the first Enduro Series round in aid of the bush fire victims. The event, which was moved from Eildon to the You Yangs due to the devastating bushfires, raised some $35,000 for the Fire Relief Fund.

Melbourne-based Eastern Veterans Cycling Club is among those holding fundraisers to help victims of the crisis. The club races $7,000 AUD at its criterium event on Saturday, after two of its own members lost their homes while others suffered damage.

The club raised the money by donating all entry fees, holding a raffle, auctioning off gifts from members and also through direct donations.

"Like all Australians, club members are deeply shocked at the February 7 fires and would like to pass on its deepest condolences to everyone who has suffered personal and/or property loss," said club member Colin O'Brien.

CycleSport Victoria announced that some 65 bicycles had been donated for bush fire victims at the weekend's Clipsal Austral Wheelrace. Amongst the bikes were seven brand new kids bikes and helmets donated by a generous person who wasn't even able to stay to use his free tickets to the event, while a seven year old child donated his own new bike he got for Christmas.

Total Transport are moving the bikes from Hisense Arena to National Storage in Port Melbourne, with both the transport and storage being donated. CSV will accept bikes at DISC for the next two-weeks before it facilitates distribution of the bikes through regional cycling clubs in the affected areas. Brunswick Cycling Club has also offered to collect bikes at its Harrison St Clubrooms all-day Sunday for those who can't make it DISC during the week.

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