Bike riders saddle up for helicopter
By Andy Parks
WHEN he's not pulling people out of the sea or rescuing injured bushwalkers from isolated cliffs, Lynton Beggs likes to ride his mountain bike.
The chief pilot for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter service will be one of 40 riders and support crew taking part in the 10th annual Hell On Wheels cycle tour from Tenterfield to Lismore.
"For me it's a fitness thing, but also I love to see the countryside as you are riding through that you never get to see when you're driving."
The 10-day trip starts next Friday and will pass through Emmaville, Glenn Innes, Dalmorton, Nymboida, Dorrigo, Coffs Harbour, Maclean and Evans Head.
"We try to stay off the bitumen as much as possible," said Lynton, "so there are a few thrill and spills on the dirt sometimes, but we haven't had any serious injuries so far."
The event is one of the helicopter's major fundraising events, and they are hoping to raise around $50,000.
The ride will follow a similar course to the original Hell On Wheels 10 years ago and cover around 800 kilometres.
For cyclists who would like to join in, but think that the whole ride would be beyond them, there is an opportunity to ride individual days of the journey.
It costs $75 a day for riders to tag along. Call 6627 4444 for further details.