For Tony Keough, fundraising cycle tour all about the hairdo

ON YA BIKE: Participants in the 2013 Hell on Wheels at the Lismore Helibase on Saturday, ready to start their 600km fundraising adventure.
ON YA BIKE: Participants in the 2013 Hell on Wheels at the Lismore Helibase on Saturday, ready to start their 600km fundraising adventure. Rebecca Lolback

FORGET the spectacular scenery, the camaraderie or the personal achievement of cycling more than 600km.

Participants in this year's Hell on Wheels tour have something else to look forward to over the course of the event - tour leader Tony Keough's hairstyles.

He has been growing his hair for the past five months and is hoping to raise a total of $10,000 before he shaves it off on Friday night.

In the meantime his hairdresser daughter has been having a bit of fun.

He arrived at the start of the 2013 Yellow Pages Hell on Wheels Cycle Tour on Saturday morning with beautifully braided hair, complete with red ribbons on the ends of each braid.

"My daughter put it in these braids for me," Mr Keough said.

"I'll be having lots of ridiculous hairstyles throughout the tour, and then on Friday night I'll shave it all off.

"I thought I may as well do it if we can get a good amount of money for the helicopter."

Twenty-two riders started the eight-day adventure from the Lismore Helibase on Saturday, and they will ride more than 600km.

The mountain bike tour is in its 16th year and is always held within the flight path of Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Northern Region.

This year the tour will travel from Lismore to Evans Head, Maclean, Coutts Crossing, Grafton, Casino, The Channon, Mullumbimby and returning to Lismore.

Over the years the Hell on Wheels event has raised more than $750,000 for the helicopter.

Riders stop each night in villages and towns along the route, where they rest, socialise and continue to fundraise.

And a beer or two at the end of a long day on the road is usually on the cards.



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