Hell on Wheels turns new page

THEY will all be dressed in yellow but that does not mean the 35 bike riders about to set off on the 600km Hell on Wheels bike ride are scared.

The charity ride, which is aiming to raise $500,000 for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, has a new sponsor in the Yellow Pages.

Yesterday some of the riders met at the rescue service's Lismore base to welcome their new sponsor and show off their new yellow jerseys.

Among them was Tony Keogh, the only rider who has been on every ride since the Hell on Wheels event began 12 years ago.

On average they ride about 75km a day on dirt tracks in steep terrain.

Mr Keogh said there were still a handful of riders who had done 10 of the rides, but new riders enlisted every year.

“Anyone can do it. We had a grandmother who came along one year and rode 30km a day,” he said.

The ride begins in Tenterfield on October 17 and finishes in Lismore on October 24.

Mr Keogh said the annual fundraising event was not started by a cycling club, but by the rescue service.

“But we have since formed one (a club), the Mongrel Bastards Mountain Bike Club.”

“And we are very grateful our families allow us to run away and do these silly things.”

He said about 80 per cent of riders were male.



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