A cycle of fun for a worthy charity
IT might not be as famous as the Tour de France, but the RedKite Sea 2 Summit Cycling Challenge is arguably Australia's most gruelling single-day cycling event - and one that Grafton Public School teacher Howard Avery is preparing to take on.
After competing in three Grafton-to-Inverell Cycle Classics, Howard is gearing up to ride 248km from Merimbula to the peak of Mt Kosciusko to raise funds for children with cancer.
His training schedule consists of cycling 600km a week and even after enduring a massive number of punctures, Howard couldn't be happier or more focused on the challenge ahead.
"I was unable to take part in the Grafton-to-Inverell race this year so my brother John suggested we should have a go in the Sea 2 Summit," Howard said.
"We've been quite daunted by the task and the training has been absolutely crazy but I love going out on my bike and enjoying the fresh air. It's been great.
"My grandmother died from breast cancer and by riding in Sea 2 Summit I hope to help raise awareness of how we can assist people who are affected by cancer. It is such an indiscrimi- nate disease."
All Sea 2 Summit riders have a set target of $2500 to raise for RedKite. Howard has raised $900 and received a $1000 cheque from Grafton Public School SRC on Tuesday to boost his funds.
"I became very emotional. I looked at the kids, thanked them and told them the money will go towards helping other kids and families just like theirs," he said.
"I've received so much support from the school, my family and my wife, Tracy.
"I am looking forward to riding in the event with my brother and I am confident I will finish."
If you would like to make a donation towards Howard's fundraising for RedKite, please visit www.everydayhero.com.au/Brothersinarms
The 2011 RedKite Sea 2 Summit Cycling Challenge will take place on November 19.