CAFFEINE HIT: Doug Jenkins, of Maclean, enjoys a coffee before he and the rest of the Hell on Wheels tour head off from Botero in Maclean.
CAFFEINE HIT: Doug Jenkins, of Maclean, enjoys a coffee before he and the rest of the Hell on Wheels tour head off from Botero in Maclean. Adam Hourigan

Coffee jumpstart for bike tour

DOUG Jenkins sipped the last of his morning coffee after gathering with a large group of cyclists at Botero on Friday.

"Decaf soy latte, Doug?" a wag yelled out.

Mr Jenkins, who lives in Maclean, was part of a 30-strong group of riders who toured the Botero coffee factory as part of the annual Hell On Wheels Tour.

The fundraising event, in which cyclists travel just under 600km in eight days, raises money for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

Mr Jenkins said it was a chance to do a bit of good for the community.

"It's a great cause and I enjoy the mountain bike riding so it's a chance to do something I like and raise a bit of money," he said.

The tour differs from regular cycle trips by taking the riders over forest trails and dirt roads around the area.

"It gets hard in places, there's some roads but also some trails," Mr Jenkins said.

"It can get tough but it's good fun and you get a great group of people together.

"There's 30 riders out there, they get to be great friends."

The riders conduct raffles and fundraise along the way, as well as make a donation to be part of the ride.

This year marks the 19th staging of the annual event and Mr Jenkins said all you needed to participate was a bit of bike fitness.

"There's riders from early 20s to 70s in here, pretty well anyone can do it," he said.

"It's a great opportunity to get out and see a bit of the countryside."



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