Tony Abbott and other Pollie Pedallers in Grafton last year.
Tony Abbott and other Pollie Pedallers in Grafton last year.

Pollies pushing the pedal on

HE might not be in his infamous budgie smugglers, but Opposition leader Tony Abbott is likely to be wearing Lycra when he arrives in Grafton this weekend.

Mr Abbott will join a number of other politicians and sportspeople on his annual fundraising charity pushbike ride, the Pollie Pedal.

Mr Abbott will ride into Grafton from Kyogle on Sunday afternoon, host a fundraising event on the upstairs veranda of the Crown Hotel from 4pm-5pm and ride off to Coffs Harbour and Dorrigo on Monday morning.

Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker will join him for that section of the ride and perhaps others later.

Mr Hartsuyker said yesterday he had done some training for the ride, “but not enough”.

“It does get a bit competitive,” he said.

“It is a fast ride and a bit of a challenge for the politicians because there are some competitive riders in there.

“Last year Guy Leech was one.”

Mr Hartsuyker will use his ride as a precursor to his own fundraising ride from Maclean to Kempsey, via a round-about route, in May.

Mr Abbott started the Pollie Pedal in 1988 to raise money for various charities and to get MPs off the beaten track to meet people from smaller communities.

Since it started, pedallers have ridden about 13,000km and raised more than $1million for organisations like the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Ronald McDonald House, Youth Insearch, the Paralympic games as well as medical research into childhood leukaemia, diabetes, breast cancer and prostate cancer.

This year money will go to support the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Sydney and a number of other charities.



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