How the Ride came about
The Central South Island Charity Bike Ride was an idea born after local chaps Phil Laurie and Morrell McFetrich returned from participating in the annual Cancer Ride for Children between Townsville and Cairns.
On their return, a conversation in a small rural hotel with two friends had the men asking why there was nothing like this in New Zealand. The discussion resulted in the men making a decision to give it a go and run a local event to raise money for SC charities. Having made a decision to run such an event, Phil and Morrell then approached several community groups. The outcome was that Epilepsy SC was chosen as the first recipients of any monies raised and a pledge was made to maintain their involvement for a period of five years. The Central South Island Charity Bike Ride was born!
Each year has seen between 60% & 70% of the riders returning having thoroughly enjoyed the experience and continuing to ride for fitness, leisure and enjoyment. The event has a whanau flavour to it with riders indicating that this is one of the many reasons that they continue to return each year. Riders continue to introduce friends and family to the event and the challenge it brings, further enhancing the whanau environment. The age range is between 14 and 77 years of age with a 50-50 gender balance. Riders have also varied in level of fitness and ability, from those who have not ridden a bike in over 30 years to the more competitive riders for whom cycling is an ongoing passion.
Each year we have cyclists with disabilities such as Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimers, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cerebral Palsy and Vision Impairment riding the event which has raised awareness and in some cases bought about attitudinal changes in relation to people with disabilities.
The commitment and determination from this group of people continues to be a humbling experience for all. So although the overall aim of the event is to raise monies for small local charities, there has also been a positive spin off for individuals and for the local community. Many of the riders continue to cycle on a regular basis thereby continuing to improve and maintain good physical and mental health. Participation in events such as the Coast to Coast, Lake Taupo Cycle event, Around Brunner, Pass to Pub, Lake Tekapo, Le Race, The Graperide and many Duathlon and Triathlon is a regular occurrence, often with large groups joining forces to represent our Charity Ride at other cycle events around the island. This is also very good advertising for our sponsors whose names and/or logos’ appear on the cycling shirts. The increased fitness levels must increase the well being of individuals impacting positively on community health and well-being and generally the workforce that these persons are involved in.
Timeline of funds raised totalling $1,750,000 since the Charity Bike Ride's Inception in 2005
- 05 56 riders raised $27,200 for Epilepsy South Canterbury
- 06 95 riders raised $58,500 for Epilepsy, Alzheimers and Parkinsons
- 07 136 riders raised $104,000 for Epilepsy, Heart Children, Diabetes and SC Womens Wellness, donation to St Johns for providing First Aid Support during the ride
- 08 162 riders raised $128,000 for Epilepsy, Heart Children, Parent to Parent, Seabrook McKenzie Trust, Charge Syndrome Association and SC Hospice, donation to St Johns
- 09 165 riders raised $120,000 for Epilepsy, Aoraki Community Care Trust, Arthritis, Neighbourhood Support, Hospice SC, The Order of St John, Parent to Parent & Lysosmol Diseases NZ
- 10 181 riders raised $138,500 for Asthma SC, Arthritis SC, Upper Waitaki RSA, Hospice SC, Ostomy Society Inc, Timaru Senior Citizens and Cystic Fibrosis
- 11 165 riders raised $120,000 for Epilepsy, Aoraki Community Care Trust, Arthritis, Neighbourhood Support, Hospice SC, The Order of St John, Parent to Parent & Lysosmol Diseases NZ
- 12 181 riders raised $138,500 for Asthma SC, Arthritis SC, Upper Waitaki RSA, Hospice SC, Ostomy Society Inc, Timaru Senior Citizens and Cystic Fibrosis
- 13 182 riders raised $180,000 for Hospice SC, PSSC/Family Works, Anglican Care, Timaru Mental Health Support, Idea Services, Alzheimers, Multiple Sclerosis, Moreh Home, Plunket SC
- 14 190 riders raised a massive $200,000 forHospice SC, Family Works, SC @ Heart, Alheimers SC, Riding for the Disabled, Bellyful Temuka, He Hanu Hou, adg 101 SC Inc
- 15 125 riders raised $128,000 for Hospice SC, Lister Home, Life Education Trust, St Vincent De Paul Society, Special Olympics SC, Casper SC
- 16 130 riders raised $140,000 for Hospice SC, Family Works, YMCA, Cysistic Fibrosis, Alzheimers SC, St Vincent De Paul.
- 17 107 riders raised $155,000 for HospiceSC, Family Works, YMCA, Riding for the Disabled, HeartkidsSC, Parkinsons, Plunket & Seniorcare Geraldine
- 18 125 riders raised $153,000 for HospiceSC, YMCA, Alzheimers, Graeme Dingle Foundation, Learning 4U, Riding for the Disabled Geraldine, Cystic Fibrosis