History Of The Charity Bike Ride


How the Charity Bike Ride Came Aboutphilandmorrell sm

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!

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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 had cyclists who have 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.

A Brief Rundown of Past Rides

  • 2005
    Within six months, the first Central South Island Charity Bike Ride had been held raising money for Epilepsy SC with 56 riders participating and raising a total of $27,000
  • 2006
    The ride went from strength to strength with 95 riders raising $58,000 for Epilepsy, Parkinsons and Alzheimers in 2006
  • 2007
    and in 2007, 136 riders raised $104,000 for Epilepsy, Heart Children SC, SC Women’s Wellness and Diabetes SC
  • 2008
    The 2008 event with 162 riders raised a total of $128,000 for SC Hospice SC, Epilepsy SC, Heart Children SC; Parent to Parent; Charge Syndrome Association and Seabrook McKenzie Trust
  • 2009
    In 2009, despite the recession, 165 riders and 30 support persons raised $120,000 for Hospice South Canterbury, Aoraki Community Care Trust, Arthritis NZ – SC, SC Neighbourhood Support, The Order of St John Northern Region South Island Trust, Parent to Parent, Lysosomal Diseases NZ and Epilepsy SC
  • 2010
    2010 saw a similar number of riders and support persons raise the amazing total of $136,000 for Hospice SC, Asthma SC, Arthritis SC, Waitaki RSA, Speld, Timaru Senior Citizens, SC Ostomy Society Inc, and Cystic Fibrosis in perfect conditions with a good time being had by all
  • 2011
    In 2011 a toatal of 121 riders and approximately 35 support persons raised $104.000 for Hospice SC, Life Education Trust, Plunket, Motor Neurone Disease and Parkinson's
  • 2012
    2012 saw an increase in riders with 142 setting off on their bikes with the support of around 35 people raising money for Hospice SC, Plunket, Cystic Fibrosis, Heart Foundation, Timaru Mental Health-Victoria Trust, Idea Services-IHC and PSS-Family Works and a grand total of $120,000 being raised
  • 2013
    2013 saw an increase in riders with 181 setting off on their bikes with the support of around 35 people raising money for Hospice SC, Plunket, Timaru Mental Health-Victoria Trust, Idea Services-IHC and PSS-Family Works, Anglican Care, Alzheimers, Multiple Sclerosis and Moreh Home Trust Board  and a grand total of $180,000 raised
  • 2014 The 10th year was the most successful year with entries full within a few hours of opening. A grand total of over $200,000 was raised for Hospice SC, PSSC/Family Works, SC @ Heart, Alzheimers SC, Riding for the Disabled, Bellyful Temuka, He Manu Hou, adg 101 SC Inc
  • 2015 Although the rider numbers were slightly down for the 11th year an amazing $128,000 was raised for HospiceSc, Lister Home Waimate, St Vincent de Paul Society Timaru Shop Rebuild, Special Olympics South Canterbury, Life Education Trust Mid-South Canterbury & Casper (Suicide Prevention)
  • 2016 An amazing $140,000  was raised for Hospice SC, Family Works, YMCA, Cysitic Fibrosis, Alzheimers SC, St Vincent De Paul.
  • 2017 Numbers were slightly down but an amazing $155,000 was raised for Hospice SC, Family Works, YMCA, Timaru Riding for the Disabled, Heartkids, Plunket, Parkinsons SC, Seniorcare Geraldine.


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Sponsors play a major role in any community event. Over the last 9 years the generosity of New Zealand & Australian businesses and individuals have supported the Charity Bike Ride to the tune of $1,600,000! Please view our Sponsors & support these businesses when you can.