236km Southland Cycle Ride for local rescue helicopter

Luke Parker
236km Southland Cycle Ride for local rescue helicopter

Now in its sixth year, 60 cyclists will hit the road for the Southland 2016 Cycle Ride this Friday as part of the Westpac Chopper Appeal.

The riders will endeavor to trek 236kms in one day with a unified goal of raising funds for the local rescue helicopter service.

More than 7,590 rescue missions were undertaken by local rescue helicopters around New Zealand last year including 396 missions across the Southern Lakes District region.

SEE ALSO:  Chopper Appeal Month events around NZ

Organised by Westpac, the cyclists include bank employees, customers, friends, and cycling enthusiasts, who will ride from Queenstown to Invercargill via Gore on Friday May 13.

The peloton will start just after 6.00am at Terrace Junction before stopping at Garston, Lumsden, Riverdale, West Gore & Waimumu schools along the way.

The riders are expected to finish at the Westpac Kelvin Street branch in Invercargill at around 4.45pm.


Blind Hannah Pascoe (front) and tandem rider Kara Roderick-Wandies

Now a popular annual event on the Southland calendar, the ages of the cyclists this year range from 14 year-old student Jaxon Taylor who is riding alongside his brother Joshua and father, Westpac Branch Manager Phil Taylor, through to the oldest rider being 70 years of age.

Also to make her debut is legally blind Hannah Pascoe who will ride tandem with pilot Kara Roderick-Wandies.

Westpac’s Murray Heath says the route takes a different approach to Invercargill each year which means they get to stop at new schools and explore different parts of the region.

He’s hoping locals will again get behind the ride and give generously towards the local chopper service.

“Every donation makes a big difference,” Murray says. “The local rescue helicopter teams are such a vital emergency service, but they depend on the support and generosity of our community to stay in the air, and we are very lucky down here with the support we get.”

The Qt2inv2016 Bike Ride 13 May 2016 Facebook site has been created for people donate directly to the ride.

Donations for the 2016 Westpac Chopper Appeal can be made:

-  at any Westpac Branch

-  on the web at www.chopperappeal.co.nz  

-  or https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/qt2invbikeride

Westpac is proud to have been helping save lives through our association with New Zealand’s rescue helicopters for more than 30 years.

 SEE ALSO: Chopper Appeal Month events around NZ

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