Going the distance in the name of local kids

Nick ‘Hilly’ Johnston, Brendan Garard and Andrew Price catching their breath at the top of Orange’s spectacular Mount Canobolas during the Royal Far West Ride for Country Kids.

Nick ‘Hilly’ Johnston, Brendan Garard and Andrew Price catching their breath at the top of Orange’s spectacular Mount Canobolas during the Royal Far West Ride for Country Kids.

It’s a grueling 420km ride from Wagga Wagga to Orange, but Orange-based rider Andrew Price believes it's for a very worthy cause. 

Andrew and around 100 others will take part in the Royal Far West Ride for Country Kids this March. 

Andrew says his team, made up of riders from Orange and Sydney, is currently preparing for the fundraising trip. 

“At the moment, we are riding about 150kms a week and that’s just with the guys from Orange,” Andrew said.

“In the next couple of weeks, we will ramp that up to 200kms a week, including a 100km ride this week and next week.” 

Having been one of the people to come up with the fundraising initiative and completing his first ride for Royal Far West back in 2012, Andrew said you find that once someone has done one ride, they are eager to do more. 

“(Royal Far West) really stood out to me because I grew up in the country, it’s an opportunity to support country kids, I thought it was a great thing,” he said. 

“There are four of us who have been on it every year, around 30 people have done it three years in a row. 

“Once someone does it, they generally sign up again.” 

Andrew says one of the highlights of every ride is being to directly interact with those the charity are supporting – kids in rural towns. 

“Attending any of the schools is the main highlight,” he said.  

“It’s good for the other riders, especially the guys out of Sydney, there’s a real connection to what we are really doing and to see it is harder than what they are used too.” 

That’s not to say it isn’t a tough slog on the road to Orange. 

“Its a challenge and it’s fun,” Andrew said.

“It doesn’t matter how good a rider you are, it’s definitely a challenge, there are challenges thrown into the ride each year like a big hill climb.

“Last year we had eight kilometres of dirt road.” 

The riders are sponsored along the way, with Andrew and his team raising thousands of dollars every year for Royal Far West. 

“So far this year our team has just raised $9500 and $15,000 is the target,” he said. 

“With so much fundraising going on, you need to do something a bit different.”

If you would like to sponsor Andrew’s team, Inspired Management, visit https://rideforcountrykids2017.gofundraise.com.au/page/AndrewPrice0

Everyone is invited to the Gala Dinner at the end of the Ride, which will be held at Orange Ex-Services’ Club on Tuesday, March 14.

Tickets are $75pp, and all funds raised support country kids.

Gala Dinner tickets online at www.oesc.com.au/shows or call 02 8966 8500.

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