Cyclists circle Australia for charity

TWO English ladies are currently undertaking a charity cycle ride around Australia to raise funds for the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia.

Known as The Whizzers of Oz, Helen West and Penny Bird commenced their journey from Brisbane in October last year. Completely self-funded, the duo are relying on public support for their own sustenance.

They are looking for pledges from individuals or organisations to help the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia to finance research programs, improve disease detection methods and available therapies, develop new treatments, provide life saving equipment, financially support disadvantaged families and provide families from outback or distant areas with accommodation.

Ms West said they had received great support in rural areas. “The car industry in Bunbury was outstanding in their support, particularly Holden and Discount Auto Parts,” she said.

“There has been a bit of a lull in corporate donations with many organisations being already caught up in Olympic activities, but most people have been highly supportive.

“Bell Personnel have been great here in Perth, and there was a wonderful chap at a supermarket in Walpole who gave us groceries on the house.”

This is not the first time in Australia for Helen, who previously spent a year here travelling and working.

“We knew the Nullabor was going to be tough but we got what is known as ‘the cyclists' bonk’ — when you are so exhausted you can barely move.

“We average around 100 kilometres a day but when there are strong headwinds, your speed drops from 45 kilometres per hour to around 10.

“The weather has been particularly odd this year. Crossing the Nullabor, you had 40 degree heat one day and driving rain the next. We hope to finish the 9,500 mile stretch in September.”

Donations can be sent to Penny Bird, 19 Yarran Road, Bargo NSW 2574. Please make cheques payable to the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia.

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