BIG RIDE: Matt to bring out smiles for Smiddy
THE first time Matt Muir travelled from Christchurch to Queenstown in New Zealand was on a bus. The second time, in a car.
The third time, however, will be a little more challenging, when Mr Muir takes to two wheels to ride 800km of winding mountain road in five days, all in the name of cancer research.
While he knows the ride will be picturesque and scenic, it will take more than a beautiful view to get Mr Muir over the line.
Thankfully he knows a thing or two about endurance cycling, after tackling a 1800km ride from Adelaide to Uluru, in the Smiling for Smiddy challenge, which raises money for cancer research at the Mater Foundation.
"One of the group did a recon trip and took heaps of photos and shared them with the riders who will be doing the challenge, and it's certainly picturesque, which is what we're looking forward to," he said.
The ride starts on March 20, which has Matt a little nervous.
"The time of year worries me a little, because it could be three degrees and snowing or 30 and hot, and anything in between," he said.
"The weather is very variable at that time of year, so it will make it challenging, but I'm really looking forward to it."
The track will be something different for Mr Muir as well, not like the relative flat plains of outback Australia.
"There will be almost 6000m of climbing over five days, which will be pretty testing on the legs," he said.
Despite the pain and soreness he will no doubt feel during the ride, Mr Muir said it was all worth it.
"At the end of the day, the key thing is that it's for cancer research," he said.
"We have to pay our own way to New Zealand and accommodation, transport, that sort of thing, but we know that whatever money we make for fundraising goes directly to cancer research. We have sponsors who can take care of expenses, so when we go out and fundraise we know that every dollar of that goes to the cause."
To help raise money for the Smiling for Smiddy rider, Mr Muir will be hosting a fundraising event at the Yamba Shores Tavern on Saturday February 18, which will feature V8 Supercar driver Tim Slade as guest speaker.
"He has just finished the Bathurst 12-hour race driving a McLaren, so I'm sure he will have some great stories from that experience driving around Mt Panorama in a supercar for 12 hours," Mr Muir said.
"He is a bloody good rider as well, so we will organise a group ride with Tim and some other friends who have done past Smiddy events who are coming down and supporting this fundraiser.
"Everyone is welcome to attend, because cancer is one of those evils that touches a lot of people, and always in a negative way."
Tickets for the fundraising dinner are $80 a head. For more details, contact Yamba Shores Tavern.