BIKE week has hit the ground running this year encouraging people like local painter, Stephen Garrett to don the lycra and gear up for a good cause.
Riding almost everyday for the last four years, Mr Garrett said not even vicious birds or bad weather can deter him from his daily ritual.
“The magpies don’t actually swoop when it’s drizzling rain,” he said.
A painter for over 40 years, it was only four years ago that Mr Garrett discovered his love for cycling.
“It’s excellent, it clears your head and you can do some great thinking out there on the lonely road,” he said.
Mr Garrett will join almost 8,000 Australians who are gearing up to fight kids’ cancer as part of the Great Cycle Challenge (GCC) next month.
In his third year, he has raised almost $1,600 for the charity with hopes for a further $500 this year while clocking-up a total of 500km on his bike throughout October.
“It’s a good cause, it sort of just came to me and I just found it rewarding.
“I’ve rode to Inverell about five times, I’ve also rode to Armidale and Uralla.
“I make sure my wife Cheryl goes there in the car so she can pick me up and take me home,” he said.
Mr Garrett’s wife, Cheryl Garrett said the whole family is very proud of him.
“It is a good cause, it gives him something to do and he enjoys riding,” she said.
The national fundraising event has raised over $6.6 million since its launch in 2013.
Event manager Greg Johnson said the fundraiser is a great way for Australians to undertake a fun and personal challenge while supporting a good cause.
“With September being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, now is a great time to sign-up for the challenge and help us fight kids' cancer.
“GCC is a fantastic way for everyday Australians to undertake a fun personal challenge, while raising funds that are urgently needed for research on all types of cancers in children,” he said.
Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) Director, Professor Roger Reddel said the event has already helped fund some groundbreaking research.
“It has already enabled CMRI's researchers to make a number of vital discoveries, including a test that will help identify some of the most aggressive types of cancers.
“The funds raised by the individuals and teams taking part in GCC will accelerate the search for new treatments for childhood cancer,” Mr Reddel said.
In addition to his massive trek, Mr Garrett and his family are holding a local fundraiser in November to raise money for neurosurgeon, Dr Charlie Teo’s Cure For Life Foundation.
To follow Mr Garrett’s journey or donate visit