Charity bike riders pass through Armidale and give away bikes to two lucky students

RIDE FOR SICK KIDS: Ronald McDonald House bike riders pedalled to Armidale City Public School and gave bikes to two lucky students.
RIDE FOR SICK KIDS: Ronald McDonald House bike riders pedalled to Armidale City Public School and gave bikes to two lucky students.

PEDAL to the metal, charity bike riders for Ronald McDonald House hit the gravel and headed to Armidale City Public School on Wednesday.

The riders aim to raise more than $250,000 to house sick children and their families.

Ronald McDonald House Northern NSW CEO Ross Bingham gave an address to students about the work the charity does.

“The ride is all about raising money for Ronald McDonald House in Northern NSW and to make a difference for children across the region,” he said.

Beginning in Inverell, the riders passed through Guyra Central School on Tuesday before arriving in Armidale.

There are two Ronald McDonald Houses that kids and their families from across the New England and North West region can access if needed.

Riding through regional NSW, Mr Bingham said he had grown an appreciation for how far some sick kids travel from treatment – and how much it must mean to have somewhere comfortable to call home.

“There’s one in Tamworth and one in Newcastle,” he said. “It depends on the seriousness of the illness of the child.”

Mr Bingham said any serious illnesses such as brain hemorrhages, cancer, major accidents and burns will go to John Hunter Children’s Hospital.

In Armidale, two lucky students Riley Wicks and Addiya Chowdhury were given bikes by the riders.

“”I’m very happy,” Year 1 student Addiya said.

“I left my bike in my country, Bangladesh.”

The team of 15 core riders, started in Inverell on Tuesday morning.

They will ride 500 kilometres through Armidale, Tamworth, Scone, Singleton and back to the Ronald McDonald House in Newcastle.

“This is our 13th year and we have ridden about 7,500 kilometres over that time and raised nearly $3 million,” Mr Bingham said.

“We’ve got people from Sydney, Yamba, Tamworth, Inverell and all over on the ride as well as from Newcastle. It’s very exciting.”