Cyclists cooking up charity bid
GIVE TILL IT HURTS: Te Awamutu cycling stalwart Brian Fleck (right) makes a donation to the World Vision cause being pedalled by former Waipa Wheeler and good mate Peter Van der Hulst. 107071AD
By Colin Thorsen
Former Waipa Bakery owner Peter Van der Hulst and his three cycling mates are well on track to raise $50,000 on a nationwide charity ride.
The quartet were billeted by Roger and Alison Peake at Tiki Road on Sunday night after arriving in Te Awamutu earlier in the afternoon from Pukekohe. They are riding from Cape Reinga to Bluff raising money for a World Vision children’s project.
Their support team of Van der Hulst’s daughter Yvonne and her husband Don Wood have gathered $1350 from street collections along the way, including in Te Awamutu.
Peter Van der Hulst (73) told the Courier that he banked $4500 before leaving Cape Reinga and has another $3000 owing from commitments.
Also on the charity ride are Aucklander Barry Bridgman, Bob Wakelin of Rangiwahia (Fielding), both aged 69, and John Clifford (30) of Dublin.
Clifford has replaced Hamiltonian Des Limmer, who withdrew before the charity ride started. The other three riders came across the Irishman at Waiuku cycling his way to Raglan. He was holidaying in New Zealand and jumped at the opportunity to participate in his first ever charity ride. Fitness was no problem as he cycles for a living as a courier in Dublin.
“I’m a keen, long term cyclist. I was touring New Zealand so I thought why not help these guys up the hills while raising money for a worthy cause.”
The only hiccup to date was Bob Wakelin crashing on Sunday after his bike slid on white marker lines in the rain. He has only minor grazing.
The riders, averaging 125km a day, are either being billetted or sleeping in schools or church halls along the way.
Van der Hulst is well known in Te Awamutu, not only as a former businessman but for his long and illustrious cycling career as a member of the Waipa Wheelers Cycling Club, now known as Te Awamutu Sports Cycling Club. He won the club’s prestigious John Pulman Memorial Trophy and Schwartferger Cup, along with the club’s open C grade road race two successive years in the 1970s. His most notable achievement was winning four national track titles - two at Wanganui and two on the grass track at Petone. The Wanganui brace of golds was quite remarkable, considering he had ridden from Te Awamutu to Wanganui two days prior to nationals.
The cyclists’ progress on their ride can be checked on the World Vision website www.rampant.co.nz.