MADDINGTON man Damien Perry’s desire to help sick kids introduced him to a new sport which has helped him lose weight as well as tick off some major achievements.
On Saturday Mr Perry took off for the first day of a gruelling 850km cycle from Torquay in Victoria to Adelaide, with participants making five pit stops – in Mortlake, Casterton, Kingston, Meningie, and Strathalbyn – before arriving in the South Australian capital on Thursday.January 12
This will be the second time the 38-year-old has done the ride and he said he only bought a road bike six months before he did the event for the first time at the start of 2016.
“I said to someone I wanted to do the ride and I am a man of my word and stick to it,” he said.
“I used to ride a lot as a teenager living in a country town and I thought riding was a lot easier than running.”
The ride will again raise funds for the Herbalife Family Foundation, which assists children and youth in need, and the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation as well as other major organisations around the country.
He said the reason he wanted to do the ride in the first place was to help underprivileged children.
“I’ve got three kids of my own and they have all the opportunity in the world and are fit and healthy with a roof over their head and some kids don’t have that so I thought it was time to give back to some less fortunate,” he said.
“It’s something that I have always wanted to do – help kids out more than anything.”
Mr Perry said they key to completing the ride was to remain mentally strong.
“It’s a lot of mental strength as well as physical,” he said.
“If you always put the body where the mind will go and stay headstrong you will usually do it.
“The third day is the longest day at about 197km and that is when it usually plays with your mind a lot because you have already done over 300kms.”
This year there will be 36 riders and crew that take on the challenge.
Mr Perry said he donated $1000 himself to do the ride.