ELLENBROOK resident Chris Coote will be donning the lycra on Friday and riding through the hills of Adelaide to raise awareness for service men and women.
The former soldier will participate in the Challenge Tour, part of the Tour Down Under’s annual mass participation ride.
The 157km ride is held on the morning of Stage 4, along the same route as the professional riders from Norwood in the CBD, out of the city through the hills and back to Campbelltown.
Challenge participants are given a Tour jersey to wear, a timing chip and unique rider number, taking to the road just hours before the pros.
After being medically discharged from the army in 2011, Mr Coote (43) said he turned to cycling to help him recover mentally and physically.
“Cycling is really good for me,” he said.
“I’ve done some serious training for the ride, especially over the last six months.
“It’s something I’ve been able to do a lot of as it’s not hard on the body.”
Mr Coote served in the army for six years, including a year in Afghanistan, before being discharged due to injury, which has prevented him from going back to work as an engineer.
“I never had the time before when I was working, but now I have the chance,” he said.
“I’m heading over on my own, but catching up with some guys from wounded veterans group Soldier On, who are based over east.”
Mr Coote’s next cycling venture is the Pollie Pedal, an annual fundraising ride in the ACT involving politicians and keen cyclists.
“Cycling is good for veterans,” Mr Coote said.
“Not only physically, but for the mental health side of things too.
“It’s important that we raise awareness for those who have served our country.”