Members of the Phat Bastards bike group are doing a 48-hour charity ride next weekend to raise money for Farming Families, Hospice Mid Canterbury and Methven Search and Rescue.
It will take place around the Ashburton mountain bike river track from 3pm on Friday, February 17, until 3pm Sunday, February 19.
The group had grown from a few mates who were persuaded biking was a good low-impact way to exercise and be sociable at the same time, into a group now numbering around 50.
It was made up of likeminded sports enthusiasts and started in 2019 by local businessman Dean Harrison, referred to as the ‘general’.
Mr Harrison said Phat Bastards are a group of mates getting outdoors and having fun.
Riders – with an average age in the late-40s – enjoy regular rides along the Ashburton River Track and also tackle trails at the Mt Hutt Bike Park.
Their charity ride event supporting the three local charities, will see four riders from the group on the track at a time riding for 48 hours, along with any supporters who want to join in.
‘‘It’s a long, long time in the saddle,’’ Mr Harrison said.
But there was plenty of bottom-ready training under way, especially in the lead up to the weekend, he said.
‘‘It will be good, everybody is looking forward to it.’’
An event hub would be set up at the Ashburton River Skills Park, at the rear of the ACL yard on Dobson Street (West), and people can turn up, have a barbecue sausage, join the ride or just donate to the cause.
The group had a $30,000 fundraising goal.
‘‘People are most welcome to be a part of it, anybody,’’ he said.
So far generous community support had raised more than $28,500 and counting. Mr Harrison said donations had ranged from $10 to $1000, as well as sponsors and business support with products for online auctions.
Donations can be made directly to bank account 01-0834-0141483-47, reference 48 Hour Ride.
Mr Harrison said members of Mountain Bike Ashburton would also be at the event with information for anyone wanting to get involved with mountain biking in Ashburton.
‘‘We’ve all been involved and are still involved with the likes of cricket, rugby and squash clubs, but we’re not aclub. We’re also not bikers, although some of our group are pretty useful, but we’re having alot of fun together and getting out on the trails.’’
Each ride was usually followed by a beer, food and a good chin wag.
They also gave back to mountain bike groups in Ashburton and Methven; with annual $2000 donations and help at working bees.