Novice cyclist leads inaugural Tour de Ticker

Nanjing Night Net

TWELVE months ago, Wagga’s Andrew Bradley was just developing an interest in cycling.

At first, the bike was just a way for Bradley to stay fit and catch up with his good mate David Barnhill on early morning rides.

It wasn’t until the heart wrenching story of the Brown family came to his attention that he decided to push himself to the extreme.

“What ‘Brownie’ went through with their little fellow … I’m lucky I’ve got two kids that are quite healthy and a broken fingernail is the worst thing they’ve ever had,” Bradley told The Daily Advertiser yesterday.

“I can’t imagine what they’ve gone through.”

Scott Brown and his wife Katrina travel back and forth from Wagga to Sydney on a regular basis with their toddler Dougal, who suffers from childhood heart disease.

Touched by the debilitating condition first hand, Brown decided to organise an inaugural bike ride, Tour de Ticker, to raise money and awareness for the charity HeartKids.

Staring on Wednesday, 15 Wagga riders from all backgrounds will start the gruelling 670km journey through Talbingo, Cooma, Thredbo and Jingellic before returning home on Sunday.

As the most inexperienced rider of the bunch, Bradley is set to face the toughest challenge of his short cycling career in the name of charity.

“I’ve only started bike riding in the last 12 months but I thought I’d give it a crack,” he said.

“It’s going to be massive, I’vetrained all through winter and the past few months for it.

“I’ve never done anything like this before so it’ll be good.

DOWN TIME: After months of intense training, cyclists David Barnhill, Andrew Bradley and Sarah-Jane Uden enjoyed a relaxing ride at Collins Park yesterday ahead of the Tour de Ticker next week. Picture: Les Smith

“Hopefully we can all make it over the line.”

Through the generosity of the Wagga community, the group has managed to raise upwards of $50,000 for Tour de Ticker, more than double the original target of $20,000.

Bradley said he has been amazed by the amount of support shown by the community.

“I’m up to $5000 now I was only expecting about $1500, but Paul Gleeson from Harvey Norman dropped $4000 into my account, which was amazing,” he said. “I haven’t had to worry too much about the fund-raising, it’s just more about the cycling now.”

The small group has been in regular training together, tackling the mountains of Falls Creek, Tumbarumba and Batlow in preparation for the ride.

“Compared to flat riding, riding through the hills is horrendous,” he said.

“I’m the least experienced of all the riders, so I’ll just have to work a bit harder to slog it out.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.