A heavenly Hell on Wheels ride

Paul Appelkamp | 8th August 2012 5:00 AM from The Northern Star
RIDERS are gearing up for one of the most scenic Yellow Pages Hell on Wheels Cycle Tours in the event’s 15-year history.
The annual bike ride raises money for the Lismore Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter and gives people the chance to see some of the Northern Rivers’ most secluded areas.

“The scenery on this ride will be probably the best we’ve ever had,” tour director and founder Tony Keogh said.

“There will be scenery that people living on the Northern Rivers their whole lives have never even seen.”

Yesterday at the helicopter base in Lismore, Mr Keogh officially launched the event, to be held October 6-13, and was presented with a plaque for running the fundraiser over the past 15 years.

“The Yellow Pages Hell on Wheels Cycle Tour is an exceptional fundraiser for the service,” the helicopter base’s general manager Chris Beavis said.

The event attracts corporate sponsorship and each rider individually raises money for the helicopter before and during the ride.

Alstonville resident Darryl Harder has completed eight of the past 14 cycle tours and said the service is essential for isolated Northern Rivers communities.

“Last year, my granddaughter jumped off the lounge onto one of those exercise balls and speared herself head first into the ground and broke her neck,” he said.

“They got her on the helicopter and took her up to Brisbane.”

More than 25 people have signed up for this year’s 500km cycle tour and places are still available. Registration forms are available at helirescue.com.au and must be in by Monday.