AT 73 years old, a 50km bike ride is like a walk in the park for Neville Botham.
The Melba resident, who has been riding for more than 50 years, rides about 70 km in a training session.
He’s currently training for the Fitz Challenge, where he’ll ride 50km and raise money for children with cancer.
The Fitz Challenge is regarded as one of Canberra’s biggest and long-distance one-day participation cycling events and includes some of the toughest climbs in the Canberra region.
The super fit can take on the 255km Fitz’s Extreme, a long, grueling hill grinding odyssey with a 13.5 hour time limit.
There was once a time Neville would have been up for the Fitz’s Extreme, but this month he’s sticking to the less-grueling Tidbinbilla Challenge.
“The first very long ride I did was when living in NZ. In 1990, I rode around Mt Egmont, a distance of 180km,” he says.
“Moving to Australia in 1993, I was challenged by the son of a riding partner. He said I was too old to complete the 150km in the Fitz’s Challenge, within the time of 8 hours 30 minutes, but I am happy to say I completed it in 8 hours 4 minutes.”
Neville is on a mission to raise money for The Kids’ Cancer Project when he rides on Sunday, October 28.
The Kids’ Cancer Project is an national organisation that funds research into pediatric cancer worldwide to find cures for childhood cancer.
CEO of The Kids’ Cancer Project, Peter Neilson, says the organisation has raised more than $15 million for childhood cancer research during the past 18 years.
“Ultimately, finding a cure is about saving children’s lives and ending the heartbreak childhood cancer brings to so many families round the world. It is proven that this research into childhood cancer saves lives”, he says.
“But despite enormous research gains, each week three children still die from childhood cancer in Australia. In just 50 years, medical research has increased survival rates from 2 per cent to 80 per cent. The Kids’ Cancer Project aims to increase survival rates to 100 per cent.”
More information at www.thekidscancerproject.org.au
To donate to Neville’s fundraising efforts go to everydayhero.com.au/neville_botham_1