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Canberra public servant's 2200km journey from Sydney to Hobart for Variety

Eric Aichinger does not ride his bike the 10 kilometres to work. The journey is too short for him.

The 45-year-old public servant is about to ride 2200 kilometres in 15 days for the Variety children's charity.

To train for the Variety Cycle, a huge journey from Sydney to Hobart completed with leg power alone, Mr Aichinger denied himself the traditional lazy Christmas sitting on a chair between trips to the kitchen. Instead he rode 1000 kilometres in 10 days during the festive period.

"One of the best things about the mild January temperatures is that it's been easier to train," he said. Significant riding will be done on 14 of the Sydney to Hobart ride's 15 days. 

"I'm hoping it doesn't rain," he said. 

Already he has raised $7600 after starting with a goal to collect $8000. "Only family and friends have donated so far," he said. 


Mr Aichinger works at the Department of Parliamentary Services as one of the many people who ensure Parliament House operates smoothly.

"More public servants seem to be riding now, particularly because of paid parking," he said.

The ride starts February 28 and the route passes through the ACT where he lives during the first week although he will not sleep in his own bed. "It will be strange sleeping in a hotel in Canberra," he said. 

He hoped he would not become sea sick on the boat journey from the mainland to Tasmania, otherwise it would be a tough day in the saddle on his first day in the Apple Isle.

The charity ride aims to raise $1 million for Variety which was what the organisation spent in an average month on sick and disadvantaged children. About $300,000 had been raised as of Monday.. 

Mr Aichinger was one of a small number of cyclists doing the whole ride. Others will take part in sections.

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