ACT News

Variety Cycle 2015 from Sydney to Hobart spins into Canberra

Day three of the Variety Cycle 2015 is done.

After some well-earned rest, the philanthropic peloton will hit the road south to continue the epic 15-day ride to Hobart with the aim of raising $1 million for Australian kids in need.

Variety Cycle founder Christopher Mapp (front), met up with his wife Victoria in Canberra on day three of the ride, ...
Variety Cycle founder Christopher Mapp (front), met up with his wife Victoria in Canberra on day three of the ride, which Wild Oats XI crew (back from left) Steve Jarvin, Bryce Ruthenberg, and Nathan Ellis are relishing. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Riders will clock up 2167 kilometres through NSW, the ACT and Victoria and Tasmania.

Theteam includes two Canberrans: Eric Aichinger and Paralympic skier, cyclist and para-triathlete Michael Milton.

Variety Cycle riders finish up day three at Parliament House.
Variety Cycle riders finish up day three at Parliament House. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Milton said cooler temperatures meant the team kept a good pace on the 118-kilometre leg from Goulburn to Canberra.

The newly appointed Variety ambassador said, as a survivor of childhood cancer, he connected with the importance of supporting kids in the rough times in their lives.

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"We were able to donate $4000 this morning at the Crescent School in Goulburn," he said.

"As cyclists and as fundraisers we need motivation to keep flogging ourselves everyday on the bike."

Canberran Eric Aichinger of Cook, and Variety Ambassador Michael Milton of Ainslie.
Canberran Eric Aichinger of Cook, and Variety Ambassador Michael Milton of Ainslie. Photo: Jamila Toderas

The three Wild Oats XI crew members on the team have been enjoying a different style of Sydney to Hobart.

Seasoned professional sailor Steve "Mothy" Jarvin works the main traveller on the maxi yacht.

 He's done 27 Sydney to Hobart races on the water, and this is his second on wheels.

"There are certainly times, on the bike and on the water, where you think, 'Why am I doing it?'" he said.

"But this is a chance for a couple of old punters to ride to Hobart and do something really good for disadvantaged kids."

Christopher Mapp, the founder of the Variety Cycle, grew up in a culture of giving: his father founded Variety in Australia and his mother founded the Ladies of Variety.

He endured back pain for more than 300km and was happy to get a hug from his wife Victoria at the Canberra checkpoint.   

 The Sydney-based father of two said he envisaged Variety Cycle would "put fun into fundraising."

"It's not a race, it's a ride across beautiful parts of Australia and a chance get an exposure to what Variety does across the regions along the way," he said.

"Variety dive in and try to help those that miss out of other types of funding assistance around the country."

Mr Mapp said generous support was growing year on year, and he was confident that if the $1 million target was not reached this year it would be soon. 

"We will have raised somewhere in the vicinity of $1.3 million in the first two years of the event, which is pretty great," he said.