Moree residents may have seen a bunch of bike riders riding through town on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.
The 33 riders are currently taking part in the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter’s annual Hurford Hardwood Hell on Wheels cycle tour, which included a stopover in Moree on Tuesday night.
This was the first time the riders have gone through Moree in the 20-year history of the Hell on Wheels event.
Tour leader Tony Keogh said to celebrate the 20th anniversary, this year’s ride is by far the most gruelling, with the riders taking on more than 800km in 13 days.
”Being the 20th year, we wanted to make it a little different to normal,” Mr Keogh said.
“It’s bigger, better and harder.
“What is normally eight days, this year it’s just shy of two weeks.”
The stop in Moree was the fourth day of the tour (second day of riding), which began in Lismore on Saturday, October 7.
From Lismore the riders took a bus to Lightning Ridge and did a day tour there before commencing the ride on Monday, October 9.
That night they stayed in Collarenebri before making their way to Moree.
Mr Keogh said it was going well so far, despite the heat.
“Today [Tuesday] was 133km which will be a PB [personal best] for some of the riders,” he said.
The group, which consists of 22 males and 11 females, made their way to Gravesend from Moree on Wednesday, and on Thursday are heading to Ashford.
From Ashford, the riders will head to Deepwater, followed by Tenterfield, Killarney, Woodenbong, Casino, and will return to Lismore on Thursday, October 19.
Each year the riders go through towns within the flight zone of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, with all funds raised on the tour going directly into helping the chopper save lives across the Northern NSW region.
Over the past 20 years, the Hell on Wheels tour has raised about $500,000 for the rescue helicopter service.
This year – the final running of the event – the aim is to raise another $50,000.
To show your support for the riders, donate online at www.helirescue.com.au/SupportUs/Donate