Ready to roll in return of A20 charity ride

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All trails are leading to Oamaru next week _ including the Alps 2 Ocean charity ride.
The Scotts-sponsored fundraising event starts in the Southern Alps on Tuesday and rolls into Oamaru on Friday, right in the middle of the Victorian Heritage Celebrations.
The first charity ride was held last year, attracting seven teams that pedalled the 301km distance. This year, some 60 riders are expected to take part.
They are cycling in teams of four, with the “winners” those who raise the most money through Givealittle. The funds will be split between St John and Alps 2 Ocean trail maintenance and improvements. One of the teams is led by NZ Whisky Co general manager Grant Finn. He rode in the inaugural charity ride with Geoff Omnet, of Smash Palace. Both men are keen to expand participation each year.
Mr Finn said his company was one of the tour’s corporate sponsors and he was looking forward to “a good four days”. Because it was not a race, he enjoyed being able to cycle at a pace that allowed him to talk to fellow riders and renew some of the acquaintances he made last year. They included Australians who were returning for a second tilt.Other teams were coming from Canterbury, the Mackenzie Basin, Queenstown, and Clyde, mostly connected to tour operations.
It gave them opportunities to familiarise themselves with the district and network with others in the industry, Mr Finn said. More of the trail has been taken off-road since 2015, which would make it “more marketable for families”.
He was hoping for a strong nor’wester tail wind to help along the way, rather than the head wind that buffeted him on the 95km third day last year.
Mr Finn recommended cyclists do a bit of training before tackling the trail but said the most important factor was “bike comfort”.