Scooting off on cancer fundraising ride

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Ross Hamilton is looking forward to putting on his helmet and hitting the road again.

The Oamaru man is taking part in the Tranz Alpine Scooter Safari for a third time to raise funds for the Cancer Society.

The event, held every two years, was established in 2009 by Jayne and Mike Rattray to help support a friend who had been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

About 250 riders will participate in this year’s event on Saturday, May 19.

The seven-hour journey starts in Christchurch, from where riders travel on a 250km stretch of open road to Hokitika at an average speed of no more than 55kmh.

“After you’ve been riding and you’ve been going for about four hours, you think to yourself, ‘What am I doing here?” he joked.

Despite the icy winds and unforeseen challenges, the ride was a worthy way to support a good cause.

After watching family members, including his father and mother-in-law, suffer from cancer, he decided to help make a change.

“Cancer is just something that you just don’t know if you’re going to get it,” he said.

As he did on previous safaris, Mr Hamilton will be riding with his brother-in-law.

The most satisfying part of the journey was coming into Hokitika because it was always a “buzz” to see crowds of people cheering, he said.

So far, he had raised $2643 for this year’s ride.

He had raised about $2400 for each of his first two trips.

The original goal for this year was to raise $1000.

“Originally, I thought if I could get $1000, I’ll be happy.”

However, after meeting his goal, he decided to set the bar higher and try to raise $3000.

He is currently sitting in seventh place for the most money raised by a rider for the event.

People wanting to donate money to Scooter Safari riders can head to the scootersafari.co.nz website.