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From left, the East Trentham riders, Paul Williamson, Thomas Williamson, Jacinta Carboon, Stephen Peirce and Rose Wilson

On yer bike...for a great cause

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GROUP of five East Trentham friends, some who have literally not ridden a bike since school days, are training for a 650-kilometre Cambodian charity bicycle ride to raise funds to help feed and educate Cambodian children.

There are 26 riders enlisted so far for the next bike challenge, seven from the first ride, 21 are from Australia, with the balance from England, Norway and Cambodia. The East Trentham cyclists are now hard at work putting kilometres into their legs in preparation for the hot, humid but thankfully, fairly flat 650 kilometres of tropical pedalling. Artist Rose Wilson – as an aside, named last month as a finalist in the prestigious $150,000 Doug Moran Portrait Prize for her double portrait of Kyneton silversmiths Dan and John Flynn – said she and partner Steve were not normally cyclists. “My last bike was probably my Dragstar I had as a kid so this is definitely a challenge,” she said. They both had to buy bikes and necessary accessories such as ‘jelly pants’ and are training four to five days a week. “It’s a challenge, I am a bit anxious, but it’s such a good cause and it's helping make other people's lives better,” said Rose, who is also a veteran supporter of an extensive range of Trentham-area charities. The Trentham bikers are running a range of fundraising activities including selling raffle tickets, Spring Carnival Race Day Festivals, and prestige luncheons. Further details are available at emily@feedingdreamscambodia.org

Their trek, in January-February next year, will take eight days cycling from the southern beaches of Sihanoukville through rural villages untouched by tourism to the Angkor Wat heritage site. Along the way, they plan to raise $32,500 for Cambodian charity, Feeding Dreams, which works with poor children at risk of child labouring and human trafficking. They will additionally pay $2500 each to cover airfares, accommodation, food and supply of local Cambodian bicycles for the trek. The Trentham connection is through local Emily Williamson, now based in Cambodia as a Feeding Dreams Cambodia employee. “I first volunteered at Feeding Dreams on my second trip to Cambodia in 2015,” she said. “I then returned two other times to help teach English in the classrooms before being offered my job in August 2016.” Feeding Dreams Cambodia held its inaugural charity bike ride in January this Words: Peter Young | Main image: Kyle Barnes | Inset image: contributed year, with 14 riders. These included Emily’s father Paul Williamson and brother Thomas, who are both saddling up for the next ride as well.

The Local Issue 136 November 5, 2018  
The Local Issue 136 November 5, 2018