Wheel to Walk ride gathering momentum

Scenic: Charles Brice and fellow riders Sinead Saint and Rohan Mason head out on a training ride this month.
Scenic: Charles Brice and fellow riders Sinead Saint and Rohan Mason head out on a training ride this month.

Charles Brice is literally building momentum towards his huge Wheel to Walk ride in October.

With the support of fellow organiser Sarah Arnold, Charles, who became a quadriplegic in a motorbike accident in 2010, is aiming to raise $100,000 for spinal cord research.

With Charles pushing a handcycle, a team of up to 30 riders will ride alongside him 300km from Paruna to Adelaide over four days on October 16-19.

Charles said after overcoming some recent challenges including thumb surgery, he was now well into a regular training program including open road cycling, gym work and now visits to the SA Sports Institute.

"Being on the bike more and more I've seen my fitness levels increase really quite rapidly," he said.

Charles went on his longest training ride yet a fortnight ago, covering 50km to Gawler and back, and was happy with the outcome.

"I was exhausted afterwards but I generally felt OK the next day," he said. "I know that the ride itself is going to be more of that, it's something you have to be dedicated to, and I'm up to the challenge."

Training for the October ride is serving the dual purpose of helping prepare Charles for a longer-term goal of cycling competitively. His training program is tailored at competing in cycling nationals in January next year, and if that goes well he has aspirations of competing at international level.

"Being so competitive, I'd always wanted to do something (in elite sports) but didn't know what.

"Wheel to Walk was my excuse for buying a bike, I was lucky enough to have funding for it, and now I'm working towards those goals."

Preparations for the Wheel to Walk ride are coming along well, with more riders signing up to accompany Charles on the long ride.

Naracoorte locals who are signed up and have started fundraising include Kybybolite Football Club representatives Dylan Brodie, Lee Curnow and Tom Cooper, and ex-locals such as Nick Pannell, Sinead Saint, Jock McNeil and Henry Schreier.

Many sponsors have come on board, including presenting partners Platinum Ag Services, Haigh's Chocolates, and more locally, Ottoson Partners Real Estate, Bricey's Crash Repairs and Naracoorte Seeds.

Charles plans to visit Naracoorte this weekend and will fit in a training ride with locals taking part in the ride.

To find out more about the ride or donate, visit http://www.wheeltowalk.com/.

To sponsor the Naracoorte Herald's own Lee Curnow, visit https://wheel-to-walk.raisely.com/lee-curnow.