Sean Carroll and Michael Osten ahead of their 1100 kilometre journey to fight poverty.
Sean Carroll and Michael Osten ahead of their 1100 kilometre journey to fight poverty. Daniel McKenzie

Cyclists hit the road to fight poverty

A GROUP of cyclists is hitting the road on Saturday for an 1100 kilometre journey to raise money and awareness for children living in extreme poverty.

The 20 cyclists and their six-man support crew will put their bodies on the line in the inaugural Pedal Against Poverty Coast2Coast endurance cycle, which will take them from the Gold Coast right down to Manly Beach in Sydney.

The riders aim to complete the journey in eight days to raise $100,000 for Baptist World Aid’s Vulnerable Children Fund.

Cyclist, organiser and parent Michael Osten, said he’d been thinking of doing a ride like this for years after witnessing the world’s poverty first-hand on a trip to Africa when he was a national-level distance runner.

“The level of poverty had a great impact on me, however, I was also touched by how generous people who had nothing were,” Osten said.

He said parenthood put poverty into perspective, knowing there were children all across the developing world facing extreme hardships.

“I recently became a father for the second time and it reminded me how privileged we are to live in such a wonderful country, where our children can grow up safely,” Osten said.

“There are so many children across the developing world though, who live in extreme poverty and are vulnerable to being trafficked or forced into slavery.”

Beginning at 8am on Saturday, the crew will make their way to Lismore for the night, before heading on to stopping points in Grafton, Dorrigo, Armidale, Gloucester, Maitland and Wisemans Ferry, before finishing in Manly.

The cycling challenge will take in a number of towns, as the experienced cyclists and crew make their way down the scenic inland road.

Support crew member Stephanie Dobbin said there was a good mix of riders who would join the core riders at different times.

“We start with a core group of nine to 10 riders, and the rest will join for the last two to three days,” she said.

Three billion people, or 40% of the world’s population still live in poverty today, with eight million kids dying every year due to poverty.

Osten hopes the ride can raise the targeted funds necessary to make a difference.

“I hope that we can raise awareness and much-needed funds for Baptist World Aid to give kids in such conditions a fighting chance,” he said.

If you would like to give to the Pedal Against Poverty - Vulnerable Children’s Fund or for more information on the ride, visit: www.pedalagainstpoverty.com

To follow the journey and track the cyclists’ progress, follow them on Facebook at Pedal Against Poverty.



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