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Lindsay rides for cancer funding



Ōtaki cyclist Lindsay Gault is taking his trusty bike on yet another adventure, cycling 11,000 kilometres from Liaoning Province in China through to Athens.

It’s his eighth big charity ride. The first was across Africa to raise funds for the Variety Club; from there each has supported the Cancer Society. They have included a repeat ride in Africa, rides in the Arctic, Canada, Europe and Australia – plus the length of New Zealand and throughout the South Island.

Lindsay Gault with the bike he will ride on from China to Greece.
Photo Ōtaki Today

“I love the way you travel on a bike,” he says. “You meet people who have amazing generosity. I can end up staying at people’s houses, or being bought a meal at a restaurant. When they find out you’re riding for charity they can be very generous.”

Lindsay says some of the kindest people he has met are the Aborigines in outback Australia.

“The big road trains and tourists will barrel past you and kick up the dust. The Aboriginal drivers usually stop up the road and wait for you to come past. Then they’ll have a chat, offer you water or food, and sometimes you get to stay with them overnight. They’re extraordinarily kind.”

 With a fitness that comes from riding 2-4 hours every day – and longer rides once a week – Lindsay’s physique defies his 70 years. He clearly loves not only the big challenges, but also raising money for a good cause.

He had not long left the world of IT when he hopped on his bike in 2010 and rode across Africa. It was a magical release from the pressures of the corporate business world, but it was also a revelation in experiencing and exploring countries and communities on a long-distance bike ride.

Since then he has used his love for these adventures to fundraise for the Cancer Society.

The ride later this month has taken about 18 months of preparation, not just physically but also organising logistics such as border crossing requirements and internet access.

The internet is important, as he posts a blog daily when he can, hopefully encouraging people to donate to the Cancer Society. He also has a satellite tracking device, which he says family at home keep a close eye on, seeing in real time when he’s moving or stopped, and where he is on a desert road or a remote village.

He intends to ride about seven hours a day, and not taking the risks that come with riding at night.

The trip will take Lindsay through Mongolia, riding down through the ancient Silk Trade route, through Kyrgyzstan to Turkey and then finally to Athens. He does these long-haul rides fully self-contained and self-funded, stopping for supplies when he needs to and usually sleeping in a tent at the end of each day.

While he enjoys the adventurous aspect of the long-haul bike rides, the main reason he does them is to raise money to go towards cancer support services and research.

“Part of the original thought was my dad died at age 50 with triple cancer – lung, liver and bowel cancer,” he says.

He has also lost many close friends to cancer and just before he left for his Canada ride, his sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the same time, his sister-in-law was also diagnosed with breast cancer.

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Lindsay rides for cancer funding


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