Gawler resident Steve Cleland used cycling to get back on his feet after a workplace accident, but now he’s riding to help others on the Ride for Sick Kids.
Mr Cleland will be undertaking the Ronald McDonald House fundraiser this weekend, traveling from Broken Hill to Adelaide, three states and more than 1000 kilometres in seven days.
The 37-year-old said he’s never taken his cycling very seriously, but looks forward to putting in the hard yards for some very deserving people.
“It’s my first major ride – I’m nervous because I don’t know what to expect, but I’m also excited because I get to achieve something not a lot of other people get to achieve,” Mr Cleland said.
“It’ll be a mental challenge, but it’s rewarding knowing I’m doing it for a good cause.
“It’s a really good community event – it’s amazing, I’m so excited to be part of it.”
Mr Cleland has been involved with the Ronald McDonald House for more than 15 years through his wife Sarah, but was encouraged to give the challenge a go after using cycling as rehabilitation for a back injury.
The father of three will be “buddied up” with Archer Trestrail, 7, who was diagnosed with rare form of Leukaemia at six months old and has been involved with the Ronald McDonald Learning Program since starting school.
In a strange turn of events, Mr Cleland discovered young Archie was actually the son of one of his Kapunda High schoolmates, Amy, adding he’s looking forward to riding for him.
“He’s a beautiful little kid... I’ll video call him everyday, he’s really excited for me,” Mr Cleland said.
“It’s really motivating me to get up in the morning when I think my legs are sore, well that little fella and his family has gone through much more than my poor legs being sore.
“It really makes you dig deep and give it your best.”
Mr Cleland went through his own struggles after the workplace incident, both physically and mentally, but said the challenge has been great for his well being, and he’s lost close to 20 kilograms.
The Ride for Sick Kids will start on Saturday and will travel through the Barossa on Friday, November 24 – visiting Nuriootpa Primary School, Freeling and St Jakobi School in Lyndoch on the day.
Mr Cleland has raised just over $6000, however, you can still donate to his ride via ride-2017.everydayhero.com/au/ride-for-sick-kids-sa-2017