THERE will be cycling fever in Bega next Friday.
The time has arrived again for the annual CanTeen Bandanna Day Bike Ride.
Event organiser Andy Willis is set to continue his tradition of leading a cycle around the local area on October 18, while Velocity Health and Fitness will host a virtual ride.
Mr Willis hosted the inaugural Bandanna Day Bike Ride in 2000 after hearing an inspiring story at a business conference.
A young lady named Penny Marsden spoke about being diagnosed with cancer in her early teens, while her friends enjoyed going out, playing sports and dreaming of the future.
The first ride saw Mr Willis ride solo along the Princes Hwy from Narooma to Bega, but participant numbers have since continued to grow.
Over the past 14 years, Mr Willis and the Bega community have helped raise more than $180,000 for CanTeen.
CanTeen exists to support, develop and empower young people living with cancer.
“We have raised $180,000 and I’m very proud,” Mr Willis said.
“The event is only in Bega, it’s not run by CanTeen.
“It’s a big number which has gathered over the years.”
Mr Willis invites interested people to join him on an “unofficial” ride on October 18 from 9am.
Participants are asked to meet outside the Bega Post Office and the group will ride through Kalaru, down Sapphire Coast Drive to Merimbula, before returning to Bega via the highway and Wolumla.
“Anyone is welcome to join me,” Mr Willis said.
The virtual ride will then take place from 6pm at the Velocity gym.
Mr Willis thanked Velocity Health and Fitness for its support.
“It’s good, the gym has gotten behind us – they’ve been really good,” he said.
Last year’s event helped raise more than $7300 for CanTeen, with the money spent on a weekend camp program for clients.
For more information or to donate, visit www.everydayhero.com.au/hero_pages/view_posts/BandannaDayBikeRide.