Pups to join cy­cling chal­lenge for SPCA

The Napier Mail - - FRONT PAGE - ME­GAN HUNT

Only a howl­ing gale will keep Nicky Martin and her two jack rus­sells off their bike next month.

Martin is tak­ing part in The Big Easy Cy­cle chal­lenge on April 15, where peo­ple of all abil­i­ties will fol­low a 42-kilo­me­tre route of Hawke’s Bay cy­cle trails from Have­lock North to Taradale’s Church Road Win­ery.

Peo­ple and busi­nesses can spon­sor the ride, with money do­nated to Napier SPCA.

Martin said she be­gan cy­cling with her two dogs in bas­kets ei­ther side of her back wheel ’’long be­fore it was fash­ion­able,’’ about eight or nine years ago.

Pypa, 13, and Lacee, 5, com­bined weigh about 11-kilo­grams and wear match­ing SPCA vests.

Martin clips them into their bas­kets af­ter Lacee pre­vi­ously leapt from her seat.

‘‘We were out one day and we saw a rab­bit and [Lacee] jumped out to get it and we all fell off.’’

If the weather is nice the trio will go for three shorter morn­ing rides each week, then one long full-day ride with a pic­nic in tow.

The Big Easy’s dis­tance was slightly too long for her, but Martin was con­fi­dent she could com­plete it.

‘‘I’ll be all the way at the back of the pack, it’s just a bit far for me - I’m not giv­ing into an elec­tric bike yet,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m de­ter­mined. Only howl­ing gale will stop me.’’

Napier’s SPCA was her cho­sen char­ity and Martin de­scribed her­self as an an­i­mal lover. She has a owned four jack rus­sells, in­clud­ing Pypa and Lacee, who hap­pily roam around her Taradale home, chew­ing at bones.

‘‘They are just like kids.’’

Her pre­vi­ous dogs com­peted in the pop­u­lar Tux Won­der Dogs tele­vi­sion se­ries.

‘‘That was an ex­pe­ri­ence. They treated us like roy­alty, but it was hard work, long days and freez­ing cold, but it was just great.’’

To sup­port Martin con­tact Napier SPCA and spon­sor her ride, or stop for a chat if you see her ped­alling with her bark­ing cargo around the re­gion’s lime­stone paths.

PHOTO: ME­GAN HUNT/FAIRFAX NZ

Nicky Martin with her dogs Pypa and Lacee in their bike bas­kets.

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