Doctor cycling for a good cause
A South Canterbury cycling fanatic is aiming to ride the 2018 Tour de France route to raise money for charity.
Waimate GP Steve Fish will ride 3400 kilometres over 21 days, over flat, rolling, and mountainous terrain in the European Alps and Pyrenees.
He is one of seven Kiwis taking on the challenge which aims to raise money and awareness for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.
Fish is the only South Cantabrian signed up for the challenge with their version of Le Tour taking place on the course just the day before the professional stars of the sport tackle the gruelling three-week event.
Cycling had been a big part of Fish’s life since he was a teenager, and he had always dreamt of racing in the Tour de France.
The opportunity then arose to ride the route for the Mental Health Foundation.
He will spend $15,000-$16,000 to take part and had a $3000 fundraising target in addition to this. Fundraising has just started and he had already raised $312.
Fish said it was important they were raising awareness for mental health.
He said he’s ‘‘happy to sweat for the cause.’’
‘‘Mental health issues may not be that obvious.
‘‘The less obvious things are things like work stress, social phobias and workplace bullying that fly under the radar.
‘‘As a GP I’m very well aware of the impact of mental health issues.’’
The group were being coached by former New Zealand professional racing cyclist Hayden Roulston.
‘‘I think we’re in pretty good hands.’’
Fish was training 12-13 hours a week and will do so right up until he arrives in France in July.
He wasn’t downplaying how immense the challenge of the ride will be.
‘‘We’ll probably encounter three mountain roads in a day and that’s repeated over several days.
‘‘It’s not just the distance or the elevation but also the nature of the roads [that make it hard].’’
Fish said part of the route consisted of 24kms of cobble stones. The road was deliberately maintained as cobble stones to make bike racing challenging.
‘‘It’s going to be a unique experience ridden with a group of like-minded individuals.’’
The group will start their event on July 6..
To donate to Fish’s cause, click here.
Waimate doctor Steve Fish will cycle the 2018 Tour de France route to raise money and awareness for the Mental Health Foundation.