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.

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