Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Echuca cyclist heads to Thailand for 1800km ride

Echuca bike rider Rob Southwell has been training for the Hands Across The Water charity bike ride in Thailand since earlier this year.

JESS CRAIG January 1, 2014 4:00am

Rob Southwell ahead of his charity bike ride through Thailand.

Most people go to Thailand for rest and relaxation, but not Rob Southwell.

The Echuca resident is going to take the ride of his life, flying to Bangkok today on his way to complete an 1800km bike ride for charity.

Mr Southwell has been training for the Hands Across The Water since earlier this year and has raised more than $12,000 to donate to children orphaned by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

‘‘I’ve always been in to keeping my fitness up, but I was never a bike rider... I got keen in about May when I decided to do the ride,’’ Mr Southwell said.

He first heard of Hands Across The Water in 2012, after attending a seminar where a man who worked in victim identification spoke of his experiences and the charity.

‘‘It was just an amazing thing to listen to and, so when I heard about the ride, I applied to do it,’’ Mr Southwell said.

‘‘You have to raise $10,000 to be eligible and 100 per cent of that money goes to these children.

‘‘I’ve organised raffles, sausage sizzles and movie nights and I’m very grateful to everyone to has supported me to get this far.’’

Mr Southwell, who works at GV Community for the Aged, starts his journey in Nong Khai.

Riders are expected to travel 100km a day and had to pay for their own accommodation and meals.

‘‘I don’t actually know any of the people who are going on the ride,’’ Mr Southwell said.

‘‘I injured my back earlier in the year and it’s been quite sore recently, so it will be interesting to see how I go.

‘‘I’m looking forward to it, it will be a great experience.’’

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