Cyclists' spare seat triple treat for charity donors

By Tessa Johnstone

Two's company found a crowd when they rode into Masterton on their three-seater bicycle on Friday.

Richard Steane, Byrdie Johnston and Jimmy Griffiths left Auckland last month on a three-seater tandem cycle, and are raising money for charity by auctioning off the third seat on each leg of the journey while one of the cyclists takes a break.

The trio cycled from Eketahuna to Featherston on Friday, stopping in Masterton for a brief tour of Queen Elizabeth Park, and made their way across the Rimutaka Rail Trail on Saturday.

"We had this massive tail wind [out of Eketahuna] so we hardly had to do anything - we got blown into town," said Dr Steane.

Although the three-seater bike has essentially been built for jaunts in the park, some modifications in Rotorua have seen it handle the journey well.

"It's a really solidly built bike. It's a bit like driving a truck sometimes, you've got all this length at the back," said Dr Steane.

The trip was for three great charities, he said, but they were having a blast as well - the best bit was meeting people along the way and chatting with them as they rode. Some riders had been given the seat as a birthday surprise; others had been cancer survivors determined to make the most of all life's offerings.

The group has so far raised almost $2500 for mentoring trust Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Shortbread Trust which supports a school in Nepal, and Christchurch's Gap Filler.


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