Breaking records while fundraising for Heart Kids and CanTeen is par for the course for distance cyclist Colin Anderson who spent 50 years of his life living in Dannevirke.

Recently he received two cheques from Bush Cycle Tour Committee and Laskey Cycles, both for $250, to add to the total charity fundraising in this campaign by Anderson for Heart Kids New Zealand.

Anderson has only missed riding one of the Bush Cycle Tour rides.

He started his business Anderson Auto Electric in Dannevirke in 1970 which still exists today under different ownership.

Advertisement

It was in the late 80s he decided to enter a Dannevirke Lions Club fun triathlon with cycling and kayaking legs. He had to buy a bike and was spurred on by others in the motortrade, who also joined in the various training escapades.

"I liked the cycling, not the kayaking as I fell out too often," said Anderson.

"I trained with local cyclists such as Hayden Reynolds and the late Don Stephens in the early 90s," he said.

A member of the Dannevirke Amateur Cycling Club, he would ride his bicycle to Palmerston North from Dannevirke on a Sunday through the Gorge, ride with the Palmerston North cyclists, then come back over the Saddle Road.

He had developed a taste for distance cycling.

His first long ride was the Nelson to Christchurch race - 428km - which started at midnight.

"I was fortunate to be invited to 'ride round the block' by Tour de France rider Nathan Dahlberg who was also doing the race to Christchurch. 'The block' meant Palmerston North to Masterton, over what is now called the Remutakas, then the Akatarawas and back along the western coast - 275km. Nathan said 'you look pretty shattered, I doubt if you'll finish the race, mate. In saying that, you're older than my father, so perhaps you might'."

Dahlberg went on to win the race and Anderson managed to complete the ride, returning in later years for a few more races.

Advertisement

He would ride Hastings-Palmerston North-Hastings as regular rides, and did several Auckland to Wellington races, and started riding the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge in 1988.

This year will be his 32nd consecutive ride and he needs to ride two more laps for the 100 lap record - that's 16,000km.

"I will be setting a new record and a precedent for others to follow," said Anderson.

His involvement with charity rides started in 1995 when he rode 24 hours continuously around the Velodrome at Taupo for Heart Kids, followed up an hour later (after a quick massage/freshen up) to complete another 160km circuit of the Lake.

Since then, he broke the record cycling from Cape Reinga to Bluff (2158km) for Heart Kids, followed a few months later by returning to Invercargill to set a New Zealand all-comers record of 24 hours solo on their indoor velodrome (followed straight after by a slow slog up the notorious Bluff Hill.)

Having ridden numerous charity rides for Heart Kids, he decided to ride 65 laps of Lake Taupo for his 65th birthday to assist another youth charity (CanTeen New Zealand).

His mates pointed out that as he was into his 66th year he should ride 66 laps, he did that, which equates to 10,560km. He will be 72 this year.

A survivor, Anderson has had prostate cancer. He had a radical prostatectomy operation on the Friday and the next day he was caught doing sit-ups in bed.

He asked if he could ride the Bush Cycle Tour the next weekend. He was told by his surgeon that he could ride the shorter distance which was 40km, if he rode cautiously.

He has had several heart attacks and stents put in, but that hasn't stopped his plans to keep on riding for charity. Now with the Bush Cycle Tour and Laskeys donations, he has raised $10,000 for Heart Kids in just this campaign.

To make a team entry for Taupo this year with a $50 donation, use the website
https://cyclefor heartkidstaupo19.everydayhero.com/nz/HelpColinreach16000kms.

"All donations of any amount are most welcome. Between us all we can truly help these affected youngsters," said Anderson.