Wednesday, May 22, 2024

A new challenge for Patterson

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Howick’s Gerald Patterson is undertaking another mammoth bike ride, this time across the United States.

Many will be aware that Gerald Patterson is a keen cyclist but to agree to do what he is about to undertake, well that requires a bit more than keenness!

On May 18 Patterson – Patterson, the chair of the Howick Village Association – will be one of a group of riders from New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom to set off from San Francisco to cycle to New York, a distance of 5150km over 36 days.

Three New Zealand riders will raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease New Zealand

while the riders from the UK will raise funds for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation which was established by Doddie Weir (ex Scotland and Lions rugby union player) in 2017 after he was diagnosed with MND. He passed away from that disease in 2022.

Why is Patterson doing this ride? Well the answer from 95 per cent of people he tells is ‘because you’re mad’ or something similar.

Maybe, but Patterson has always been an active person who enjoys a challenge and took up cycling seriously in the early 1990s. Since then, and many times with the same group of friends, he has ridden thousands of kilometres in New Zealand and overseas.

Some rides have been charity rides with the biggest to date being a Wellington to Auckland ride in 2017. This was billed as The Ride of the Legends in conjunction with the British and Irish Lions rugby tour of New Zealand. The Kiwi riders collectively raised more than $70,000 for Conductive Education.

Peter Winterbottom (ex England and Lions rugby union player) was one of the main organisers and is also behind the current USA ride.

“I enjoy cycling, like a challenge and sees this as an opportunity to join friends in raising money to assist a very worthy cause; maybe there’s a touch of madness as well,” said Patterson.

“Hopefully you feel the same way, follow our progress and participate by donating to a great cause.”

For further information, regular updates on the progress of the ride (and preparations) go to mnd-new-zealand-fundraise.raisely.com/gerald-patterson.

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