On 22 March 2014 the inaugural Variety Cycle will depart from Sydney and snake its way through five states and territories, covering almost 4000 kilometres before arriving at Uluru.
The ride will involve a cast of thousands and hopes to raise over $1m for the children’s charity, Variety. We spoke to Variety Cycle founder Christopher Mapp (pictured) to find out more about this major new fundraising event.
Can you tell us where the idea for the Variety Cycle came from?
My family have enjoyed a long affiliation with Variety, with my father being one of the founders in Australia. The Variety Cycle is my little brainchild to continue my family connection to Variety.
While I have always been reasonably fit, I was looking for a new challenge that would push the boundaries. When I looked into the idea of a cycle challenge, I discovered that many smaller routes had already been done. So naturally, I set my sights on creating the ultimate, never-before attempted challenge…Sydney to Uluru the ‘long way’.
Variety, as the chosen charity partner, was the obvious choice, as apart from my history with the charity, I have always admired its amazing work with children in need while managing to maintain one of the lowest administration costs of any charity.
Why organise a cycle event to raise funds for Variety?
With the Variety Bash being a huge success for the charity for nearly three decades, I looked to combine all that has made it such an enduring event while creating an event to appeal to a new demographic. Like the Bash, the Variety Cycle will touch the lives of children in remote areas while giving participants an experience like no other.
It is hoped also that the Variety Cycle will expand Variety’s connection in the business community while enabling participants to not only take part in an unforgettable adventure, but to know that by participating they are helping Australian kids live, laugh and learn.
Do you have to be a proficient cyclist to get involved?
Absolutely not, there is a range of options available for all cyclists from novice to proficient. You can choose from a one-day cycle, two-day cycle (approximately 300-to-450 kilometres), city-to-city cycle (over 1000 kilometres in approximately a week) – or go the distance for the full 26 days and cover almost 4000 kilometres.
Looking beyond a monetary goal, what is the main objective of the Variety Cycle?
To establish the strong foundations of a new annual cycling event that can enjoy just as much success as the Variety Bash and enable Variety to continue to be able to help kids in need.
Akin to the Bash, the Cycle is not a race or competition, but rather an experience. In addition to an unforgettable adventure travelling across Australia, the event will give participants the chance to see first-hand the work Variety does, with pit stops at local schools and hospitals to deliver much-needed equipment organised along the route. This will be a life-changing cycling experience for all involved.
To find out more or to get involved, visit the Variety Cycle website.