Woodend team raises $50k for cancer ride

Spokes of Hope captain Jon Morgan and crew. Picture: Alina Golovachenko

A team of Woodend cyclists raising money for the fight against cancer is close to smashing through the $150,000 barrier.

Spokes of Hope’s 14 members have spent the coldest winter in 25 years pushing up some of the Macedon Ranges’ steepest hills, collecting more than $50,000 ahead of the team’s third Ride to Conquer Cancer.

The 200-kilometre charity ride from Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula this weekend benefits the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. While a lot of hard work has gone into training and fundraising, cyclists say it’s nothing compared to the hard road travelled by friends, family and colleagues affected by cancer.

‘‘Last year, we lost our team manager just weeks before the ride,’’ team member Allan Spencer-Stewart says. ‘‘This year, one of our team has a partner riding the chemo roller coaster. Another of our team is a survivor. It’s real, it’s confronting.’’

The team, one of the top fundraisers in the state, is third on the overall tally, having raised $51,808 this year and almost $150,000 since 2012. A large part of this year’s total was collected during a ‘Sweet Winter Night’ in July.

Team captain Jon Morgan says the thought of friends affected by the disease keeps him going.

‘‘I’m also hoping to make a difference to the lives of their partners and kids, and to give other people a chance to contribute.’’

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