Ride for a Chopper 2017 epic cycle kicks off

And they’re off. They might not be racing, but the gang of riders are in Woolgoolga and ready to pedal for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

GOOD DEED: The team of 65 riders and volunteers are tackling the epic ride to make sure no one ever has to pay for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter service. Photo: Peter Hardin

GOOD DEED: The team of 65 riders and volunteers are tackling the epic ride to make sure no one ever has to pay for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter service. Photo: Peter Hardin

The group of 65 left Tamworth on Friday morning and wound their way to the coast for the start of the 600km trek back to Tamworth, all in the name of the rescue chopper.

This year, they’ve raised more than $75,000. The gang includes plenty of Tamworth faces, as well as riders from as far as Wollongong, Baradine, Newcastle, Werris Creek, Gunnedah and the Central West.

They’ll be peddling their way from the coast across the Great Dividing Range down through the New England to scoot back into Tamworth next Friday.

“This year we’re riding through some pretty spectacular countryside, but everyone knows it’s not just about the peddling,” ride captain Steve Livingstone said.

“The mateship and fun we have along the way is something that can’t be put into words.

“And for many, this will be the longest and toughest ride they’ve ever done, and to watch them finish that is pretty special.”