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World champion English keen to tackle Ride 4 Rescue for WRHS

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Have you ever wanted to test yourself against the best in the business?

If the answer’s “yes”, then here’s your chance.

Seven-time 24-hour solo mountain bike racing world champion Jason English is inviting everyone to join him for Ride 4 Rescue Hunter Valley next month.

The inaugural event, to take place at Lovedale on Sunday 30 October, will also double as a fundraiser for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (WRHS).

“I’m definitely happy to be involved in Ride 4 Rescue,” the Newcastle-based MTBA/Auscycling Hall of Famer said.

“I’ve suffered enough serious injuries myself to wake up in hospital and have no idea what’s going on.

“So, I appreciate any emergency service, like the WRHS, that assists people who hurt themselves.

“For me, personally, it’s a part of mountain biking.

“You fall off, you injure yourself.

“So, you have to rely on certain services at times.

“Hopefully, you don’t need to.

“But, it’s great to have that assurance knowing there are people around, which is their speciality to provide the support you require.”

English
Newcastle’s Jason English. Photo: Rocky Trail Entertainment

Ride 4 Rescue Hunter Valley, suited for both the novice and experienced rider, will start from Binnorie Dairy – and offers participants three course lengths: 15km, 46km or 69km.

English was attracted to the family-friendly event due to its “uniqueness”.

“It’s new on the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service fundraising calendar,” the 11-time national 24-hour champion told the Newcastle Weekly.

“I’ve pre-ridden the track – I zoomed around it with my kids on a tandem.

“So, you can ride anything.

“A gravel bike, a cycle cross or even a tandem with slick tyres, whatever works for you.

“It’s not going to be necessarily an easy race, but you can pick what distance you want.

“And, that’s what’s so good about Ride 4 Rescue.

“You can choose how hard you want to push yourself – and go for it.

“I know if I’m doing the long distance, 69km, there’ll be quite a few people turning up who’ll race flat out for the whole time.

“However, there will also be others who’ll tackle the 15km – it could be the furthest they’ve ridden before.

“That’s the beauty of it, you manage your own ride experience.

“I’m torn, though, do I ride with my kids on the tandem or have a crack at the 69km?”

MTBA/Auscycling Hall of Famer Jason English. Photo: Matt Attard

Since moving to Newcastle, from Port Macquarie, the Hunter Christian School PE teacher has thrown his support behind several not-for-profit organisations.

That’s why he’s keen to help the WRHS, which responds to emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the generous financial backing of the community.

“It’s important to give something back,” English said.

“But, it is also an excuse for me to train.

“If I know people will support a cause, by me riding the Fernleigh track 15 times for example for charity, I’ll do it.

“It presents me with a good objective, too.

“And, that’s a huge part being an athlete, I guess.

“Having goals and working towards them.

“So, ones also involving fundraising are always a big thing for me.

“I’ve got a few different charities that I’m clipping in the pedals, and riding around, for.

“I’m happy to do it as well.”

The cost to take part is: $50 (15km), $70 (46km) or $90 (69km).

To register, or donate, go to https://rescuehelicopter.com.au/events/ride-4-rescue-hunter-valley/

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