Nelson or bust...

Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
A Dunedin social cycling group which has swapped its usual St Clair and Otago Peninsula rides for a 1381km ride to Nelson heads up Pine Hill yesterday morning.

The Phantom's Southern Alps cycle tour, in which 21 cyclists will spend nine days on the road, will raise money for the University of Otago’s student support fund Putea Tautoko.

After tackling Mt Cargill, the riders were heading through the Pigroot,Haast Pass, Arthurs Pass, Porters Pass, Weka Pass, and the Lewis Pass, before arriving in Nelson.

So far, about $4600 of their $15,000 goal has been raised.

Among the cyclists is research and enterprise deputy vice-chancellor Prof Richard Blaikie, who also took part in last year’s tour.

“It was just fantastic. It just makes you realise what an outstanding country we live in and how diverse and beautiful the southern part of New Zealand is.’’

Prof Blaikie called the groupa ‘‘mamil’’ group, meaning middle-aged men in lycra, but said they were on the boundary of being a ‘‘oapil’’ group, a term he made up meaning old-age pensioners in lycra. 

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