Chief executive officer of Hunter Business Chamber Bob Hawes is pulling on the Lycra to raise money for a cause close to his heart.
The Merewether resident will be cycling the 400 kilometres between Sydney and Canberra, beginning on April 29, as part of The Salvation Army's Red Shield Ride.
Mr Hawes is the chair of Salvos' Red Shield Appeal committee in Newcastle. The three-day ride is just one more activity he has volunteered to undertake as part of the annual fundraiser. He is in charge of organising the city's Red Shield Appeal business luncheon, which raised $220,000 last year.
"It's a good way to use my energy," Mr Hawes said. "Sometimes you have to go out of your way to see disadvantage and when it's brought to you, the cases Salvos' deal with every day, it's a real wake up call that there is a large part of our society that is struggling."
The 60-year-old will be completing the ride with his regular cycling buddy, Hamilton South's David "Darcy" Munro. They set out at 5.30am for training almost every day.
"I've done harder rides that were just over one day but this will be my biggest effort over a series of days," Mr Hawes said. "We've been trying to ramp things up ... riding around 300 kilometres a week."
He hopes to raise $6000 for Salvos. The charity provides many services in the region including drug and alcohol rehabilitation, street safety programs, financial counselling and after-school care and holiday camps for disadvantaged children.