Riders have $20,000 dollar smile

AS many as 76 riders will put their bodies on the line this weekend in the ROMAC Ride For a Smile at Toormina.

They range in age from 76 to 14 and their mission will be to ride 500km at the Coffs Harbour Regional Cycle Complex.

The 10 teams and 10 solo riders hope to raise $20,000 for Rotary Oceania Medical Aid For Children, which brings kids from developing countries to Australia for life-saving treatment.

The solo riders will have only a 10-minute break every two hours, and a 30-minute meal break, during the endurance event.

“It's a ride, not a race,” ride promotions manager Cheryl Dooley said at the track yesterday.

“Brian Whitcher is the oldest solo rider at 60, and he's covered 1000km this week in preparation for the big event.”

Cheryl says she's also having a go because she's been inspired by the many heartwarming stories which underpin the success of ROMAC's work.

“More than 350 children have been helped since 1988, with 50 assisted this year alone, including the Rasmiddin girls.”

Rafika Rasmiddin, 10, and her sister, Uswatun, 9, are from Indonesia, and they were badly burnt in a house fire in November 2005 when an earthquake overturned a kerosene lantern.

Both girls, who are still undergoing operations, were at the velodrome yesterday to watch the riders go through their final paces. Ride for A Smile begins at 10am today, and should finish by 8am tomorrow.



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