LIFE’S toughest challenges are often that little bit easier when you’ve got a good support crew around you.
So it was that almost 30 Albury-Wodonga cyclists joined Rafael McGowan riding through the Border yesterday.
The Sydney man is on his cycling marathon from Adelaide to Sydney to help fund melanoma research.
Those cyclists — and the crowd that met them at Sumsion Gardens in Wodonga — had been the support crew for Wodonga woman Evette Bone, 31, who died last year after a five-year battle with the disease.
Mrs Bone’s sister Lisa Barry said she jumped on board as soon as she found out about Mr McGowan’s fund-raiser.
“It’s coming up to pretty close since we lost her, so I thought it’s a good time for us to do this,” Mrs Barry said.
Also on bikes were Mrs Barry’s sister Simone Welch, brother Andrew Black and father Ross Black.
They were joined by cyclists from both sides of the Border, some regular riders and others who donned the Lycra just for this challenge.
They set out at 6.30am to meet Mr McGowan at Chiltern Bakery and rode back to the Border with him, travelling about 80 kilometres.
Mr McGowan was grateful for the company and welcomes any support on his journey of more than 2000 kilometres.
He chose to do the fundraiser after his sister, Tess, 30, died two years ago from melanoma.
So far he has raised $25,000 towards a goal of raising $100,000 for research into melanoma, the most common type of cancer among people aged 19 to 35.
“I wanted to do something that would bring hope and help others, as well as raise awareness,” he said.
Mr McGowan was raised in Goulburn and has lived in Wagga, and was looking forward to the big reception he’d been told to expect in each city.
He continued on his ride after morning tea at Sumsion Gardens hosted by Mrs Bone’s mother, Erris Black, and friends.