ABOUT 25 cyclists rode from Launceston to Exeter and back yesterday on the first leg of their seven-day fund-raising ride.
They hope to raise $500,000 for Ronald McDonald Houses in Tasmania and Victoria, facilities that provide a home away from home for the families of hospitalised children.
And just to show that they were more than up to the challenge presented by the hills of the West Tamar Highway, riders turned left after leaving McDonald’s in Howick Street, Launceston, and headed south, up the long grind that is the Southern Outlet.
It is understood that the out-of-towners were given the correct directions, but asked again and turned left instead of right, initiating a slight detour.
Ride co-ordinator Amy O’Brien said that the ride was in its fourth year, but this was the first time it had included Tasmania.
‘‘Each rider has to raise $3100 to participate and we have a lot of other different charity events along the way, starting with one at the Riverside Golf Club [yesterday],’’ she said.
‘‘A lot of great people get behind it and they’ve done a lot of different things to donate.’’
Justin Vincent, of Sandy Bay, was one of the few Tasmanians in the mainland-dominated group.
He said that he didn’t want to miss the chance to participate given that the ride started in his home state.
Riders fly to Tullamarine today for the first leg of the mainland jaunt, a 120-kilometre ride to Geelong, before looping through Lorne, Colac, Ballarat, Williamstown and on to Ronald McDonald House in Melbourne’s Parkville.