FOUR Upwey residents who proudly call themselves The Hillbillies are taking part in the 200-kilometre Ride to Conquer Cancer event next month.
Team Hillbillies comprises friends Rebecca Wolske and Darren Clarke, his neighbour Ania Prokop and Yarra Ranges councillor Noel Cliff, who joined the group after receiving a letter asking to donate to the cause.
For Rebecca, Noel and Ania, this is the first time they have done anything like this. All four have been in training since earlier this year.
"Darren and I began training back in February," Mrs Wolske said. "In the beginning after just going around the block on my bike I would be red-faced and gasping for breath thinking how on earth was I going to ride 200 kilometres?"
But after initially riding three times a week, and now two times a week plus personal training sessions, Mrs Wolske said she was raring to go. "I just know I can do it," she said. "You get over the daunting phase."
She said the health benefits had been great — not to mention the weight loss, a big plus of all their training. "Darren is half the man he used to be!" Mrs Wolske laughed.
She said all team members had been touched by cancer in some way and each person had their own reasons for wanting to raise funds. "It is amazing how many people are affected and it is just not fair. I cannot wait to see the end of cancer."
The ride — on October 27 and 28 — starts from Albert Park. Participants ride to Healesville where they stay overnight before riding back to Albert Park the next day.
Each team member is required to raise $2500 — with two members having already achieved this target.
Money raised from the event goes towards the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre supporting cancer patients and families throughout Victoria.
To donate to The Hillbillies team, visit conquercancer.org.au and search 'The Hillbillies'.