PAT Casey is a retiree.
But he’s never been busier in life than right now, as he rides around Echuca-Moama in an effort to kick cancer’s backside.
Casey will be riding 800km this month to raise funds for the Children’s Medical Research Institute and its bid to beat childhood cancer.
“It pains me to hear about all the sick kids out there, it really does,” said Pat.
“It’s even worse when you know of people in your very community who are made to go through such heartbreaking situations.”
Last year Pat did the same challenge, accomplishing an outstanding 1200km in the month, raising $4,200 through the Great Cycle Challenge organisation.
But this year, due to some knee and back problems, Pat’s goal will be to reach the 800km milestone by the end of October, even with his carried injuries.
“Kids are a passion of mine, and ever since I retired three years ago I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing,’’ he said.
‘‘But when I saw an ad for this October bike ride on Facebook I saw it as something worthwhile, and with a purpose.”
Pat has taken to this challenge like a duck to water, currently ranking as the eighth best cyclist in Victoria in terms of money raised so far, and 36th in the entire country out of 4373 total riders.
“Until three years ago I had no riding experience really, and only last year did I do my first significant ride,” he said.
Pat now rides six days a week, his strategy to break down the overall 800km goal into much more attainable fragments of around 30 to 40 kilometres each ride.
He can be seen riding laps of the scenic route down past Victoria Park, as well as down High Street when he goes through town.
“My wife Dawn is a great supporter of mine; she understands this is a passion of mine and why I’m doing this,’’ he said. ‘‘She helps out by giving me massages and rubbing ointments into my aching back, because some days the pain is prominent.”
He also thanked his granddaughters, who ‘‘are always checking in with how I’m going and they think it’s all great’’.
Pat was quick to mention his major sponsors, the Moama Football Netball Club and Damien Nunan of the Moama on the Murray resort.
They were major sponsors last season, but Pat said they’d upped the ante.
“It’s wonderful, Moama FNC donated $250 and Damien donated $500; every donation counts no matter how small, but it’s great to have these two (organisations) get on board,” he said.
“It’s for such a good cause; three children die of cancer every week in Australia and it just pains me to hear that.’’
Pat’s finish line will be at Henry’s Bridge Hotel in Echuca on Sunday the 29th this month.
You can always check his stats at www.greatcyclechallenge.com.au/riders/patrickcasey to see how far into his journey he is, how much money he has raised while checking his real-time standings amongst the state and even the nation.