A group of cyclists midway through an epic journey to raise funds for prostate cancer stopped by Halls Gap this week.
Each year, cancer awareness group Pedal for Prostate embarks on a ride to support their chosen cause. This year their journey takes them from Echuca to Geelong.
Since the group was formed in 2014, it has raised more than $170,000 Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
The cyclists stopped in Halls Gap today and will do a lap around the town tomorrow before embarking on a trip south to Camperdown as they make their way to the coast.
They predominantly come from Geelong, Warrnambool, and Ballarat, but this year's group also includes Halls Gap's Jason Stirling.
Mr Stirling is the manager of Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park, where the cyclists will stay during their brief stint in town.
The group recently passed $5000 in funds raised for this year's ride on its MyCause page.
Long-time Pedal for Prostate member Mark Woodhead said COVID-19 has nevertheless affected the group's fundraising capacity.
"It's probably been a bit more difficult as people are suffering with their own financial situations," he said.
"But we're getting some donations from people along the way. We normally do highway collections and sausage sizzles, but COVID's stopped those sort of things.
"So, it has been more challenging but there's still a lot of generous people out there."
Yet, the pandemic has not dampened the riders' enthusiasm.
"It's our biggest group ever," Mr Woodhead said.
"We've got 21 riders. Our youngest is 20 and our oldest is 66."
Mr Woodhead said the group is about raising awareness as well as funds.
"We stop at coffee shops and bakeries and other places in small towns and we chat to the locals, promoting awareness for men's health in general but specifically prostate cancer," he said.
Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in Australian men. Each year about 3500 Australians dies from the disease.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia recommends that men over 50, or 40 with a family history of prostate cancer, should talk to their doctor about testing for prostate cancer.
People can support the group by heading to mycause.com.au/page/242107/pedal-for-prostate-2021.
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