Months of training are finally about to be tested for Forbes-based Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green as he flies out of the country to be part of the Catholic Mission’s Ride to Reach Out.
The bishop of the vast and dry Wilcannia Forbes diocese couldn’t find a more contrasting environment to his training ground: he is set to tackle a 250km charity ride through the heart of Cambodia.
The cyclists’ path heads from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh from November 15 to 26 to raise funds and awareness for the work of the mission organisation.
Bishop Columba said this allows them to not only raise funds for, but to spend time in the communities Catholic Mission supports.
Over 12 days Bishop Columba and up to 19 other people will ride through the tropical weather to work with and meet the beneficiaries of Catholic Mission programs.
The journey will take them from the breathtaking temples of Angkor Wat and Siem Reap, to the calm splendour of Tonle Sap lake and eventually into the bustling heart of the capital Phnom Penh.
Bishop Columba says he is feeling a mixture of excitement and apprehension over the upcoming trip.
“Going into a tropical location is a little bit of an unknown, ” he said.
“How you handle the humidity is an unknown, how do you practise for that?”
The Bishop has become a regular at the gym in preparation for the event and hopes that training, along with more time on the pushbike, has him as physically well prepared as possible.
Bishop Columba has raised $7,500, which is more than double his original individual target, for Ride to Reach Out since April.
The money raised came from charitable members of the community and various functions including a trivia night held at the local golf club.
Bishop Columba said he is thankful for the donations he has received.
So far, the Ride to Reach Out has raised almost $61,700 for Catholic Mission charity programs.
Their combined target is $70,000.
For more information on Catholic Mission’s Ride to Reach out, or to support the Bishop and others who have taken up the cycling challenge, go online to catholicmission.org.au/inspiredadventures