City cyclists love country tour

More than 40 city cyclists toured the country this weekend - and they loved it.

Shane Mattiske, who grew up in Forbes, rallied the group in response to the continuing dry.

It was about last Christmas Shane started wondering what he could do to help, and The Drought Ride was born.

The idea was to bring a group of city cyclists, each of them raising funds from their home community, to as many small rural communities as possible.

It all came to fruition on the weekend: the riders heading from Molong through Eugowra and Forbes to Grenfell where they spent the night, and back to base through Canowindra and Gooloogong.

While fundraising is being finalised, they look to have raised at least $80,000 to distribute to the communities in this area.

"Everyone had an amazing adventure," Shane said.

"Almost everyone was commenting on how beautiful the countryside was, even in the dry."

The highlight was that in each location, the organisers had arranged for catering by a local community group.

CWAs, Rotary clubs, Salvos were all paid to put on a cuppa and scones or a barbecue.

The cyclists were also encouraged to pick up a pot of honey or jar of relish - or anything really - wherever possible.

It was this opportunity to actually talk with locals and experience country hospitality that was the highlight for many of the riders, Shane said.

In Grenfell they booked out the hotel for dinner and the motel for the night.

Shane, a Red Bend graduate, now works in sports consulting with professional sports including rugby union and league.

You can check out the cyclists' route and find out more about them at