Daniel Hotchkis is just days away from hopping on his bicycle and riding 1000 kilometres in a week to raise money for Illawarra families.
Mr Hotchkis heads north on Sunday ready for the ride to begin in Ballina on Monday. It is the second time he has ridden for seven days straight after he and Bianca Starcic came up with the idea in 2018 to raise funds for the Dandaloo team's leading truck bid in the i98fm Illawarra Convoy.
Mr Hotchkis and Ms Starcic are encouraging the Illawarra community to support them with donations to Cycle 1000 during the ride. Or by turning out for a fun day to welcome them home with a party on September 8 from 2pm at Dandaloo Hotel carpark.
"We are encouraging families to come along and welcome our riders home," Ms Starcic said.
Donations can be made on the team's fundraising page online. The riders also each have their own fundraising page.
Looking back Mr Hotchkis said it was a bit of a crazy idea. He was originally going to be 300kms from Newcastle This year a Cycle 300 opportunity has been included for the last two days of the 1000 kilometre ride.
That is providing an opportunity for other cyclists to join them from The Entrance to Dandaloo Hotel. The final day's ride starts from Bella Vista and there will be a guard of honour waiting on the driveway as they ride in.
"There are going to be a lot of supporters and family members there. It gets pretty emotional," Ms Starcic said.
The reason they all do it is to help local families. And some who have benefited from the Dandaloo Boys fundraising over the years came along on the final day of the ride last year.
Bouyed by a growing number of gold, silver and bronze sponsors Mr Hotchkis said he will be riding 150kms every day for seven days.
The Dandaloo team has been bidding for lead truck position in i98fm Illawarra Convoy for since 2016 with great success three years running.
"I am a mountain-biker and do a bit of road riding for training," Mr Hotchkis said.
"The other riders are local guys who are all into cycling, know about Convoy and like to help.
"The first day of the ride is all full of excitement and fun.
"On day two you are still pretty excited but day three you are starting to think "okay we still have four to do". As the days go on it starts to becoming a little bit more of a head game. But it is still enjoyable. It is a challenge but it is a great week".
Mr Hotchkis described riding into the Dandaloo Hotel as an amazing feeling.
"It is emotional," he said.
"The realisation you have ridden 1000kms sinks in. And with all the people there you think about the difference you can make in people's lives".
- 2015 - Lead truck winning businessman Rob Starcic will be driving the i98FM Camp Quality Convoy on Sunday with a special tribute
- 2016 - Dandaloo Boys bid $300k for one of their 15 trucks to lead Illawarra Convoy
- 2017 - The annual i98FM Illawarra Convoy will surpass $10 million raised
- 2017 - Annual i98FM Illawarra Convoy just doing it for the kids
- 2018 - Illawarra Convoy breaks $2 million barrier for the first time with the help of BlueScope Steel
- 2018 - Inaugural 'Cycle 1000 for i98fm Illawarra Convoy' raises more than $43,000