Ethan Hayes gets training alongside Clive Peters. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

CHELSEA BOYLE

chelsea.boyle@age.co.nz

Fernridge School’s Ethan Hayes will once again tackle the Cycle Lake Taupo Challenge after deciding to throw his hat in the ring late in the piece.

It will be the fourth consecutive year for Ethan, who first got involved when he was just six years old.

His tremendous pedal pumping efforts have raised $2500 for Heart Kids over the years.

Ethan finished the 40km ride last year and is set to pull off the same feat this year.

It was almost not to be this year because father, David Hayes, was out of action due to an injury which meant the pair had not been cycling together for months.

“Only in the last week or so we decided Ethan was going to ride — it was kind of last minute this year,” Mr Hayes said.

“Only about two weeks ago a friend of ours stepped up and said he was going to ride at Taupo and he would take Ethan with him.”

That has not left a lot of time for training, but they were determined to make it work.

Mr Hayes said it was a “pretty cool event” that Ethan had really enjoyed in the past.

“Anywhere up to 12,000 cyclists turn up to Taupo for the event,” Mr Hayes said.

“When we did it last year there would have been 20 or 30 people who slowed down as they went past us.

“They were quite surprised to find a kid in the middle of a big ride like that and they slowed down and had a few nice words to say to him.”

Spot prizes added to the fun and Ethan was keeping his fingers crossed he might win a spa pool this year.

Ethan said he liked cycling because “it gets you off your butt, and you get exercise while sitting down”.

The 40km race will take place on November 25.

You can donate to Heart Kids at Ethan’s online fundraising page.