TOMORROW marks a big day on Peter Grandiek’s cycling calendar.
The 88-year-old, who turns 89 on Tuesday, will be cycling hundreds of kilometres as part of National Restart A Heart Day, which raises awareness of the importance of taking immediate action if someone goes into cardiac arrest, as well as raising funds and awareness of St John.
“I have used the ambulance a couple of times in the past, and think it is a great cause,” he said.
Grandiek will have a “fabulous support crew” on the day, including well-known Southland cyclists such as Barry Harcourt, Glen McLeay, Glen Thomson, Red Burnett, Bruce Jones, Kara Roderick-Wandless and Nicole Avery.
St John area executive officer Tracy Kilkelly said Grandiek had been training for the event since last year, as originally he was going to ride in April to coincide with St John’s Annual Heart of Gold Appeal Street Day.
However, that was cancelled due to the Covid-19 lockdown, she said.
Originally from Holland, Grandiek was a cyclist in his homeland.
When he immigrated to New Zealand, he found he had other priorities, instead focusing on his home and raising his family, Ms Kilkelly said.
In 2012, aged 80, he returned to competitive track cycling and was usually the only one in his age group at national and Australasian events.
Ms Kilkelly said the ride would begin from the ILT Velodrome at 9am, and, weather dependent, they hoped to finish about four to four-and-a-half hours later, with the intention of completing the ride at the Invercargill ASB car park after 1pm.
“ASB will be providing and manning a lunchtime barbecue in its car park from noon to 2pm, and invited everyone to enjoy lunch with gold coin donations also going to St John Invercargill.”
Grandiek’s goal was to raise $3000, which had already been surpassed. At least $4060 had been raised, with Dave Hegarty and Ross Malcolm, of Hoamz, donating $300 and giving Grandiek a yellow top for the ride.