No short cut for fundraiser

DRIVER: Craig Alford is riding his mower across Australia. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

DRIVER: Craig Alford is riding his mower across Australia. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

IT MIGHT only average about 25kmh but Craig Alford's Hustler Super Z mower has cut an impressive path from Perth to Bendigo.

Mr Alford is driving the lawn mower across Australia over a six-year period to raise money for the EJ Whitten Foundation, Autralian Rotary Health and the Rotary Foundation's End Polio Now project.

Mr Alford and his Ride to the Other Side team of eight arrived in Bendigo yesterday after a nervous stopover on Monday night.

The mower broke down and a new part was flown in from Queensland Monday night to be fitted yesterday.

"We put it back together first thing this morning and got on the road," Mr Alford said.

Mr Alford began the fundraiser two years ago when he rode the mower from Perth to Kalgoorlie. 

Last year he drove from Kalgoorlie to Adelaide. 

This year's trip is from Adelaide to Sydney and has also taken in Tasmania.

Mr Alford got the idea from a trip to Kansas in 2010.

"I visited the Hustler Lawn Mower plant in Kansas and in the museum was Petty Hustler, named after (NASCAR driver) Richard Petty," he said.

"His grandson died of leukaemia, so he did a similar fundraiser by driving 4000km across Kansas.

"Being in Rotary, I'm always on the look-out for different ways to raise money. I spoke to a few of my mates who said it was crazy, but let's do it."

Mr Alford said the mower was already roadworthy but he had made it more comfortable.

"You can licence them as they are but for comfort I have put in a bigger, better seat," he said. "There are also road wheels for more speed and better tyres and a battery that runs electrics."

But there's no chance of Mr Alford cutting your lawn, with the blades removed as a quarantine precaution.

To donate to Ride to the Other Side log on to www.ridetotheotherside.org.au

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