SEVENTEEN straight days of riding up to 180km might seem like hard work, but for Ryan Fowler, it's a small price to pay to support a cause close to his heart.
Mr Fowler along with his brother Chad and friend Lee Morley are riding from Adelaide to Sydney, via Hobart to raise money and awareness of Rio's Legacy.
The charity has been started by Mr Fowler in honour of his son Rio who died aged just 18 months of a disease so rare, he is understood to be one of the only children in the world to have contracted it.
"Rio was my son. He went to hospital with what we thought was gastro and he never went home," he said. "He went in during November and on January 15, 2018, he lost his battle.
"They found a condition in his arteries which were blocking up, so he couldn't get blood around his system.
"He wasn't born with this condition. They kept telling us they'd never seen it before particularly in a child his age."
On Sunday evening, the riders arrived in Ballarat on day four of the trip, spending the night before heading off to Melbourne on Monday to visit the Very Special Kids hospice in Malvern and meet with Premier Daniel Andrews.
"They told us about a place called Bear Cottage up in Manly, which is a end-of-life care and respite for families for kids with terminal illnesses," he said.
Mr Fowler said the aim for the ride was to raise money for children's hospice facilities, with Bear Cottage, one of only three in Australia, the others being Very Special Kids and Hummingbird House in Queensland.
"We started Rio's Legacy to champion these hospices, but also, hopefully to build more," he said.
"There's only the three in the country, and they each have about eight beds. That's only 24 kids and families that can get assistance around the country when they are going through the worst.
"When we hear of families from South Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania who have to fly to get any sort of help, we thought 'what can we do?'
If you wish to donate tot he cause, you can do so at rioslegacy.org.au
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