Doctor Steve Peterson was cycling along Cadia Road on the morning of March 16 when his life changed forever.
He was struck by a car, sending him off the road in a critical condition and airlifted to Sydney with a serious spinal injury, leaving his wife, two young children and everyone who knows him, shaken.
While Dr Peterson’s condition is now stable, he still faces a long recovery from his spinal injury.
The mountain biking community rallied together to support their friend on Saturday, running a 12-hour event at the Mount Canobolas trails.
Over 70 riders participated in the event, which was initially organised to provide Dr Peterson’s family money to help with the costs of accommodation and transport to and from Sydney.
However, Orange Mountain Bike Club president Jack Rahilly said the family and Dr Peterson requested the money go towards Project Edge to help all people affected by spinal injuries.
Project Edge is a partnership between the University of Technology Sydney and SpinalCure Australia aimed at researching and developing ways for people with spinal injuries to regain feeling and movement.
He said the effort to get 70 people to pre-register, with more set to arrive on the day from as far as Bathurst and Dubbo, was a great effort.
“I’m absolutely pleased … makes me really proud to be part of the club,” he said.
He said Dr Peterson was a great part of the club, helping at working bees and organising medical teams at events.
“He’s obviously pretty busy with his career as a doctor and has two young kids as well but still found time to come and volunteer for the club,” Mr Rahilly said.
“We’ve got really good appreciation for him at the club and are aiming to give back to him however we can.”
Two of the organisers of the event, Leo Presslaber and John Perrett, were aiming to ride the tracks at Mount Canobolas for 12 hours straight, while Scott Behrendorff was aiming to ride 100km in six hours on the track.
“It’ll be a mega-effort and they’ll be seeing things by the end of it … but it’s just to give themselves a challenge and thought it’d be good to put the cause towards Steve,” Mr Rahilly said.
Rider Chris Fraser did four laps of the course, with each lap normally taking 30-40 minutes to complete.
“I think we’re just over 10 grand in fundraising and it’s a fantastic effort … it’s been really good cause and it’s sad what’s happened to Steve so it’s good to see everyone coming together to support charity,” he said.
Head to www.projectedge.org.au to donate.