Geologist Lachlan Burrows takes on the longest six-day charity ride in the world. - Alkane Resources Ltd
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Geologist Lachlan Burrows takes on the longest six-day charity ride in the world.

While much of the country enjoyed a public holiday sleep-in on Monday, Lachlan Burrows was on his bike—literally. The Alkane Resources employee has been cycling the first leg of the Tour de OROC, or the Orana Region Outback Challenge, to raise money for Macquarie Home Stay.

At 1100 kilometres, the ride is the equivalent of cycling from Melbourne to Sydney—then turning around and riding back to Canberra. It’s the longest six-day charity ride in the world. Alkane Resources has sponsored Burrows to take part in the event, which is run by the Rotary Club of Dubbo South.

Luckily, Burrows is used to being outdoors. As an exploration geologist, he spends most of his time out in the field searching for the next big gold deposit. “We’re trying to find the next mine in the region,” Burrows says. “Right now we’ve got an extensive program just south of the Tomingley gold mine. We’re spending lots of time out here trying to figure out if there’s another viable deposit.”

Burrows is currently based at the old mine office at Peak Hill, and the drill samples he collects are tested by a lab in Orange. He also uses magnetic surveys, historical data, soil testing and rocky outcrops to assess the landscape. “Every place we look at we have to employ a different technique to try to figure out what’s going on and if it’s worth our while keeping exploring,” Burrows says.

Burrows has worked for Alkane for a little over a year and says he loves not being stuck in an office. “Every day is different,” he says. “You get to spend some time outside in the sun. You’re not stuck in air-conditioning.”

The Tour de OROC started at the Macquarie Home Stay in Dubbo on Monday October 7. Burrows and the other cyclists rode 193 kilometres to Coonamble on Monday, then continued on to Lightning Ridge, Bourke, Cobar and Warren over the working week. The ride finishes back at home stay on Saturday October 12.

Macquarie Home Stay provides low-cost accommodation for people being treated at Dubbo Hospital. With more than 50 per cent of admissions to the hospital coming from outside Dubbo, the home stay is a crucial facility for patients and their loved ones. Macquarie Home Stay provides accommodation for people in a range of circumstances, from pregnant women to patients needing extended treatments and emergency situations. Donations are still being accepted: www.givenow.com.au/tourdeoroc