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Cycling From Bluff to Cape Reinga for Make-A-Wish Foundation!


      22 December 2021
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    Bluff to Cape Reinga Stage 26: Karikari Peninsula to Cape Reinga.

    Song of the day: “Heaven” - Bryan Adams

    I made it! 8 weeks, 4000km, 160 hours of pedalling, and 4 times the height of Mt Everest.

    Weirdly, I near sprinted that last hundred metres into my wife Annie’s arms at Cape Reinga It was pretty emotional! Then we popped a bottle of bubbly at Cape Reinga lighthouse. Job done.

    Back on Monday 25th October I turned the pedal for the first time. As the saying goes, “every journey starts with a single step”...or pedal stroke as the case may be. Since then I’ve turned the pedal over 750,000 times. Man that’s a lot.

    Some were easy (downhill, tailwind), some were hard (like today’s 14% gradient to the finish line). But unlike kids with critical illnesses, my journey is over. That’s why it has been so special to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and their mission to fulfil wishes of children with life threatening illnesses.

    So how do I feel? One word. Gratitude.

    Gratitude that I’ve been fit and healthy throughout the trip. Gratitude for the donations from almost 200 generous people in support of Make-A-Wish. Gratitude to the tens of thousands of courteous motorists encountering this crazy lone cyclist. Gratitude for the amazing campgrounds along the way which made our stays so welcome (and especially for the long, hot showers). Gratitude for the amazing team at Make-A-Wish who provided no end of encouragement and inspiration. Gratitude that in these ‘COVID times’ we were able to complete the journey, even with a few bumps along the way. Gratitude to the radio stations and newspapers around New Zealand for giving the journey and Make-A-Wish such great profile. And gratitude that we live in such a beautiful, unspoiled country which provides such an awe inspiring backdrop for cycling.

    But more than anything, GRATITUDE for how my amazing wife Annie has supported me on this incredible mission. In reality, I did the easy bit while you organised our lives each day AND looked after Sophie, Charlie and Sam.

    If you’ve followed my daily blog you’ll have seen I have a ‘Song of the Day’. The last three have been “Stairway To Heaven”, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, and today, “Heaven”.

    We are blessed.

    Fundraising total: $22,770

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    • 22/12/2021 by Glynis

      Wow, wow, wow David! What an achievement for you and the whole family - and what an experience as well. Well done and massive congratulations for going out and 'just doing it'.

  • IMPATIENTLY WAITING (3,350km completed, 650km to go)

      9 December 2021
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    Since my last update (“1000km down, 2000km to go”), I’ve cycled about 2350km. BUT…are still 650km cycling from Cape Reinga.

    It’s fair to say that the route I’ve taken from Bluff is not the shortest one. As the crow flies it’s about 1500km from Bluff to Cape Reinga. I’ll ride 4000km! After hugging the West Coast in the South Island (with a few additions like the Remarkables ski field road and Takaka Hill), I carried on the western theme, cycling from Wellington to Whanganui, around the coast of Taranaki, then up to Raglan.

    From there, it was to Miranda where the trip north came to an abrupt halt at the Auckland Covid border.

    Since then (2 weeks ago) we’ve been ‘impatiently waiting’, which involved cycling the Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and around East Cape! All up an extra 1000km of cycling but, as always, beautiful days on relatively quiet roads with spectacular scenery.

    I’ve also been lucky enough to meet some of the Make-A-Wish volunteers along the way. They’ve helped bring to life the difference wishes granted to children with life-threatening illnesses make. Their passion, and the insight that the way the wish is delivered due to the generosity of local people and businesses, has reinforced to me what a powerful mission I’m on.

    Fundraising-wise, the total is over $16,000 of the $30,000 target. Spread the word!

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  • 1000km completed, 2000km to go!

      4 November 2021

    The South Island is treating us well, with just a handful of bad weather days, lots of sun, temperatures hitting the low twenties, and not tooooo many headwinds.

    And most importantly, the fundraising is ticking over, and is now approaching $14,000 of the $30,000 target. Thank you for your donations to Make-A-Wish, they make a profound difference to the lives of critically ill children and their families.

    The stages so far have passed through Invercargill, Te Anau, Queenstown, Wanaka, Haast, Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, Hokitika, Greymouth and now Westport where we are tonight. As you can imagine, cycling this route provides the opportunity to drink in the exquisite South Island scenery. We live in a truly beautiful country!

    The most challenging day so far was from Wanaka to Haast. It’s 140km with plenty of climbing, but it was the 60km of brutal headwinds that made it tough, not to mention torrential rain for the last 10km. Longest day was Bluff to Te Anau (190km). Most climbing was the Remarkables (1000 metres) and Crown Range (700m) - that day had over 2000m elevation gain. Wettest day was from Haast. Annie had to rescue me after 50km. I was near hypothermic. Most stunning scenery was....well, everyday!

    Dumbest thing was stepping backwards off the wharf in Wanaka whilst taking a picture of the kids. Most frustrating was losing my cycling GPS, though we found it after an hour of searching in the campground rubbish bin. Go figure! Most exhilarating was paragliding in Queenstown. The kids favourite things have been the luge in Queenstown and Shantytown.

    Chapeau to Annie for expertly handling our 7.7 metre motorhome, keeping the cyclist (and family) fed, watered and in clean kit, not to forget home schooling Sophie, Charlie and Sam - though the school of life is getting a pretty good workout.

    I’m cycling around 110km most days, which leaves room for family time along the way. Part of this journey is showing our children all of New Zealand.

    Thank you again for your support.

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  • On track for Bluff start on Monday 25th October!

      21 October 2021
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    The countdown is on! Only a few days before I kick off my epic trip cycling from Bluff to Cape Reinga for Make-A-Wish. The last week has been working our way south after picking up our motorhome in Christchurch.

    So far I've cycled about 500km, still classed as "training rides". It's fair to say the weather hasn't been my friend. Hanmer to Kaikoura was stormy and 4 degrees. Tekapo to Aoraki/Mt Cook Village was wet and cold, and Omarama to Cromwell was 60km of brisk headwinds. But did get a beaut day cycling Christchurch to Akaroa.

    Standouts so far include heaps of swims in the alpine lakes, our motorhome breaking down and having to be replaced at Tekapo, the hot pools in Tekapo after the grueling Mt Cook ride, Pinders Pond near Roxburgh, brunch in Akaroa, and an amazing time with Annie, Sophie, Charlie and Sam experiencing the jaw-dropping scenery and wonderful hospitality of the South Island.

    Funniest thing was that I left my bike in Cromwell by mistake. We had to backtrack 15km to get it the next day!

    If you know anyone who would like to join the 'grand départ', I start riding at 9am on Labour day, Monday 25th October, at the start of SH1 in Bluff. It would be great to have some company for the beginning of the 192km leg to Te Anau.

    I write a blog about each cycling day on Facebook. Search "Daves Bike Dream" and like it to have it appear in your Facebook feed. I'll try and keep it entertaining, as well as showing off the beauty of Aotearoa.

    Finally, thank you so much for your donations to Make-A-Wish. Together we are 40% of the way to our $30,000 fundraising target. Spread the word!

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  • Setting fundraising target

      10 July 2021

    Together set to $30,000!

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  • New fundraising target

      6 June 2021

    I've set $50,000 as my audacious goal!

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