By Chelsea Boyle
A retired Kiwi expatriate had his nationwide cycle tour cut short when his bike was pinched in Masterton.
Greg Day, 68, had journeyed from Ireland to New Zealand to cycle 3000kms from Cape Reinga to Bluff.
Mr Day was inspired by the book Tour Aotearoa and his experience cycling 1000kms in the South Island about four years ago.
“I was so impressed with the Southern Alps I decided it would be a really nice thing to see New Zealand by bicycle.”
Starting on January 25, Mr Day rode about 100km a day, completing the Waikato River Trail and Timber Trail along the way.
“They are really amazing places to cycle. I was loving it.”
He cycled into in Palmerston North alongside his brother and then, despite wind and rain, set his sights on Wairarapa.
“I did Palmerston North to Eketahuna in three hours which was quite incredible because I had the tail wind.
“And then I did Eketahuna to Masterton in just over the hour . . . which means I must have been averaging at least 50kmh.
“That is amazing on a mountain bike, to be able to average that.”
But the fun came to an abrupt end when his bike was stolen on Monday afternoon.
“When I arrived in Masterton I looked up an old acquaintance and I foolishly left my bike lying up against the front fence,” he said.
“When I went back out half an hour later, the bike was gone. I have been beating myself up ever since, I feel absolutely gutted.”
However, Mr Day refuses to let the situation dampen his spirits.
“I have come to realise it’s not the end of the world. I’m safe. I didn’t lose my wallet or my money, or my cards or my passport . . . It’s only a material possession.
“At the end of the day I am well, and I really enjoyed cycling from the top of New Zealand into Wairarapa.”
He remains hopeful the bike will turn up.
The bike is quite conspicuous, he said.
“It’s not a common brand name that is available in New Zealand.”
It was kitted out specifically for bikepacking, he said.
“The police said there is a very good chance it will turn up.”
He said if he is reunited with the bike he will re-evaluate jumping back on the trail.
In the meantime, he is looking forward to spending more time in New Zealand with his wife.
He will be heading back to Ireland at the end of March.