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‘Biggest challenge’ raises over $15,000

Toby Sutherland, right, and John Taylor, hidden, celebrating after reaching Bluff. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


By Jake Beleski

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Toby Sutherland describes his recently completed 3000km bike ride from Cape Reinga to Bluff as the “biggest challenge of his life”.

Mr Sutherland and fellow Martinborough resident John Taylor took 27 days to complete the journey, in the process raising over $15,000 for The Life Flight Trust and The Catwalk Trust.

They set off from Cape Reinga on February 19, and Mr Sutherland said they had a “fantastic trip”.

“We had a few late nights where we got in at 10pm or midnight, but usually we were in by about 6pm.

“We didn’t have any dramas with the bikes either.”

They were following the Te Araroa trail, a continuous 3000km track starting in the far north and ending in the deep south.

Ninety Mile Beach was one of the more challenging sections for the riders, with the sand proving tough on their chains.

They found the South Island easier going than the North Island, but it was also the site of their closest near-miss of the trip.

“John had a bad crash on the track and they thought he had fractured his wrist,” Mr Sutherland said.

“But he refused to let them put it in plaster . . . luckily they just put it in a brace.”

On their biggest day they covered 156km, although most were between 100km-130km.

Mr Sutherland said it was both physically and mentally challenging, but the support and encouragement they received helped the pair push on.

Although there was the odd day where he wondered why he had chosen to undertake such an arduous task, he said it was all worth it in the end.

“I hit a real low point in Taumarunui, but once I got through that day I never looked back.

“We got lots of donations along the way and raised over $15,000 . . . we’re really stoked with that.”

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