41° South and 174° East seats the lush mountainous islands of New Zealand. Over 3 weeks my best friend Chris and I are cycling the length of the country. 174° is our story of exploring, bonding, raising money for charity, and rediscovering my home turf.
One year ago I purchased my first road bike. At the time I felt like something was missing in my life. Things were becoming a bit too routine, my sense of adventure was quickly shrinking, while my waistline seemed to be growing at the same rate. I broke off my engagement, left my job and sought refuge in cycling. What began as an outlet to clear my mind turned into my passion and a way to rediscover who I am.
Through cycling, I began working with companies like Rapha, Red Hook Crit, and Bikesoup. Melanie, an old friend from university, saw my work and asked if I would be available to photograph her wedding in Queenstown, New Zealand. Not wanting to miss the chance to return to my home country, I booked the plane tickets and made my plans to spend some time visiting friends and family in New Zealand and Australia. Sadly, the groom’s Mum was diagnosed with cancer and the couple made the decision to move their wedding forward and closer to home.
With my tickets already booked, I thought about how important it is to turn this into something positive. I wanted to give something back to people who really needed it. I had previously worked with Lauren at Claire House Children’s Hospice and met some of the families who have turned their tragedy into helping raise money for such an amazing cause. I was inspired to do something to contribute, but I can’t run, I can’t swim, and I can just about bake a potato without a visit from the fire department.
But I can ride a bike…
So in February 2016, Myself, Chris, Frank & Derek will be cycling 3000 km down the length of New Zealand raising money for Claire House. Now, I am by no means a competitive cyclist, just an enthusiast attempting something usually reserved for people with higher levels of fitness. This will be one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, but sharing this journey with my best friend and the hundreds of children and parents who will smile a little wider because of this will make it one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
I’m hoping to raise £2,000 in total to support a charity that is very close to my heart. Your generosity in supporting this life-changing experience would be much appreciated.
Any amount you can donate, however small, will help to make a big difference to the outstanding work done at Claire House.
Follow our journey….