It’s 2270 kilometres from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island, and British riders Chris I’Anson and Chris Brown are planning to ride every single one of them over the next few weeks.
Aided by friend Paul Smith, who’ll be driving their campervan, the pair are aiming to complete their mission in 19 days, cycling over 120 kms per day.
The goal? To see the country but also to raise funds and awareness for two charities: Claro Enterprises, a North Yorkshire non-profit that was set up by Chris Brown as a workshop for people with mental health problems; and Parkinson’s UK, in support of a friend.
The duo are no strangers to physical challenges: Chris Brown has climbed the seven summits of the world, completed the Marathon des Sables in Morocco, and cycled the length of the UK, while Chris I’Anson has been on mountaineering trips to Nepal, Tanzania and Peru, and completed a five day ultra marathon in Spain.
Despite their endurance credentials, the pair are not underestimating New Zealand’s hills. Their route calculations have shown a total of 22,246 metres of elevation gain over the course of their journey – 2.5 times the height of Everest from sea level – and their training has incorporated plenty of dedicated bike sessions in preparation.
It won’t all be hard slog, though. Chris I’Anson runs a feed business in Yorkshire which makes Speedi-Beet horse feed (sold throughout New Zealand), and he’s hoping to call into a few suppliers along the route!
Their journey starts from Cape Reinga on 29 January and, if all goes to plan, they’ll be rolling into Bluff on 16 February. The pair say they’d welcome company from any local riders along the way – check out their progress on their website here, or donate to their campaign here.
Have a great week,
P.S. Combined camper and bike hire is a great way to see New Zealand. Pick and choose sections of the New Zealand Cycle Trail, or simply use your bikes to get a more up-close perspective of a local area or town. Check out options here.
Image: L-R Chris Brown, Chris I’Anson and Paul Smith.