Peak fitness journey benefits a good cause

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 07/02/2014
Cyclists
Cyclists, from left, Michael Lee, John Douglas, Denis Kelly, Rose Wilson, Marie Ford, John Rabbitt and Kieran O’Neill celebrate reaching the top of Otira Gorge during their 700km charity ride. Marty Lohrey is not pictured.

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No injuries, no punctures - a pretty impressive record for eight cyclists travelling 700 kilometres across three mountain passes.

The cyclists completed the mammoth ride between Wanaka and Ashburton, crossing Haast Pass, Arthur's Pass and Porters Pass, to raise money for the Foundation for Youth Development Southland.

They arrived in Ashburton about 1.30pm yesterday after a six-day journey. Invercargill cyclist Michael Lee said that despite setting themselves a "really stonking" goal, the riders and their bikes all finished the trek in one piece. "No punctures, no repairs, nothing. It was actually unremarkable."

Even the weather played nice for the riders, providing sunshine for five of the six cycling days.

The hardest part of the journey was climbing the Otira Gorge, near Arthur's Pass, which was incredibly steep, Mr Lee said.

"Some of us were internalising our crying . . . ‘get me home, get me home', but we all got there, which is pretty amazing."

The group raised $4000. The foundation works with more than 1440 young people each week, developing self-confidence and life skills.

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- The Southland Times

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