John Smithies is dusting off an old bike and taking it on a spin - from the top of the country to the bottom.
The Ohau village resident discovered the old bike in an abandoned lot in Christchurch.
"It's a 1940s model, much like myself. It's a big heavy beast, but they're built to last," Mr Smithies said.
"I'm in a bit better order though. I'm retired, so I can set my own timetable, too."
He has been planning the trip for nearly two years, as he wanted to do something to honour his late wife, Alison.
"She passed away in 2011, after being diagnosed and subsequently treated over 12 years in a struggle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. It prompted me to do something to assist blood cancer sufferers and their families," he said.
Mr Smithies said he would be travelling "the main trunk line", largely along the state highway routes. He will start at Cape Reinga, bike down the North Island, take the Interislander ferry from Wellington to Picton, then bike all the way to Bluff.
"My brother will be riding shotgun with me part of it. I've been very lucky with my health. I've got a few people I can stay with along the way," he said.
"I may take a few detours, but mostly my journey has been worked out. I intend to bike nearly every single bit of it. I don't know how long this will take, but I'm looking forward to meeting some nice people along the way."
Already, people have pledged more than $1700, but Mr Smithies said he would aim to raise as much as $50,000 - as long as his bike stays in one piece. "It doesn't look so flash, but so far, the mechanics of it are working pretty good. I think the bike will be around after I'm gone."
His ride starts on September 15, which is World Lymphoma Awareness Day. Donations can be pledged online at leukaemia.org.nz/view-event-profile/2513.
- © Fairfax NZ News