Long-distance pedaller grinds to a halt

Last updated 10:04 12/11/2013
Denizart Simoes’ bike jaunt

STOP SIGN: Lack of money halted Denizart Simoes’ bike jaunt around New Zealand at Christchurch.

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The wheels have fallen off globe-trotting Brazilian cyclist Denizart Simoes' attempt to bike the most kilometres around the world.

The former car mechanic from Sao Paulo is stuck in Takapuna, bemoaning the high cost of living in New Zealand.

The 50-year-old ran out of sponsorship money for the New Zealand leg of his 12-year cycling odyssey when he reached Christchurch.

After paying for his Singapore to New Zealand return airfare, Simoes had $1500 left over from the $3000 his main sponsor Brazilian energy giant Petrobas gave him.

"New Zealand is more expensive than Norway," he says.

Before arriving from Singapore, Simoes had pedalled through Asian countries, many of which he says he could survive in for less than $5 a day.

He had planned to stay in hostels and live off cheap produce, but he says he wound up spending about $100 dollars a day here, leaving him broke.

He says he needs another 20 days to collect enough miles around New Zealand to keep him on track to outdo German cyclist Heinz Stuck's almost 600,000 kilometres travelled.

Simoes says his appeals for sponsorship in New Zealand have fallen on deaf ears, which surprises him.

"I have crossed poor countries, yet I have always found something," he says.

A few wellwishers, including Gareth and Jo Morgan donated small sums of money, he says.

Simoes is currently weighing up his options - he is staying in Takapuna with ex-pat Brazilian Alessandro Braz Moreira.

Braz Moreira, who works at Caffe Massimo, says he took Simoes in after a customer told him about his countryman's plight.

Despite tourist visa worries, he has now rebooked his flight for December 2, giving him the chance to raise cash to continue his journey.

Once New Zealand is ticked off the list, Australia is next, he says.

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- Fairfax Media


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