In late November of last year, three Year 12 students from John McGlashan
College (Christian Tucker, Seamus Leahy and myself) set off on a coast to coast push-bike journey of the South Island.
This journey began at Karitane, ended at Deep Cove in Fiordland and encompassed approximately 430 kilometers of metaled back roads and four wheel drive track that wound it’s way across Central Otago.
We undertook this journey as part of a ‘McGlashan Challenge’, which is an initiative run by our college that encourages students to plan and execute incredible challenges, while fundraising in the name of a charity of choice. For our challenge, we decided to fundraise for two local MENZSHED sheds, the Taieri Bloke's Shed and the North Dunedin Shed Society Shed. We think MENZSHED sheds are extremely beneficial for their communities, as they provide a place for members to make and create woodwork and metalwork projects. Often these projects are commissioned in order to serve the community, such as playgrounds and park benches. A notable project carried out by the Taieri Bloke's Shed was the construction of the traditional fences around Huriawa Pā in Karitane. One of the main demographics these sheds cater for are retiree men, who can utilise the sheds as a place to hone their lifelong craft and socialise with like minded people, as well as mentor younger people. For us to support something in our own city is special to us, and we think these sheds are well deserving and will benefit from our fundraising.
Our “Coast to Cove” journey was often going up or down, with very little middle ground. This made for extremely taxing biking, especially on day four, where we scaled New Zealand's highest public road (Duffers Saddle 1300m elevation) and on day five, where we had to don hiking shoes and carry all our bikes and necessary gear over Percy Saddle in Fiordland. The entire journey took seven days worth of hard cycling. During the first five days of the journey, a support vehicle accompanied Seamus, Christian and myself with two support crewmembers. Then on the last two days, when the support vehicle could not access our route, my father accompanied us on his pushbike. Organising and executing our “Coast to Cove” challenge was a difficult and sometimes frustrating task, but it was made all worth it by the incredible bike journey itself that we got to experience as a group of mates. To put it simply, the journey was extremely difficult but equally incredible.
If you are interested in finding out more about our challenge, or want to donate to our cause, then please head to our Facebook page for more details: