A charity group plans a 900km circumnavigation of the top of the South Island on ”postie” motorcycles, at an average speed of 40kmh.
Or, in Ivan Fahey’s words, a ”low-speed, high-scenic adventure”.
The Cromwell man and 16 others on postie bikes – plus support crew – will head off on February 15 for the week-long journey, which starts and finishes in Hanmer Springs. ”The bikes are designed to last. They proved themselves last time. We had one mechanical mishap and the other 15 bikes never missed a beat,” Mr Fahey said. Not that the riders have ever been posties – the bikes come from farms or were bought second-hand.
Mr Fahey does not plan on taking the easy route. Expanding on ”low-speed, high-scenic”, he adds low-cost and semi off-road”. The trip incorporates as many back roads and four-wheel-drive tracks as possible, even using a barge to access D’Urville Island in the Marlborough Sounds, and travelling its 30-odd kilometres of tracks. Although the adventure, the second of its kind, is to be ”a bit of fun”, it will also serve as a fundraiser and awareness drive for prostate cancer.
”It’s fantastic. You get to know new people, the camaraderie is great, we share accommodation, we cook our own food … [but] I decided to give it a theme.” A number of the group, whose average age last year was 64, but in the 50s this year, were cancer survivors, and Mr Fahey said prostate cancer was ”something that is near to me”. The inaugural trip last year from Picton to Queenstown raised $1600, which was given to the Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.
This year, Mr Fahey said, the group wanted to gain more attention, and while there was no goal set for fundraising, ”any donation is always welcome”.
”Men are a little bit shy about prostate cancer and it’s silly. If us driving around flying the prostate cancer flag and one man gets a checkup, gets treatment and survives, then this is a huge success.”
Anyone interested in contributing can do so by using the group’s fundraise online website.