12,000km cycle for charity full of lessons learned

12,000km cycle for charity full of lessons learned

The road to success is often paved with mistakes.

That’s something Te Kuiti carpenter and former New Zealand under-19 triathlete Kieran Powell has learned so far on his marathon cycling journey across New Zealand to raise money for Hospice New Zealand.

The 31-year-old started in Raglan on December 1 last year and traveled up the west coast of the North Island to Cape Reinga before heading to Wellington along the east coast.

From Picton he traveled across the top of the South Island, down the west coast to Invercargill, arriving in Dunedin yesterday after traveling through the Catlins.

Rather than take the highways on his journey, he chose to take coastal roads – a journey that turns out to be less than plain sailing.

“When I mapped out my route I didn’t take the heights into account. It was bloody hilly but I saw some great scenery,” Mr Powell said.

“I just have to keep remembering that with every uphill there is a downhill.”

His next mistake came when he hit a rock and fell off his bike, breaking his scaphoid bone.

He continued to ride with a large black cast on his forearm – something that was painful at first but was getting better.

Then there was the dodgy chicken pie that gave him food poisoning and forced him to rest in Nelson for several days.

“There were no incidents of jet propulsion – I was lucky to be there,” Mr Powell said.

And then there were the several wasp stings he got along the way, which left him with grapefruit-sized spots on his legs.

“Painful, but not life-threatening.”

While any one of those incidents would give most people an excuse to pack up and go home, Mr Powell continued on the journey.

“It never occurred to me to quit.

“The cause – raising awareness and money for hospice – kept me going.

“Nana looking down on me, she’ll be proud to see me carry on.”

He decided to do the 12,000 km ride after the death of his grandmother from bowel cancer last year.

“She was 97, so she had a very good innings.

“She went into hospice care and she was just raving about them — couldn’t speak highly enough,” he said.

“Hospice is a great cause so I’m raising money for them to help other people like Nana.”

He hoped that the rest of his journey would be much less eventful.

“Tomorrow I’ll head north up the east coast, back to Picton, and from Wellington I’ll go back up the west coast back to Raglan.

“I hope to be there again by the end of February.

“All in all, the journey will be just under 12,000 km and I will have learned many lessons.”

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