On your bike for a week­end


Whitby ac­coun­tant Kalem Banks will em­bark on a char­ity ride from Welling­ton to Christchurch next week to raise money for the Can­ter­bury Earth­quake re­lief fund.

The 24-year-old said he was ‘‘ shocked and wor­ried’’ for friends and fam­ily af­fected by the quake in Septem­ber, and as the fo­cus turned to re­build­ing the city, he was de­ter­mined to help out.

‘‘In the wake of this mess I’ve been sad­dened by per­sonal sto­ries of loss and strug­gle. This is what mo­ti­vated me to do my part,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s some­thing I just wanted to do. I bought a bike about five months ago with the in­ten­tion of do­ing an en­durance event like the half iron­man, but I’ve de­cided to do this in­stead.’’

Mr Banks has never biked this dis­tance be­fore and an­tic­i­pates the 20-hour jour­ney will be tough.

Prepa­ra­tion for the De­cem­ber 10 ride hit the brakes re­cently as he stud­ied for his Aus­tralian char­tered ac­coun­tancy ex­ams.

He has stepped up his train­ing now to en­sure he can cope with the chal­lenge.

‘‘I would have liked to get started a lot ear­lier but there just wasn’t the time.

‘‘I will be tak­ing it easy and trav­el­ling on the ferry for some of the trip,’’ he said.

Mr Banks was raised in Ash­bur­ton and moved to Welling­ton for work.

‘‘When you hear 7.4 mag­ni­tude, it doesn’t re­ally reg­is­ter, you just think, ‘What does that mean? Is that a bad shake or have build­ings come down?’.

‘‘My sis­ter [who lives in Christchurch] is fine, so that’s good, but I would still like to do what­ever I can to help.

‘‘I en­cour­age peo­ple to come along and join me on the ride. I can’t guar­an­tee it will be fun, but a week­end on the bike never hurt any­one,’’ he said.

If you would like to make a do­na­tion to the fund visit fundraiseon­line.co.nz/xmas­bike/.

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