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/.