Riders drop in
All Blacks legend Christian Cullen rolled into town last week as part of a fundraising bike ride down the length of New Zealand.
The team of seven cyclists were halfway through their 19-day, 1600 kilometre journey when they stopped for a breather at Monteith’s bar in Mana.
The Ride4Life is in aid of the Neonatal Trust, which helps families with premature babies. The Wellington-based trust buys hospital equipment, funds research, sets up support groups and provides financial assistance to families who might have had to give up jobs to care for their newborns. Nine thousand Kiwi babies are born premature every year.
This is the first year the charity has fundraised with a bike ride, and the trust has collected thousands of dollars in each city and town riders have visited.
‘‘It is a very special cause,’’ said the trust’s chief executive, Michael Meads. ‘‘Everyone understands the need to support the Neonatal Trust.’’
A Paraparaumu resident, Mr Cullen was roped into the ride by his neighbour Mr Meads, but said on a good day with headwinds it was an enjoyable journey.
The cause was a good motivation on tough stretches, he said.
‘‘The one thing we all wish is that our babies are healthy.’’
Taking a breather: Former All Black Christian Cullen was in Mana last week, taking a break from his cross-country bike ride for the Neonatal Trust. The seven cyclists making the journey are Darryl Ross, Anja Raynes, Mike Young, Cullen, Sarah Coles, Ray Marshall and John Miller.