Duo tackles epic for paralympic cyclist
Cycling duo Ray Hewlett and Barry Williams stopped off in Nelson while riding the length of the country to raise funds for a paralympic cyclist.
The self-named CapeBluffers are riding from Cape Brett to Bluff, the inspiration for their journey sparked during a trip to watch the Tour de France.
Ray grew up in Nelson, and last week, the pair stopped in to see Vern Walker at Nelson Bays Motor Group. Ray and Vern have cycled together in different parts of the world.
The pair wanted to raise funds along the way and chose to support Paralympics New Zealand and Tim Williams, Barry’s nephew, who broke his neck while playing rugby as a 19-yearold.
Tim’s injury occurred during a scrum and left him with no motor function from the chest down but almost normal sensation and feeling in his body.
‘‘He’s only really got his biceps’’ Barry said. ‘‘He is a nice kid and what little he has got, he has made the most of.’’
Despite the life-changing injury, Tim continued to play sport and took up hand cycling in 2008. He represented New Zealand at the Para-cycling Road World Cup for the first time in 2013.
He has since competed in several world para-cycling events and the funds raised by the CapeBluffers will go toward future training, equipment and event registrations.
The duo left Cape Reinga on January 27 and hope to reach Bluff by February 21. They have raised over $2000 through donations online and about $200 had been donated along the way.
‘‘We’ve met a lot of people who have been very generous,’’ Ray said.
The CapeBluffers have set up a Givealittle page to raise money during their journey. The total funds raised would be split evenly between Tim Williams and Paralympics New Zealand.
Cyclists Ray Hewlett, left, and Barry Williams, right, with Vern Walker, dealer principal of Nelson Bays Motor Group. The cyclists stopped in to see Walker halfway through their CapeBluffers fundraising ride in support of Paralympics and Tim Williams.