News: Uni­cy­cling through Molesworth Sta­tion

Walking New Zealand - - Contents -

En­durance sports­man Lee Griggs is at­tempt­ing to cy­cle the Molesworth Sta­tion on a uni­cy­cle to raise funds for men­tal health. Lee tells us why... Liv­ing in the Lower Awa­tere Val­ley, I of­ten gaze up the val­ley in awe of its nat­u­ral beauty, de­fined by its guardian like fig­ure of Mount Ta­puae-o-Uenuku. It’s a val­ley renowned lo­cally for its pic­ture per­fect sun­sets.

Hav­ing trav­elled through the val­ley once be­fore, I have a fairly good idea of what lies ahead when the sun goes down. The Awa­tere Val­ley is the gateway to the Molesworth Sta­tion, man­aged by DOC as a recre­ation re­serve.

Molesworth is also New Zealand’s largest farm sta­tion, nearly equal in size to Rak­iura/Stewart Is­land.

It’s a place renowned for its ex­tremes. Plum­met­ing tem­per­a­tures through the win­ter months and scorch­ing tem­per­a­tures dur­ing the sum­mer, steep hills and vast plateaus. A place where true pi­o­neer­ing spirit was needed to set­tle and farm the chal­leng­ing con­di­tions.

This seemed like the ideal place to take on a chal­lenge of my own, a chal­lenge that would get peo­ple talk­ing, and help raise aware­ness for men­tal health. Some­thing that I had strug­gled with my­self and seen a few too many oth­ers strug­gle with too.

So it was de­cided. I would ride a uni­cy­cle, from Oak Tree Cottage in the Lower Awa­tere, 182 kilo­me­tres over the Gravel Roads of the Molesworth Sta­tion to Han­mer Springs.

Easy, but first I would have to learn to ride a uni­cy­cle.

And so this is what I’ve been do­ing for the last six months, prac­tice, prac­tice, prac­tice. With two and a half months to go un­til I take on the trip at Easter, my one wheeled friend ‘Gla­dys’ and I are well on task to ac­com­plish the chal­lenge. I haven’t set a time I want to achieve it in, this mis­sion was big enough, be­sides I want to en­joy it, I want to take in the stun­ning coun­try I will be rid­ing through, not look­ing at a watch the whole way. I’m ex­pect­ing it to take be­tween three to four days, camp­ing overnight at the DOC camp­sites along the way.

If you wish to fol­low the progress or make a do­na­tion to the Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion, please fol­low the links be­low. And if you’re trav­el­ling through the Molesworth on Easter week­end, please drive safely as a crazy uni­cy­clist could be around the cor­ner.

Above left: The Molesworth Sta­tion. Above right: Learn­ing to uni­cy­cle. Above: Molesworth Cob Cottage Campsite.

Above: Learn­ing to uni­cy­cle!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.