Mountain biking the length of New Zealand may not be everyone’s idea of a good way to start retirement but it is what Gore woman Cathrina Lynch has chosen to do.
At the end of 2017, Mrs Lynch retired as a resource teacher of learning and behaviour based at Longford Intermediate.
Following the Tour Aotearoa route designed by New Zealand cycling historian Jonathan Kennett, Mrs Lynch is being accompanied on the 3000km journey from Cape Reinga to Bluff by husband Ron.
When The Ensign spoke to Mrs Lynch yesterday afternoon, the couple had reached Helensville.
Mrs Lynch said she wanted to do something memorable when she retired.
“When I decided I was going to going to retire at the end of the year I decided I was going to do something epic.
“I wanted to make memories not dreams,” Mrs Lynch said.
The couple started the journey on January 7 and the first day’s journey down 90 Mile Beach was the most challenging of the trip so far.
“It was a headwind that day .. the sand blew up and got on the mouthpiece of my drink bottle and it blistered my lips.
“It wasn’t pleasant that first day – it was just like biking uphill all day.”
The couple were completing about 30km a day but noticing their fitness was improving.
They had not done much training for the trip.
“I really should have done more but figure I will improve as I go.”
There had been some steep hill climbs so far.
“Some of them were 7km or 8km climbs and they were hard work and it was hot.”
The plan was to travel through Auckland city by car.
“I have no desire to bike down Queen St on a week day.”
After she decided to make the trip, it occurred to her it was a good opportunity to raise money for the Gore Women’s Refuge.
“I’ve been on their board for eight years.”
The couple had until April to arrive back in Gore.
“If we don’t make it then, we just don’t make it ’cause we’re flying out to China on the 20th of April.”