After 2300 kilometers, 43 days and many challenges along the way, we had made it! We had just cycled the length of New Zealand!
It all started with a wild idea to undertake our own mini-expedition. Inspired by the Young Explorers Program, we set out to do our own project. What if we could go an adventure and do something positive for the environment at the same time?
“Hey Jeremy, feel like cycling the length of New Zealand this summer?”
“Yeah sure, when do we leave?”
Bam, an idea was born! North2South became alive!
It took six months to organize everything. Communication was not easy as Jeremy and I lived on the other side of the world from each other; him (USA selection camp) in Switzerland and me (Amazon expedition) in Australia. Facebook became our answer.
We decided to attempt riding over 2300 kilometers unsupported in bid to fundraise for the Sir Peter Blake Trust and Save Our SeaTurtles and encourage others to take positive environmental action.
After much anticipation, thousands of online conversations and numerous sponsor meetings, we finally met up in Auckland. Surprisingly, it was as though we had never been apart. Everything was flowing between Jeremy and I, there were no awkward silences and we were very excited to catch up after such a long time.
Johannes, a young German film-maker, joined us for the first few days to capture our first pedal strokes. Man, what a feeling to start riding south! It felt as though the world was ours. After all, it was a simple mission: one country and two months, all we had to do was get from the north to the south.
For weeks we pedaled endlessly. Each day following what became a simple routine. We’d wake up, pack up our gear, cycle all day, eat and find a wild-camping spot. Repeat that forty-three times and you get a fair idea of our journey. Blogs and photos were posted daily in order to share our experience. It was the little unexpected things which brought joys to our adventure.
Our summer became interesting through the people we met, the personal limits we overcame, the places we saw and the inner journey of travelling.
We were driven by a challenge to fundraise money for charities we truly believed in. Reflecting back, it was this drive that really made our team work. We couldn’t give up; we were counting on each other to make it through.
Of course we had our share of bad days. Even when tents were soaked, moods were down, tyres were flat and the weather crap, we held on together. The sunny days made the rainy one worth it. Each day greeted us with new surprises on the road.
We really learned a lot about people, the environment and ourselves. This trip opened our eyes to a world of possibilities for those who dare to dream.
Yeps involved: Shaya Laughlin, Jeremy Basset