Kaitaia to Cape Reinga
Another Challenge for Change draws to a close. Today is the last day. Our plan today is to ride to Cape Reinga, the very northern tip of New Zealand. We did not have to pack our bags before we leave as we are returning to the same accommodation. A later start, a later breakfast and a bit of a sleep in. Well only a little bit. We still have to ride 140kms today.
As usual Ba Lackson lead us with a devotion before the start and again talking about the lives of the children in Zambia. His words of encouragement each day is about the reason we are riding. For the children in Zambia. Our fundraising efforts before the ride. But more importantly, the tremendous effort each rider is making to complete this amazing ride. They are putting their bodies on the line. Their suffering is the children’s suffering.
For the riders, today will be a day of celebration. The goal is for the riders to all arrive at Cape Reinga together. The support crew will all be there to welcome them in. Team 20 lead off the day heading north. There is only one road north. Keep riding it until the road ends. The end of New Zealand. Team 27 gave them a one hour head start, timed to arrive at the destination at the same time. Our riders set off under an overcast sky. Then it rained, Then the wind picked up, then the cold set in. Not a good way to end such an epic journey. the outlook was bleak. However, the words of Lackson came back and reminded us of the bleak future the children of Africa face each day. Our two teams met with twenty kilometres to go. Just to even things out Team 20, who had just finished a rest break set off again while Team 27 enjoyed a short rest. At this time the rain had stopped and weather was improving. Our two teams met again and rode the final five kilometres together They rode into the car park at Cape Reinga with a triumphant cheer and under a clearing sky.
In addition to the celebrations was the stupendous scenery of rugged cliffs and endless vistas where two oceans meet. What perfect backdrop for the team photos. We all walked down to the lighthouse to take in the views. Our courageous people just took the time to soak in he atmosphere plus the sense of relief after this great achievement. Soon it was time to leave. the bikes were loaded onto the trailers and our riders bundled into cars for the ride back to our accommodation. Tomorrow we will celebrate with a team breakfast and an handing out of certificates. Then we will drive back to Auckland to get ready to fly home. Families your riders will be arriving home soon. Please welcome them back with a big hug and congratulate them for their amazing achievement.
Final words from our team leaders. Andrew F is amazed at the effort the riders have put in. It is beyond what some professional athletes would be prepared to do. All done without complaint. Andrew H says this is where the rubber hits the road. Dear readers, if you think our riders should be acknowledged for the effort and suffering they have put into this ride then please take time donate, or even better, commit to a regular contribution towards the care of these precious children of Eagles Wings. Please click on the donate button right now. If you are reading this on Facebook then please click on the link to take you to the Eagles Wings website. Only $12.50 a month will cover the cost of one child’s education. $50 a month will pay for the full time care of a child.
Thank you to the ground crew for looking after our cyclists. Thank you as well to Ba Lackson, who has spent so long away from his family, for spending your time with us. Many of the riders have shared that your stories have made a difference for them. From just Challenge for Change riders, they are now friends and supporters of Eagles Wings.