The drought has impaired the fundraising effort of a former
All Black cycling the length of New Zealand, Neonatal Trust
chief executive Michael Meads says.
Former All Black Christian Cullen (37) and seven other
cyclists pedalled from Oamaru to Dunedin yesterday during a
19-day ride of the length of New Zealand to raise $1 million
for the Neonatal Trust.
Mr Cullen said the first few days of the ride were the
''We did 174km and then 160km-odd. They were the toughest,
but after that, your body gets used to it and your bum gets
Mr Meads said they would not reach the $1 million goal
because New Zealanders were not spending because they were
worried about the dry weather.
''The country is so dry, it is parched, and people have been
saying we would love to give you more, but we need to hold on
to that money because we don't know what this drought is
going to do.''
Mr Cullen said he was fundraising because his Paraparaumu
neighbour, Mr Meads (53), leant over the fence and asked him
''I've got four young kids myself and I know the importance
of them being healthy when they are born. That's all you wish
for. I can't imagine what a family goes though when their kid
After the final leg, he planned to watch cyclist Eugene
Collin's attempt at a world record by riding a bike around
the Invercargill Velodrome for 24 hours, he said.
Rider Darryl Ross (52), of Wellington, said he got a puncture
and a bee sting, went over his handlebars, had a heart
attack, and then rode 150km before stopping to have a stent
inserted on Friday.
He rejoined the pack in Christchurch to continue fundraising
because his 7-year-old daughter was premature.
''I want to help the cause, without dying for it.''
Former All Black Tony Brown met the riders in Northeast
Valley yesterday with some beers and cycled to the Octagon
The pack planned to ride to Gore today and then to Bluff and