Hamilton man Karlyn Connolly sets off for Owaka from
Balclutha yesterday afternoon. Photo by Helena de Reus.
A Hamilton man is cycling around the country to raise
awareness for children's charities - a journey of more than
Karlyn Connolly (41) arrived in Balclutha yesterday on his
way to the Catlins and is due to reach the end of the first
leg when he arrives in Bluff tomorrow.
Mr Connolly left his job in Hamilton and sold everything he
owned before he set out from Picton on February 1, for a
96-day tour of the country.
He is cyling around the South Island, as close to the
coastline as he can, before crossing the Cook Strait and
doing the same in the North Island. He plans to end his tour
in Wellington on May 7.
Mr Connolly is travelling without a support crew, carrying
out his own bike repairs or with the help of local mechanics,
and camping ''wherever I can'', including on the side of the
This is the second time Mr Connolly has embarked on the
journey. He completed his first ''Cycle4Life'' tour in 2010.
He weighed 142kg when he started his first trip and lost
about 20kg riding his home-built mountain bike on the 6237km
journey, towing a trailer loaded with gear.
He said he was fitter and better-prepared this time, learning
from the mistakes of the first trip.
''I had one and a-half months' worth of food, magazines to
read when I was bored, changes of clothes, bike parts - all
sorts [of rubbish], really. I only had two 500ml bottles of
water. I had no idea what I was doing.''
This time around, he knows what he is in for.
''I know what I'm doing now. I'm resilient, flexible and
stubborn. This time it's not about me and the ride, it's
about raising awareness for charities. I want people to think
about charities and what they do, and think 'How can I help
If anyone wants to give money to a charity, Mr Connolly asked
that they give directly to the charity of their choice.
However, if people want to sponsor ''Cycle4Life 2'' they can
give through his website www.customvision.co.nz.
Mr Connolly said he had met a woman in Blenheim who said she
was going to search for her adult son, while a Picton man
planned to assist his local hospice group after they helped
''At the end of the day, if people like these two do what
they said they would do, then I'm making a difference.''