On the fourteenth day, marking thirteen and one half days of elapsed time, we finished this ride on or around 7 pm. Below are the parting sentiments of our traveling crew of three.
Benjamin Kidney (nee Riley):
We stood on the Cape and thought about what it meant to be there.
We’d ridden the tarmac snake as far as it would go; until it pointed straight out into the mixing oceans and the dusky sun settling to the horizon; the impossible theatrics of the world that have played out for eons, indifferent its audience.
We were two boys of privilege, wrapped in a warm blanket of support since conception, insulated from cold reality. The rain had fallen on us, and the wind had placed hands on our foreheads, the sun had baked sweat from our skin, and we had professed nobility by associating with charity.
But we weren’t noble, we just rode bikes. It’s a pastime; we do it for fun.
You see, it isn’t particularly hard. The difficulties are discrete and isolated, the goals are tangible and empirical, and it’s supported from all sides. You’ll receive affection and individuality and good physical health. You’ll be lauded and people will pay attention to you.
I would like to tell you something, I don’t know if you know this, but four months ago I attempted suicide. Because of the serious nature of the attempt I was locked up for two weeks in a secure psychiatric facility.
I had once trained to be a professional triathlete and a special forces soldier, and as a result I thought that I had come to terms with the nature of endurance. It seems I hadn’t, the complex and pervasive difficulty of that time and times subsequent will never leave me.
You see, as you read this, you will not congratulate me for staying alive, or feel as though I have done an inspirational thing.
You will be wary of me.
You will want to know that what I did was paroxysmal, able to be euphemised and forgotten, but I can assure you that it is a real, vicious and ugly thing.
It is those feelings that present a large barrier to those needing help.
My support for Youthline is very personal, to me it represents assistance for those who really are in need, it acknowledges their existence, and it gives credibility to their struggles. And while both Tom and I certainly appreciate all the support that you have given us throughout this ride, we aren’t the ones who really need it.
Please do donate if you haven’t already.
I would like to thank Tom for coming up with the idea for the ride, planning it, organising the sponsorship, and being a good pal.
I would like to thank Tim/Graham for his tireless support of us throughout the entire ride, cooking our meals, booking us motel rooms and performing innumerable favours for us. We wouldn’t have got it done nearly so quickly without you.
Thanks to all the sponsors of the ride: Intercity, Interislander, Freeload, Salcom, Trackleaders.com, Ultimo, and Mike at Bike Hutt for his great mechanical work.
Thanks to all of you that have donated to Youthline and continue to do so, and thanks for reading our blogs and following us on the ride.
Young Tom Plum (nee Lynskey):
Our good Benjamin is quite right when he says that we are not the ones who need support here.
Riding the length of the country is an undertaking, to be sure, but I wish to distinguish it from other challenges. Yes, we had hard days. Yes, the headwinds annoyed us and the rain made our socks soggy and we would rather have been elsewhere. Yes, we chafed the good name out of our undercarriages, and yes we got tired legs.
But there was always an end point.
Painkillers numbed our afflictions; distance signs marked our progress; Graham’s warm affection and cooked meals restocked our mental and physical larders. But in reality the only significant barrier to us completing this ride was making the decision to do it in the first place.
It’s not a marginal feat. People can relate to it. You’ve ridden a bike, and you know what it is like. You can at least imagine riding for around 8 hours per day.
But the truth about me is that when I’m done with my day job I go home and relax. I read books, I play my guitar, I listen to music, I write letters. I don’t toil with mental gremlins, and I don’t do a lot to help those who do. This doesn’t make me a bad person, it just makes me another guy living his life.
So when I say that we rode the length of New Zealand, please understand that to me this pales in comparison to each and every Youthline volunteer who dedicates their spare time to helping those who truly need it. They are the heroes.
But the ride served a purpose. We tried to keep it entertaining, and we tried to make it engaging, in the hope that you’d ask the question “Who is Youthline, anyway?”
A very special person in my life once explained to me the meaning of responsibility. If you really strip it down, it is your ability to respond to a situation. It isn’t an obligation, it is simply a description. As our private worlds become more insular, we lose sight of our ability to respond to others’ situations. But here is a large group of volunteers who are trying to do something to help others. And they work bloody hard at it.
In my capacity as a recreational cyclist, it is within my ability to ride the length of the country to try and get your attention. In your capacity as a person, it is within your ability to give a donation. I implore you to do so.
I would like also to thank our sponsors (they appear on the right hand side of your page), and to thank Graham. Each little bit of support we received made it easier for us to focus on what was important, rather than managing logistics. I would like also to thank all the peeps for their sentiments – it was nice to know that people found it a positive endeavour and wished us well.
It was a great adventure, and I can only hope that it brought a wonderful organisation to your attention. If just one person who is in need learns about Youthline and finds their services to provide some small reprieve, then I would consider it all to be worth it.
This is Youthline: http://www.youthline.co.nz/
And this is where you can contribute: http://www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/youthride
Thank you to all who have donated already.
Graham (nee Tim) Lynskey
They rode a good ride to highlight the plight
of their peers who oft could not see the light
From the point to the cape if you dare
to help all those that care
Through Bush Cone and onto Maungaharuru Range
And at times it made them quite strange
Our good boys rode long and straight
so those in need should not have to wait.
That’s all from us.