Swages Engineering general manager Lewis Stronge is about to set off on the ride of his life – and it’s all for charity.
The 63-year-old will join up to 600 other cyclists on the Tour Aotearoa route which highlights some of New Zealand’s best Cycle Trail Great Rides, Heartland Rides and back roads.
His goal is to cycle 3000 kilometers from Cape Reinga to Bluff in 30 days or less to raise money for the charity Kidney Kids – a not-for-profit organisation that supports children and their families with kidney disease.
Mr Stronge was motivated to raise funds for Kidney Kids after seeing the work they do first-hand.
“A dear family friend has endured a long journey at Starship, going through her first kidney transplant at 13, and then the second one about 15 years later. Over the years, we visited her many times and realised what a great job Kidney Kids do for unfortunate children,” says Mr Stronge.
He says it is a combination of his “crazy drive” to push himself in endurance events and his desire to help a charity close to his heart that inspired him to join Tour Aotearoa 2020.
This isn’t the first endurance test he has set for himself. In the past Mr Stronge has summited Mount Kilamanjaro, completed the multi event Coast to Coast, swum 10 kilometres and run a marathon, along with many other outdoor pursuits.
“I have completed some amazing events, but this might top them all. I’m not getting any younger.
“Special thanks to Swages Engineering for allowing me to have the time to attempt this major trip,” he says.
The 2020 event starts in waves of 100 people per day spread from 17 February to 8 March. Mr Stronge will set off from Cape Reinga on March 4.
The event is held once every two years and was designed by Jonathan Kennett, a New Zealand cycling guidebook writer.
Donations to Kidney Kids can be made here and supporters can follow his progress on Instagram by following lews_touraotearoa or by checking his GPS position on https://touraotearoa2020.maprogress.com/