Charity cyclist Stuart Bayne has had to re-plan his marathon ride through New Zealand following devastating Earthquakes that have hit the country’s South Island.
Stuart, who is Sales Manager – North for NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, is set to embark on a 2100km+ (1304 miles) ride to raise funds for the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA), but has had to alter his route after two simultaneous major Earthquakes struck north of Christchurch, killing two people around the coastal town of Kaikoura where he had initially planned to stay for one night’s accommodation.
The country was hit by at least 1800 tremors since the initial magnitude 7.8 Earthquake caused more than more 100,000 landslides, including 50 covering State Highway 1, the main road which runs the length of the country.
Stuart (53) said: “The Earthquakes have caused landslides along the route I was originally planning to take which means that I will now have to move away from the low coastal roads and go further inland and cycle a further 2000 metres in elevation, which will be tough.
“However, I am still positive about the ride. My training has gone well and I am determined to complete it in the scheduled time.”
Stuart last year completed an 1100-kilometre (683-mile) sponsored cycle ride through Europe to raise more than £17,000 for DSA and is confident of raising even more money this year.
Ignition specialist NGK – the leading supplier of original equipment (OE) spark plugs, glow plugs and NTK sensors – will once again be a main sponsor of his charity ride with a number of NGK customers, colleagues and friends also pledging funds.
Stuart said he is extremely grateful for the level of support that he has received, not only from NGK UK and NGK Europe, but also from many of the company’s customers in all industry sectors, from automotive to horticultural.
NGK has been raising funds for the DSA on its stand at the Motorcycle Live show at the NEC, Birmingham, where visitors had the opportunity of obtaining a limited number of special baseball caps signed by four-time World Speedway champion Greg Hancock in return for a minimum donation.
And caps signed by DSA’s UK patron Damon Hill, the 1996 F1 World champion and double BBC Sports Personality of the Year, will also be available for a minimum donation when NGK exhibits at the Autosport International Show at the NEC on January 12-15, 2017.
Stuart said: “NGK and our customers have been fantastic in pledging their support for what is a fantastic charity, of which I have first-hand knowledge, as a parent, of their activities to support and encourage people of all ages with Down’s Syndrome to live full and rewarding lives.”
The father-of-three, who plans to raise funds for the Down’s Syndrome associations of both the UK and New Zealand, is married to a New Zealander, Ruth, and will be accompanied on his journey by her father Barrie Atkins who will drive the support vehicle.
He is set to depart the UK on November 30 and will set off from Bluff at the southern tip of New Zealand on December 4, travelling through the South Island and crossing Cook Strait on a ferry before continuing through the North Island, ending at Cape Reinga, the northern-most part of the country, on December 22.
Anyone wishing to support Stuart on his marathon ride can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively you can copy the link below into your browser to make a donation http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StuartBayne