Blog 099 – Solo Cycle For Children 2017: POST RIDE RECAP

Beyond all the accolades and beyond the amazing support received, let’s quickly reflect on my overall journey and the adventure on this amazing bike ride I have been on this Winter.

Just to recap, during this July I took on the challenge to ride the length of the North Island of New Zealand, roughly 1100km in distance and taking seven days to complete. The ride itself took off from Wellington, headed north through Whanganui, New Plymouth, Hamilton and Auckland. After a days rest and a lovely massage in Auckland I continued along the East coast via Takapuna, Waiwera, The Brynderwyn’s, Whangarei, Kawakawa, and then north through the Mangamuka hill ranges and finally down into Kaitaia.

For many hours along the trip, I found myself reflecting on what I would say here in this post. It was never really clear how to portray the whole seven days and every amazing thing seen along the way and the intense beauty of New Zealand. I couldn’t really wrap things up without giving it the full respect and admiration that it deserves.

So instead I’ll try to anecdotally reflect on what my trip was actually like in one short story…

On day four I biked past a little place called Taupiri on my way to Auckland from Hamilton. As the road became narrower I decided to use the pathway to avoid any close calls next to speeding traffic. I tried to cut through a really sharp and mossy corner but my wheel slid out beneath me causing me to fall to the ground. After having a few sharp ended words, brushing myself off I noticed that there were cars tooting their horns. But they weren’t tooting at me.

Maunga Taupiri. The word Maunga meaning Mountain translated from Te Reo Maori into English. At first, I thought it was really strange that all of these cars were tooting at nothing but then I noticed that there was a cemetery across the road. Only then did I figure that they were acknowledging their loved ones who had passed away and were resting in that cemetery.

I guess the reason I’m telling you this is because it was one of the biggest wake-up calls for me that I can remember. The tightening grip of culture and the strength of the local community was something particularly special and it made me think about how lucky and fortunate I am to not only be able to witness it but to actually be lucky enough to have such an awesome family and have those blessings pass down through whakapapa. That standing on the side of the road, dizzy and dazed by crashing, for five minutes to watch 25-30 cars toot as they went past the cemetery really does go to show how much aroha or love so many people still hold for those who have come before them.

To put it frankly this bike ride was a humbling experience. To learn that so many people still withhold the significance of their ancestors and their loved ones. To understand the incredible support people are willing to give you to push you across that line is truly something special.

I’ll sign off on that note and say an enormous thank you again to everyone who supported this ride. I’m not ruling out another one during summer so definitely keep an eye out for that! But until then…

Thanks for checking in!

​Blog 098 Solo Cycle for Children 2017 – THE JOURNEY

The Journey So Far… 

VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai, is an independent advocacy service based in New Zealand and is the biggest in the world of its kind dedicated to young people in care. VOYCE is designed to facilitate the voices of care experienced young people and is aimed at inspiring change in the culture of professional thinking to be open minded about the voices of young people.

This is the charity I’m raising funds for because I believe in the kaupapa and I understand the state care system as it was prior to its newly established children’s ministry, The Ministry for Vulnerable Children – Oranga Tamariki.

To contend with the stigma against children in care by providing them with an organisation that projects their voices. 

So thank you for being involved in my bike ride. This is a quick update on everything about the tour and everything that you might be interested in knowing about. We’ll start with:

  • The bike ride

  • The journey

  • What it’s for

  • Why I’m doing it

So… What bike ride?

So when I say long distance bike ride people generally translate that into a motorized bike that uses petrol and revs to 100 kilometers an hour but that’s not the case today. The ride is on my Giant road bike that will be powered by my legs and fuelled by hot mince dairy pies and cheap knock off protein bars. 

So on Monday the 10th of this July I set off from Wellington and ride for 7 days until I ride the length of the North Island of New Zealand (1100km). Obviously I’m not doing it completely alone so I’ll have different support cars driving different segments of the ride the entire time.

The Journey.

The ride sets off from Wellington as aforementioned. This is where I meet up with my first support car driven by a lovely lady named Natasha. The ride then follows the West coast along state highway one and connects through to Whanganui for the night. Bare in mind that if you visit my givealittle page all of the information will be available and regular updates will be posted both for safety and awareness.

The second day will be another long day and will ride through to New Plymouth via Patea, Hawera, Stratford and Inglewood. This is where we play Poi E as we pass through Patea. Once reaching New Plymouth my first support car will head back to Wellington.

The third day will be met with a few challenges. New Plymouth is where I meet my second support crew who will be helmed by my mate Luke. The concerns are the two hilly sections: Mount Messenger and The Awakino gorge. This is where I have signalled it be too dangerous for me to ride because of heavy traffic travelling between the Taranaki district and Hamilton/Auckland. Which means that virtually I’d be starting my ride instead from a place called Piopio. Beyond this I will then ride the remaining 160km until reaching Hamilton. This is where my.second support car will be heading home again.

On the fourth day of Christmas, just kidding. I head off from Hamilton. This will be with the support of my third and final support vehicle driven by my mate Andrew who will be accompanying me for the rest of the trip. After leaving Hamilton I will then wiggle around through Auckland traffic until I reach Penrose/Ellerslie, where I stay for two nights…

Day five will be spent resting and it will also be a cool opportunity for me to catch up with some of the people who work for VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai, and have a chance to see their new office space in Mt Eden.

On day six we get back into the daily grind again. Leaving North Shore, Birkenhead and travelling north all the way up the east coast until reaching Whangarei where I will undoubtedly be grumpy, sore and tired. Sorry Andrew.

Day seven is judgement day. I ride from Whangarei bright and early to connect through to Whangaparaoa where there is this massive hill, and I mean massive. This is the hill that I’ll be complaining about for the next few days but I’ll give it everything I’ve got! Beyond the mountain is about 30km of riding before I make it to Kaitaia.

On day eight hopefully me and Andrew will have time just quickly to run to Cape Reinga, which is the North most place in the North Island of New Zealand. This is where I get to pose and pull dabs at the lighthouse with the point in which two oceans meet in the background of my wicked dabbing skills. After dabbing we will then drive back down south to Auckland, I then say goodbye to Andrew and thank him hugely for the enormous support, and then fly back home to Wellington.

What it’s for.

So the ride as I said earlier is to raise funds for the charity advocacy service VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai but its also to raise the awareness of it to all people. I want people to know what VOYCE is so that I can inspire other children in care to speak up and have a say in the current state of the care system. This is the first time we have ever had the voice to tell a minister what to do. This is the first time ever the adult world has to action the voices of care experienced young people. They have asked, we have informed, and now they’re actioning and that is evident in the formation of VOYCE, that is evident in the formation of the youth advisory panel, one of which I am a member of, which advises the minister of social development, Anne Tolley. That is evident in the Bill that is being passed this weekend in parliament which evaluates the legal commitment that the government and all New Zealanders will have to abide by.

So I guess I also answered the why question in there too. I’m doing this because i am care experienced and have experienced what being a youth advocate is like. The reason why I’m raising awareness of VOYCE is so that one day another young person will pick up the slack and bring their expertise into the fray. Ultimately it’s about consistent advocacy and not one brown kid jumping on his bike every year because he wants to make lots of noise (me).

We have to keep being the change. We have to consistently update the culture of the adult world and provide insight into ways in which we can help change things. The “we” in that statement doesn’t necessarily mean just people who’ve come from care experienced backgrounds but it means everyone willing to hold our leaders accountable in a respectful and productive way that ensures that one day every child in care will be speaking up.

So that’s the bike ride. If you want me to know what you think please drop a comment below 

If you want to visit my givealittle page for more ways you can support me you can follow my link below.

Please keep updated with the ride. There’s gonna be heaps of coverage for this. I’ll make sure to keep you in the loop. Givealittle is the primary source of updates for each leg of the trip. There will be daily updates and a video, once finished, setup to evaluate the ride from my perspective and the possibility for YouTube live updates each day mid ride. 

So thank you for that and as always…

Thanks for checking in!

Blog 092 Givealittle – Why Is It Such a Big Deal?!

So all over the world, there are online kick-starter, charity fund organisations set up by local philanthropies and large organisations to effectively become a part of making a change. These networks of good humans basically go around and let people post on their site all of these great causes and it mostly started about fifteen years ago and the first sort of known online charitable trusts was the likes of ACET, UNICEF, World Vision and Tear Fund. These really massive organisations work globally to restore massive amounts of aid to those in need.

The evolvement of the charitable donator pages’ sort of fled to the likes of cancer research until eventually, they started asking out for support on individual levels. People started looking for ways in which they could ask the community for support to get help to raise funds for things like hospital expenses, recovery aid led by community groups and it didn’t really stop. It sort of just got bigger overtime until now we have thousands of causes all for similar reasons. The likes of the 40-hour famine raising funds for individuals who are participating, there are pages setup to raise funds for kids going into Outward bound who need to raise money, all sorts.

The reason why it’s important is because it allows people to do things that they wouldn’t necessarily have any individual prospect in doing. So it does become a question for the readers whether or not they actually see a tangible benefit in donating in the first place. If you think about how hard it is out there for people to earn the sorts of money that is required of them in such low decile communities and how hard it is for families around New Zealand to even put bread on the table you do get a picture that things are tough out there. It makes me feel gross when I ask people for money, even if the cause is great because it means that people who are on the bones of the bums and having to fork out for something they don’t necessarily have any invested interest in.

The next step to this is that asking people for money is never an easy task. People have questions about where the money is going, they become suspicious when they learn that the money is going to an individuals account rather than an organisational account and it becomes this back and forth blow for blow situation where you get people who want to donate for a good cause out of their own pockets but cannot trust the person running the cause.

The problem is that it’s easy to sit and say that the money is going into a charities back pockets and that the resourcing won’t go towards any tangible or meaningful change. This is the problem because you get a lot of people who are actively seeking out resourcing for these important projects but instead receive little support from those who say they will support them, and they feel down about doing it in the first place.

My angle here is not to say that this bike ride will not be funded by the money raised from my page but instead to assure that the funds will be used to help put children who are in care into educational facilities and provide them with opportunities that supercede that in which they currently receive because they are worth the time and they are worth the effort. I have for years benefitted from having parents who love me and I think that every child should receive that same care and I believe in what VOYCE is doing and I believe in their approach because I am apart of it and I will continue to be apart of it until I feel that the balance has been met. That may take four years that could take a lifetime but my point is that the facilitation should always be met for those who have been failed by a system and parents who show little accountability. These kids deserve far better than what they have received in a country which claims to be developed.

It reminds me of earlier in the year when I was going around with my cousin doing the food bank run which is a community based project taken part around the country to find food for those who were homeless or otherwise impoverished by a lack of food and a lack of shelter. What we found that evening was that there were so many people donating the food which they didn’t need. Even if it was just a can of spaghetti people were contributing so much to such a good cause. What baffled me the most was that there were some people who would scoff from their dining room tables and carry on reading their newspaper while we ran by, and their were other families with five-six children who obviously looked like they were in hardship themselves to afford shoes for their children who were giving what they had in order to help feed others who were in need.

That really stirkes a chord with me, I think that it takes a certain type of courage to give that in which you cannot afford to give. When others are in need and you put your own wellbeing at risk of a similar situation. When you give ten dollars even though you only have ten dollars. The giving is not the part when you put a dollar into the thanks box at the end of a church service but the true courtesy is giving when you have nothing to give. Those people who sat in their chairs and continued reading the letters to the editor section in The Herald, though they may not have had any food to give, their orange tree sure did!

The point is not to be a stick in the mud and say that you were involved when you weren’t. It’s not to participate in the supporting but it is to show committed support that means something and sees the whole thing through. Humans have this natural urge to want to see something come to the end, to want to see the thing through and watch it finish. They want to know in themselves that they helped accomplish something. That their input had a valid response in the end and that it wasn’t all for nothing.  There is a certain amount of respite in knowing that one day I will reach Cape Reinga at the top of New Zealand, shivering in my boots knowing that I’ve completed the ride. But it will haunt me knowing that the only thing standing between myself and my goal of raising $5000 to ring fence funds for children in care. Knowing that the only thing keeping me from achieving that goal was down to those who scoffed and said they didn’t want to be apart of the process because they were wary of the funds uses and questioned whether their participation would have any real value at the end of the day. If my only resolve is to raise suspicion in regards to the matter, that people couldn’t put to the side their tall poppiest expectations.

My natural reaction will likely be to turn around, start a new page, in a literal sense, and ride the bloody South Island of New Zealand. Until it gets through to people that this really isn’t just a stunt to raise funds to get me a new pair of pants, or to get me some sort of coverage but instead is a real and tangible bike ride that will be one of my most exciting challenges yet. That it will be more than just another charity.

So in essence, if you’re interested in helping the ride then that’s awesome. Please feel free to get in touch with me either on the phone or on the bike. My number is 0223681411 extension for New Zealand is +64. If you just want to chat then that’s fine. I still have classes most days between 9am-6pm so anywhere outside of that time would be appreciated.

Just come at me bro. I’m over the moon that you are being a part of this journey with me. Stay tuned for updates along the way, there will be many. Please, if you haven’t already, go and visit my Givealittle page, see what areas you might be able to help in. See where the course is going. Understand what my riding style is like and just get up lose and personal because the more support I receive the more effort I will be able to put in at the end of the day!

My Givealittle page: Here
My Strava account: Here
My Facebook Page: Here
Daily Instagram: Here

This is officially the last week of blogging consecutively for me too! This is the last week of the daily blogging series; I’ll update next Wednesday on D100 what the future of the blog holds. But for now this is me signing off for another day, and as always…

Thanks for checking in!

Blog 091 Cycle For Children Update Four

This July i’m doing a charity bike ride from Wellington to the top of the North Island of new Zealand which is roughly 1100 km in length. These updates are a measure of training progression as well as updates on general stuff like planning and preparing. The ride itself will take 7 days to achieve and it will also require a lot of money in order to do so. New tubes, new tires and plenty of chamois cream. For those of you who don;t know what chamois cream is it’s when you apply an ointment to your backside because cycling is a pain on the ass. So whats new?

Since our last catch up, I have begun my training in preparation for the gradual increase in general fitness and a super increase in long distance bike riding. Since our last catch up, I’ve made a few purchases in equipment. Such as including new lights to see better during late night rides, and also a new bike computer which will better help my training and allow me to track my progress via Strava.

The main key differences I have to report include: 

  • My first week of training, which I will outline down below.
  • New gears.

So how’s the training coming along? 

So my first week I managed to ride just above 200 km or around 110 miles. After riding four times during the mid-week. If you would like a more specific analysis you can visit my Strava account Here.

It’s always so interesting to see how hilly Wellington is. The majority of people who visit, including me, usually assume Wellington to be quite flat when in reality it is a really hilly city. Over my first week of training, I found that there were a lot of hard hills lying nearby the main city. Which hurt like hell! The majority of the time my riding style is actually closer adjusted to climbing because I can find more of a rhythm as opposed to flat sections where you are very heavily affected by what the wind is doing. My biggest concern to do with riding hills is my gearing ratio because it is adjusted more to suit racing conditions on a flat circuit as opposed to climbing steep hills. So although I enjoy riding hills it’s actually really tough on my knees because I’m constantly grinding a gear not designed to be climbed on. My aim is to purchase a new set of gears to justify the climbs and make it easier for myself to ride up steep hills.

But that probably doesn’t interest you too much so let’s talk about something else. I’ve been exploring all over the place around Wellington and through the Hutt City. I actually crashed last night after a car sideswiped my front wheel and then splitting off into the gutter. Thankfully there were no major injuries but the whole event could have easily been avoided if the driver was paying a bit more attention. Which is another thing I’ve forgotten to mention, Wellington drivers suck! I’ve had buses try and cut me off, I’ve had motorists coming inches from pushing me into a rock wall, there was an incident last night when some crazy lady stuck her head out her window and curse at me for existing. It has been an interesting experience that’s for sure.


Last week I went and visited my Aunt who lives about 40 km’s outside of the city in Titahi Bay. Always good to be surprised by a big hug and a nice serving of chicken chow Mein, not so good to ride home on. I found a really infamous road cycling hill climb nearby called The Makara Hill which in itself felt like my bike was giving birth, was a real struggle that’s for damn sure. Along the rides, I’ve made friendly with my local bike shop who has fitted my bike out to suit my needs and have given me plenty of tips on where to go and what to do. So I’ll be interested in starting riding with them soon.

As for gears, I’ve brought a new bike computer which measures every single feature that is needed for my training. With it, I also bought a new Heart Rate Monitor because for the life of me I have no idea where my one went. Training with heart rate gives me another gauge into understanding how my performance is going. Using Strava takes that one step further by comparing all of my data as well as giving me an estimated power output during my rides. SO it’s really interesting to see how that all falls into place. I am still looking at either buying or borrowing a power meter to use along the ride because power is a tremendous measurement of effort and by training with power measurements I’ll be better equipped to understand how much energy I can distribute throughout my tour of the north island. There will be days of long arduous climbing while other days they will be spent travelling really long distances. So striking it at the core and saying that it’s more important to knuckle down and get there on time versus resting up because I have a seventeen hour day ahead of me are efforts that are measurable using a power meter over just using your regular heart rate monitor and a cadence/speed sensor.

On top of buying a new computer, I also fitted my bike with a pair of new road lights which are USB rechargeable. The front light is pretty powerful and shines at 350 Lm which is appropriate in open road conditions with nothing to see. The rear light is measurable at around 50 Lm and is more suited so drivers can see me on the road.

In general, training has started off really well. I’m surprised how much I’ve actually learnt in one week in regards to taking the right amount of water and a little bit of food. Making sure that I rest on time every week and that it’s not a case of kilometre loading, yet. Also a matter of taking the right clothes which are warm enough, and playing the winds so that it makes for a safer and more enjoyable ride. It will be interesting how I convert these miles into tangible gradual changes to get to the stage where I could safely say that I could ride 1100km but in the meantime, I will just have to settle for the time that I have outside of my study to do these rides.

I am also struggling financially to resource all of these rides, especially when I crash because so much can go wrong and it can all cost a heck of a lot, especially in road cycling. So every amount means the world to me. I know I will make it to the Cape, but it’s all about getting there safely and having fun while doing it! Stay tuned for more updates as we go along, and…

Thanks for checking in!

Blog 084 Cycle for Children 2017 – Update Three!

This July i’m doing a charity bike ride from Wellington to the top of the North Island of new Zealand which is roughly 1100km in length. These updates are a measure of training progression as well as updates on general stuff like planning and preparing. The ride itself will take 7 days to achieve and it will also require a lot of money in order to do so. New tubes, new tyres and plenty of chamois cream. For those of you who don;t know what chamois cream is it’s when you apply an ointment to your backside because cycling is a pain on the ass. So whats new?

Since our last catch up I have moved back to Wellington and have started my training. I’m deciding between riding a certain number of kilometres per week and getting in plenty of rest days. The problem with training for really long distance tours is that there is no clear cut way of doing so.

  • A Fresh Bike.
  • A New Training Regime.
  • Adapting To The Environment.

A nice tidy and well kept bike I have found makes miles of difference because at the end of the day how you’re feeling defines how well you ride. It’s important to have a well maintained bike so I took it into the shop last week to have a few things checked over. Turns out my chain was nowhere near safe! Nor was my three spokes not enough rear wheel which was pulling to one side! Who would’ve known?

The bearings in the old wheel were replaced too and theres a high chance that i’ll put smaller gears on the rear cassette to make it easier to climb hills at a slow pace seeing as i’m not training to ride the Tour De France this winter. I’ve also been using my cellphone to record my rides. I’m using an app called Strava which i’ve had for years but is an extremely wicked tool which measures pretty much everything about a bike ride.

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So let’s talk about Strava for a second.

Strava lets me record my bike rides in a really organised and well presented way that I can pull off, study and analyse to make sure that my ride’s are all well balanced so that when I get out onto State highway one on the 10th of July I don’t run out of gas before i leave Wellington. By using Strava I can track my riding progression and decide how much work needs to be done to improve and prepare better for the long haul.

Strava tracks and captures a few different measurements such as speed, cadence, heart rate and power output. it also tracks the weather on the day as well as the elevation of the ride which is really useful when looking over the rides at the end of day. it also has a feature which has segments that allow me to rate against other riders. But at the end of the day this is all about having fun and not necessarily training to win the Giro D’Italia.

Strava also includes how much riding i have been doing week on week which is really good for donors of my Givealittle page to view and track how much work is being done. That feature will also serve as a reciprocal device for future rides. these blogs will also be extremely useful if i decide in future ventures that may pop up over the year, which i’m hoping they do.

You can visit my Strava page: Here

What training am I putting in before the big ride?

I’m no road cycling coach nor am I a professional rider in any way. But I know what my body needs and I understand what tired means. So my training is purely based around my health and the needs that pop up over time. Those many 6 am starts to the day waking up my girlfriend on the way out of bed.

Theres a few important factors that i’m considering as i’m learning over time. The first is environment, it’s going to be really damn cold. Training in the cold and getting plenty of good cycling jerseys is pretty much going to be the biggest deciding factor for me to consider when riding over the North Island.

The second big concern is the elevations. What sort of terrain are we talking about here. Most of the west coast of the North Island is relatively flat so i’m not hugely concerned for most of the time. However, on my first and third days heading along the coast i’ll be faced with a lot of really tall climbs that i’m going to have to train for in length. Baby steps though…

My next big worry is my general fitness level. I’ve never trained for something as big and as scary as this before. So getting a million base kilometres in now and not the day before the ride is going to be pretty much life saving. I don’t want to be sat at the top of Mount Messenger 100km away from any significant settlement and run out of steam.

The next big thing is hydration and lots of it. Even riding in the cold weather here in Wellington i’ve found that most of the time i’m still gasping at the top of each climb needing a lot of fluid to replace all of the sweat flying out in all directions. There haven’t been any spectacular rides for me yet but food is going to be the next concern. Using the information from my rides a couple years back I kind of remember having to eat a tonne in order to stay upright on the bike most of the time.

But that was only a few hours. This rides going to take around 60 at a moderate pace. This means that it’s probably going to be a case of expect the unexpected because shits going to go down and it can’t be me from my bike.


Check it out below!
My Youtube Channel – WHATMANASEES Video Logs

With the video logs taking precedence it makes reporting on the overall ride even easier! ,Most of the videos are going to be taken during the middle of the ride because it’s just easy and life is all about easy.

That’s another quick update for the week. Keep involved! I appreciate all of your support.

Thanks for checking in!

Blog 076 Cycle For Children 2017 – Update Two!

NOTE: This quick update is in regards to two major developments in this tour.

  • A Cause Is Named!
  • A New Support Opportunity!

As some people are already aware, this July between the 10th until the 17th is my bike ride for the children’s independent advocacy service VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai. The ride itself will be over 1100km and will take between six to eight days to complete, depending if all goes well.

In the first update we talked about the generalised route and discussed which potential areas the ride would go through, This was mainly to gauge some more support for the ride itself, trying to forge a few ideas that people might have to solve some of the more serious concerns, such as accommodation, riding alongside etc.

A number of things have happened sine then. I have planned out the master budget for the entire ride and have estimated the overall cost of the venture, I have also set up a Givealittle page in the reflection of those budgets. In regards to progress I have also set up three alternative plans in case something goes wrong along the way and that there are reassurances that if I do get run off the road, I am able to safely find shelter.

Some of the major differences are that my ride will be for VOYCE-Whakarongo Mai. My reasoning behind that is because they are a primarily non-governmental organisation that takes an invested interest int he voices of care and experienced youths and utilises their voices into helping kids who are in care currently.

One of the greatest parts of raising money for this cause is because I am directly affiliated with Oranga Tamariki which is New Zealand’s Ministry for our Vulnerable Children. Being raised in the care system it made me realise that speaking up was a huge concern and quite frankly misplaced at every level within our society. So for me, the idea of an independently ran advocacy service spoke a million words about how important change is and how real the dynamic can be.

So for me, raising funds for an organisation that helps people who were in my situation, who didn’t know there rights, who didn’t know how to complain about decisions made for them or the people looking after them, who felt undervalued and stigmatised as a pain that nobody wanted to have to pay taxes for To give that child a voice to speak up and let their voices be heard is something that we can all agree is worth the effort.

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Above:  WHATMANASEES Instagram – Day 112

The second major development is the involvement of a support car. One of my close friends, Tupua Urlich has offered to support me throughout the race including driving up behind me from Wellington to Kaitaia. Which is absolutely incredible. It’ll allow me to keep the majority of my gears all kept neatly within his car as well as communicating via radios in case of any emergencies such as being hit by a truck, running out of food and running out of Poi E when riding through Patea.

To whatever length is necessary, the idea that Tupua will drive alongside me is absolutely incredible, and it will save a lot of money when push comes to shove in the days during the race itself.

So that is the majority of my major updates since last Wednesday, you’re able to visit my Givealittle using the link below 🙂

Time for me to pass it forward…

Mana Cycles For Children 2017 – My Givealittle Page

Thanks for checking in!

Blog 071 Cycle For Children 2017 Update One! 

Kia ora, my name is Mana. I’m a nineteen-year-old youth advocate from Blenheim studying Public Policy and Architecture. I’m also a whangai/adopted child and run my own blog. 😊

During the next university break from July the 10th-17th I’m riding my road bike from Wellington to Kaitaia (Via New Plymouth and The Great South Road) mostly by myself to raise funds for vulnerable tamariki/children in New Zealand. The ride will take seven days, with one day’s rest if needed. I have outlined the route down below and My Givealittle Page.

Having been raised away from my biological family I understand the emotional ties severed but I can’t imagine how hard it must be for some kids who don’t have the same support my family provided. Education is really important and so this is my opportunity to do something that I’m passionate about which is road cycling. I’ve been cycling competitively for eight years, completed various NZ cycling events a few times such as The Forest Graperide in Marlborough, Le Race to Akaroa and have ridden bikes around the world. This time I’m going a little (a lot) further than usual and this time for a reason that excites me. On the first of April this year, an independent advocacy service called VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai was created to support kids in care under the newly formed children’s ministry, Oranga Tamariki. Over the past two years, I have been involved with advising various focus groups as well as becoming a youth advocate for the Minister of Social Development, Anne Tolley.

I am massively grateful for that opportunity, and to continue the ongoing support for putting tamariki children at the centre of all decisions made for them, I thought what better way to accomplish this than to raise funds by riding a ridiculous distance for scholarships given to children in care?! Even if it’s just for a few kids! That’s still an incredible support to help build them to be loud mouths like me!

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Above fig.  WHATMANASEES Instagram

Below is an outline of the route: if any support could be provided along the way, I would hugely appreciate it because it means more money can be saved! Please email me or message me through Facebook if you have even a floor for me to sleep on! – I can do dishes pretty well (not so great at cooking chicken) 😂 I also encourage other riders to get out there with me in the freezing cold winter and tell me that I’m going too slow! This is not just a pledge for funding, it’s an awareness pledge for support in whatever way you can afford. 😊 Things are tough out there I totally understand.

  • Day One will begin in Wellington (Via SH1) across to Whanganui (215km). -Stay One Night.
  • Day Two will start in Whanganui (Via SH3) riding past Mount Taranaki to New Plymouth (170km). Stay One Night.
  • Day Three will travel from New Plymouth through to Hamilton (241km). Stay One Night.
  • Day Four will be between Hamiton to Auckland via The Great South Road (150km). Stay One or Two Nights
  • Day Five will continue snaking through the various roads to Auckland North and then continue to Whangarei (178km). Stay One Night.
  • Day Six between Whangarei (Via SH1) heading into Kaitaia (153km). Stay One Night.
  • Day Seven travelling home. Busing to Whangarei, Flying to Wellington.

All funds raised on this page will be donated to VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai. On the condition that the funds be used to create leadership opportunities for kids in care! 🙂

Being a poor student, these funds will also help me actually do the bike ride and the many tubes ill get from flats along the way but this page is also a pledge for places to stay along the route to save more money. (See Map) These opportunities would be massive!

What’s my involvement?

I will be biking from Wellington to Kaitaia (1100km) via New Plymouth (SH3) and along The Great North Road. I will be stopping through six major locations: Whanganui, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Auckland, Whangarei and Kaitaia. I will also be streaming a vlogging service (video logging) through youtube, which will collaborate with my daily blogs on my web page.

Time for me to pass it forward.

Mana Cycles For Children 2017 – My Givealittle Page


Once the initial pressure is lifted from this really exciting opportunity I will be able to deliver non-bike related material! But for the next three months i will be releasing “BI-WEEKLY TRAINING UPDATES” to the blog, beyond the anticipated 100 series daily blogging.

The pledge on my givealittle page is $5000, quite a massie goal but the majority of those fund go towards kids in care and funding scholarships for them to go to university! Watch this space!

Thanks for checking in!

Blog 069 Easter Holidays – A Vlog?

After a week of finishing Essay assignments, I have sailed back home for well-earned easter holiday with my family. While everyone has been eating chocolate, going ten-pin bowling, spending time camping, I’ve been working tirelessly to create some epic content for readers to grab hold of. Just kidding mate I’ve been sleeping, ten pin bowling and eating more chocolate than is recommended in a month.

We’ve covered some heavy topics this week. Such as youth suicide, abortion, discussing how the millennial generation suffers from a lack of individuality, looking into family values, planning a charity bike ride and eating better foods. This evening’s chat is more of a rain check. As all holidays should be spent with family, I’ll make this brief for the both of us. Tonight I want to look into starting a video blog (Vlog) that will be set up and ready to present my everyday happenings. From working with the Ministry of Social Development, my involvement with youth advocacy around the country, political talks at University with the upcoming election all the way to my charity bike ride in July.

The idea came up with a few people stating that it might be worth considering the idea of doing a blog through the likes of youtube and creating content online within a multi-platformed web page. I think it’s do-able. Although my editing skills are kind of poor, what it does do is adds another layer to the whole thematic approach of creating a blog specifically about what I (Mana) sees. A blog of multiple platforms. I originally started this blog only to trial a hundred days of consecutive daily blogging but I have found that the topics in which I’m referring to the majority of the time I’m pretty passionate about. So in that capacity, I’m most likely going to be in this for the long haul. Looking and focusing more on current affairs and social issues.

Road Cycling Challenge 2K17

A vlog will give me an outlet to show the progression of my training leading up to the event. I’ll be able to show some epic video streaming during the actual event also which is kind of amazing. I’m taking my inspiration from an Australian cycling Youtube channel that I’ve been following for the previous year or so called the Cycling Maven youtube channel. I think it’d be cool to start up a cycling youtube channel but with my commitments to University, it might be a little difficult to juggle. For now, the concept of a vlog is just to show my bike ride from Wellington to Kaitaia for the purposes of staying in touch with my supporters. I’ll do a few little experiments with editing and get used to showing any major topics that I want to discuss leading up to the trip.

  • Training videos. Progress updates.
  • Live streaming: Facebook, Youtube and Instagram. Supporters.

The ride will take around seven days. So that means a heck of a lot of training leading up to the event. Estimate training to take between ten and twelve weeks giving nearly no time between now and the event which will happen between:

  • Thursday 06/07 – Monday 17/07 
  • Formal planning will be this week with a give-a-little charity set up.

Hoping everyone is having a family-tastic easter break!

Thanks for checking in!


Blog 068 Eating Better Food – With Nadia Lim 

My Food Bag Website – For Families On A Larger Budget
Bargain Box – For Students or Flatmates

Hey guys, welcome to today’s blog about trying to convince people to buy into Nadia Lim’s amazing food solutions and that eating better food is always the right way to go.

A couple of years ago, a lady named Nadia Lim won New Zealand’s Master Chef series. I don’t myself watch cooking shows but to be honest, a good idea is always commendable and you know it’s true. Nadia came up with this crazy idea to co-found a business that solves the “What’s for dinner tonight” question. The business was named My Food Bag and provides different bags depending on how much food you could eat. Within this online start-up business provides every ingredient including meats/fish, vegetables, seasonings/herbs, dairy products, poultry and groceries. Basically everything you actually need from the supermarket but in only the quantity of supply in which you need. A really good idea.

The Master chef business wizard didn’t just stop there but created another cheaper version of the original start-up called Bargain Box. This is a cheaper version of My Food Bag which aims at feeding families or flagging situations who don’t necessarily have the finance to afford larger dishes with premium meat cuts, high-quality spices etc. Again there are different quantity boxes available for purchase online.

My awesome flatmates and I for the past few weeks have used this service. That by splitting the costs of a six-person box between five people at a cost of $38 per week, which includes a box of produce supplies, is an incredibly cheaper deal. Within our box we get five dinners which are made to fill six people, split between five because let’s face it, one serving is never enough. Beyond these meals is also a box full of fruits like feijoas, apples, bananas, and oranges. Basically, you’re getting the essentials, minus the ten didn’t need when you went to the supermarket.

It makes life easier for those who are shit at cooking, like myself. There are recipes to follow which granted take a lot longer to prepare than is suggested. But there is the opportunity to add stuff, learn how to use different foods, and it in a weird way makes you appreciate good food and how to use it properly. Admittedly when I first started cooking I was terrified that my food would be below standard, and there was an occasion where a chicken wasn’t cooked properly under my supervision. Shit happens, learn not to eat it. It’s better than having to spend hours hunting and gathering not knowing if you’ll eat tomorrow.

I’ve genuinely appreciated the learning experience of cooking good food. Having this opportunity as well actually enhances cooking because there are little speculation and a lot of exploration. You can get really creative and add spices leftover from the night before to your chicken. You can add cheese already amazing meatball dish, or add lemon juice to broccoli. (Thanks, George) All because there is wealth in appreciating good food and it boils down to the fact that everyone needs to eat reasonable food to at least function properly, and not eat McDonald’s, Tommy Millions’ Pizza, Burgerfuel, even Restaurant food all the time. Because it’s both a more expensive and less sustainable solution to a question that you’re over complicating.

Exercise is a great alternative but if you’re aiming your sights on leading a healthy lifestyle, you’re wasting your time going to the gym and eating shit food because at the end of the day you are what you eat. Especially considering that we are coming into Winter soon where you’ll need to eat stay warm but you’ll also need to consider that you’ll get sick more, likely be able to work less and have less money to acquire expensive food, so looking for a low budget solution that gives you all of the food you actually need, minus other essential perishables such as milk, bread, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, medication and dairy products. You’d be better to save your money on the grocery shop in the long run, particularly if you have fitness in mind.

This chat is in part reflection of my really exciting journey to push bike the length of the North Island, New Zealand in July. It’s all about eating the right foods and getting a lot of variety. Not necessarily eating only “healthily” but more about getting plenty of everything to build a better immune system and getting plenty of good fuels. So opportunities to have better food at a budgeted costs seems like a no-brainer solution for eating the right food.

Eating the right food during my bike ride is actually less important than the food that I’ve accustomed to in the months leading up to it. That’s It’s the food I consume months before which will ultimately define the level of fitness that I’m capable of reaching in the future. Ultimately the foods used to fuel the ride will only be the very surface of the whole plan. But thanks only a personal goal.

It’s such a clever idea! It can be used regardless of what most financial situation a household is in because it is affordable. But even for more stable households, like family homes. The idea is cool because it gives a lot of variety of flavours. It mixes the kitchen up a lot because not everyone eats five international.dishes per week every week because it’s expensive and usually bought in bulk. So for my family, I’m trying to encourage them to buy a weeks worth of My Food Bag so that they may learn to see that there’s more than roasts and stir fries that are actually tasty dishes at the end of a long week of work.


Continuing to plan out my bike ride. Am plotting it out into four very general stages:

  • Planning: dates, route, food and training regime. (One Week) – Make the call.
  • Training. (Ten Weeks) Meet like-minded people.
  • Looking for support for crowd funding and aligning with a children’s charity.
  • Just ride. (One Week)

Keep posted for updates on this!!! So excited about the whole thing. Watch this space! 😂

Thanks for checking in!

Blog 067 What If I Did A Charity Ride?

In conjunction with planning to ride my bike from Wellington to New Plymouth over the course of two full days in the saddle, came the idea that there might be an opportunity for me to fundraise money for a local New Zealand charity. I won’t name the charity yet as this is an idea gauge to see how many people would actually support this. It’s a really massive opportunity and it would really motivate me to get up to New Plymouth whenever I bowed my head with the urge to wave down every car the passed me.

Depending on how my training rides go it’ll be a case of looking forward to the event and figuring out how far I’m willing to go and if maybe it might be a challenge of heading beyond just the town of New Plymouth but further northwards to the likes of Auckland or even to Whangarei or to see my family in Paihia. Who knows?

  • During the mid-year break, I travel between Wellington and New Plymouth. The trip would take around two to three days depending on the weather in 379km.
  • I would look to ride further to Auckland. Taking a further two days ride to complete at 381km.
  • Depending on how much energy I have left. Ride from Auckland to Kaitaia taking a further two days to complete 333km.
  • Along with my journey, I would rest in Auckland for a day. Covering over 1000km in 7 days.

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This is by no means a holiday. It will take a lot of money to complete. But it will also take months of heavy training in the lead-up which will mean heavy bike camps, plenty of new bicycle equipment like computers etc. I also would like a reasonable camera to video from as it would be a grand stepping stone from these regular daily blogs into something more substantial as a vlog perhaps?

I estimate it to cost:

  • $250 for bicycle maintenance. Servicing, new components.
  • My old wrinkly helmet needs a do-over. $199
  • Hi-Visibility gears. $100
  • Food:
    • Bars and energy gels. 2 bars, 2 energy gels per day. 4 gels/bars per day x 6 days = 24 units. (est. $3 ea) = $72-80
    • Fruit and nuts. $40-60
    • Meals along the way, $100-200 (7 day period) Snacks.
  • Drinks:
    • Water = free bro!!! Unless visiting a petrol station then maybe $4 p/b.
    • Zinc Tablets (Prevents significant cramping). $30
    • The Secret Sauce! Gatorade Red!!! powder form = $15 (What a steal mate…)
  • Also, need a new bike computer to GPS everything without needing my phone due to power limitations. My Garmin burned in my brother’s car, which got stolen! -$350?


  • I will also need more significant stuff such as accommodation in Whanganui overnight. Anyone?? Hahaha, I can do the dishes really well!
  • Accommodation in Hamilton as I would try and go really far on the third major day of riding. This would be greatly appreciated!
  • It would be nice to have a place to stay in Auckland as well during that time but no expectations on that one.
  • Accommodation in Whanganui would be awesome too, as it will be too far to ride for me between Auckland to Kaitaia.
  • The last leg of the journey into Kaitaia I don’t think will have availability to fly in the late evening back home to Wellington so again it would be hugely well received if there was anyone in Kaitaia willing to top n tail with a by then very smelly Mana.
    • If there is nowhere I would estimate motel prices to equal roughly $500-600. Being a poor student that figure seems like a huge challenge by itself. So I would appreciate beds wherever they appear!
  • Not to mention flights from Kaitaia to Wellington which might cost a bit more than a coffee + scone combo from Starbucks. – $200 + bike stuff.


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Riding To Raise Funds For Children. 

While getting to see a few of the main landmarks within the Northern half of my country, it is also important for me to say that this ride is for the children in New Zealand who even though there have been amazing things coming from the new vulnerable children’s ministry, it’s important to note that this is definitely no happily ever after. For so many children there are still much larger issues taking precedence over their lives. The new ministry in which held the voices of young people in care accountable for advice to the minister, such voices included my own, will still take five years to roll into motion. Before these kids receive the system that they deserve nationally. It’s important for us not to dance around acting like we cured cancer because it will take time for these young people to get what they actually deserve. Which is consultancy, which is a voice against those who don’t give them one? Which is cultural recognition?. This is possible through the likes of VOYCE-Whakarongo Mai is a youth-led advocacy service for the youth of new Zealand by the youth of New Zealand.

Any small amount of funding raised in any capacity is still an aid to those who need it most. While I say that I need all of these “essential items” it’s important for even myself not to get too caught up in the money aspect but more for the focus, which is raising money for the taonga tamariki of New Zealand.

So in a way, this is a pledge from me to you to make sure that I carry this momentum from Wellington to Kaitaia. That I ask you to keep close and keep showing the support you’re already doing! It’s amazing to see this blog blossom through views and through coments made privately just in support of it which is amazing!


  • Mid-Year University Break (Post-Exam Period-Dependent)
    – 11 Days, Monday 06/07 until 17/07.
  • Trimester Two Break (Post-Exam Period-Dependent)
    – 14 Days, Monday 28/08 until Monday 11/09.
  • There is also the Summer Holidays but that’s too easy!


Stay Tuned for my training updates and let’s make this shit happen! And as always…

Thanks for checking in!