I was faced with a difficult decision on Friday evening 17th February. Either push on to arrive at Cape Reinga as I had stated I would to listeners on National Radio and in Media Releases that day, or let logic prevail, and postpone the arrival one more day. I opted for the latta. With just twenty kilometers short of the top, torrential tropical downpours had started just after the National Radio interview round 2.30pm. Coupled with this, the road was greasy, the terrain exceptionally hilly, and light was due to start fading.

Pioneer Spirit is alright on wet roads, but not a lover of them, so I parked up for the night at Waitiki, the last fuel and beds before the Cape. I was frustrated, but upon further advice, from local iwi, my mind was eased somewhat knowing I would not have completed the hill climbs before dark.

It had been a good day. I had arrived in on dark the night before at Lake Waiparera, and camped the night, hitting the road at 7.15am the following day. Good time was made to Hou Hora, where I had reached by mid morning. This is also where cell phone coverage ends in Northland, so I decided not to wait for the 2.00 interview, but to move on. I decided I would find a local resident closer to the top who would let me use their phone. The wheel reached Te Kao  round 1.30, in time to cool down, and prepare to speak on air. The Te Kao general store staff were most obliging in letting me use their phone and office. Jim Mora as always is a top interviewer and gave me good air time and sound questions to work on. He really is doing a fantastic job for NZ with his afternoon show – truly a great community builder.

But the wet really was wet. Heavy, and I was soon saturated. So after a sound nights sleep at Waitiki Village, I headed out for the Cape. The weather had cleared, and it was fine, sunny and humid. But hilly. Hill after steep hill for twenty kilometers – and then – I was there. Looking down at the Cape and lighthouse. I was elated, almost relieved. I had had the dream to do the ride in 1998, and tryed to get the time to do it in 2005, and 2007, and now here I was. And the centre of a photographic frenzy for some time. Finally I did the last mount up for the final few meters down the path to the light house. I had left Stewart Island on 14th November 2011, and now, 52 days of peddling, and just over three months later, at 2.32 pm, it was done.

Once all the photos had been taken, the records book signed, and hands shaken, it was off back to Kaitaia for a rest before beginning the journey home to Oamaru in the morning.

Photo – Elation at Cape Reinga. Arrived 2.32pm Saturday 18th Feb 2012.



  1. Geraldine says:

    Congratulations David!!!!You did a really good job and now, i am sure, more people wants to go to Oamaru. All the best

  2. Don Speden says:

    Hi David

    I have been following your expedition with great interest since you started , not only because I built your bike but because I would have loved to join you on the road. Because of my situation, taking 3 months off work from my bicycle shop here in Japan is not possible . But through reading your updates and seeing your photos I feel I have experienced what some of it was like. Congratulations on completing the ride and I’m sure you will be warmly welcomed back in Oamaru . You have now made NZ cycling history and I’m proud to be a member of the O.O.C.C . I look forward to meeting up with you later this year and hearing more about your adventures.

    Ex Capt Speden

  3. jaydub26 says:

    We had the pleasure of meeting you on the road just before you got to the cape probably one of the many cars that stopped to teke a picture of you. What an amazing journey you have had! Well done!!

  4. Johnson Davis says:

    Hi David
    Sincere congratulations on completing a truly remarkable journey.
    It was so nice to see your photo in the Northland Age with what must be the only Penny Farthing photograpged at the Cape Reinga Lighthouse.
    I look forward to reading your book oneday because you must have a truly amazing story to tell and such a magnificent achievement.

    I am also so pleased to report that I have found the special gift you gave me ” the Oamaru hat pin.. This will always be especially treasured. All the best for a safe journey home and no doubt a well earned rest.
    Kind regards
    Johnson Davis

  5. Natalie Hartwell says:


  6. Mark and Miranda says:

    Well done David glad the seat and tyre worked till the end! What an amazing effort!!! Mark and Miranda

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