This week, Anka Martin took off on a fully self-supported bike tour throughout New Zealand along with 300 other cyclists. Tour Aotearoa 2016 begins in Cape Reinga, New Zealand (top of the North Island) and finishes in Bluff, the bottom of the South Island 3000 kilometers later. With a fundraising goal of $5000, Anka who grew up in Africa is committed to sharing the Power of Bicycles with those for whom it will provide independence and livelihood.
“I grew up in Africa where I saw how bicycles were used as more than just a recreational tool. The last 15 years, I have raced bikes all around the world in Enduro and Downhill, it’s always been more about the personal challenge than trying to win. I’ve challenged myself at a few Cape Epics and raised money and awareness for WBR then. Now, I’m tackling my biggest personal challenge yet, so doing it for a greater cause will make the end goal of finishing that much easier. I’m beyond scared of the unknown, but I believe by stepping outside of your comfort zone, you can achieve greater things.”
Anka is planning to reach her goal by offering an awesome raffle for those who donate on her fundraising page. For each donation, supporters will be entered into a raffle that will give them a chance at a Juliana Nevis hardtail frame, Rockshox Pike fork, SDG fantail saddles and grips, Nzo shorts, Giro helmets, Evoc hydration packs, and everyone’s favorite socks. Anka adds, “. . . a lot of socks.”
The ride, which is fully self supported, is 70% off road and must be finished between 10-30 days. Linking the beautiful backroads of New Zealand’s most famous cycling ways, it involves carting your gear on two wheels across ferry crossings, along fishing boats and through sandy beaches.
The challenge is a special one for Anka, who broke her hand less than ten days before the start of the race while riding in Chile. Three days later, she had surgery, got three screws put in and had a custom brace made to try support her hand to make the tour still possible. So, her focus has changed from seeing how quickly she can finish the race to taking it slowly and safely, and still finishing within 30 days.
Good luck, Anka! Keep your hand strong!