Stories by region
Big Japan ride for crazy Kiwi
A keen Cantanbrian is combining his passion for cycling with supporting a worthy cause by cycling around Japan in aid of tsunami survivors. Nigel Rushton, from Christchurch, usually spends his time writing and publishing New Zealand cycle tour guide books. Last year he took time to jump from the frying pan of the Canterbury earthquakes into the fire of Japan’s tsunami to embark an epic 72 day, 4,000km cycle tour. The trip included spending one week volunteering in the disaster stricken area.
Nigel had hoped to raise money for the survivors of the tsunami but the logistics provide too difficult to organise in a short period of time. Inspired by the experience, and approaching another winter near the Red Zone cordon in Christchurch, he decided to go back to Japan and complete another tour. However, Nigel’s second tour involved a number of changes. This time there is a donation function on his blog, he aims to reach each of the four corners of the four main islands and he is riding a mama-chari bike. Mama means ‘mother’ and chari is an informal definition for ‘bicycle’ and a mama-chari is a popular bike in Japan, known for its reliability and sturdy structure.
Nigel hopes others will join him for legs of the journey – either for a few minutes, or for a few weeks, depending on their ability and preference.
“Many thousands of tsunami survivors are still homeless with little prospect of ever being able to rebuild on their land. The scale of hardship is on a much greater magnitude that what we have experienced in Christchurch,” Mr Rushton said.
He wants to give any money raised directly to a worthy cause, choosing somewhere on his travels through the affected areas such as one of the recovery or volunteer centres. If he doesn’t find somewhere suitable, all the funds will be donated to the Japan Red Cross.
If you are interested in donating, or would like to keep up to date with Nigel’s journey visit http://nigels2012bigjapanbikeride.wordpress.com/