Biker bakes on brutal ride

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Cycle challenge: Henry Quinney attempted to bike the length of NZ

Stuck in Auckland traffic, a Queenstown cyclist hoped someone would knock him off his bike to end the misery.

That way, he could ditch his end-to-end New Zealand challenge without winding up a failure.

Briton Henry Quinney set off from Bluff on March 14 hoping to reach Cape Reinga in under 96 hours.

Despite a gritty South Island ride from Bluff to Picton in 40 hours, he called it quits 50km north of Auckland.

While he’s gutted, two bouts of sun-stroke, saddle sores, hallucinations and an inability to drink meant it wasn’t safe to continue.

“I was shaking so severely it was bordering on a fit.

“That was the third time it had happened within 12 hours but I got back on the bike.

“I was sitting in hot vehicle fumes and the sun [in Auckland] – it cooked me. From then on I was struggling to hold down water – it was over.

“When every car went past me I thought, ‘if you just clip me I can walk away from this with no stain on my record’.”

He doesn’t remember stopping the race – but does recall explaining why to his support crew, girlfriend Valentina Olivares Aburto and mates Jamie Benning and Jack Southward.

He also remembers calling his mum in his native England – which was emotional.

Quinney was visibly broken.

“There’s a video and I don’t know who I am or what I am doing.

“They asked me how long I had been biking and I said ‘two weeks’.

Quinney’s plan didn’t factor in failure but he is stoked with what he achieved.

“I will always feel really proud of the South Island leg. It is the same form I know I can replicate in the North Island.

“But you have to cherish failure, you have to respect it, otherwise you are not challenging yourself.”

He returned to Queenstown knackered and sore.

Despite resting up he took himself to hospital last week as he wasn’t feeling 100 per cent.

Quinney will try to complete the end-to-end again but isn’t sure when.

One thing he does know – keeping a promise to his girlfriend, there’ll be no biking for at least a month.

louises@scene.co.nz