Damian Day has been called an inspiration to others, something he is quite proud of. And it's hardly surprising.
The 28-year-old is autistic, suffered head injuries in two separate road accidents, and has dyspraxia, but he doesn't let any of that hold him back from following his passions, one of these being cycling.
He's been cycling for many years but last week he broke new ground when he set off from Cape Reinga bound for Stewart Island, the first time he has tackled such a distance.
Damian said the marathon effort would be good training for his ride in the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge on November 24, where he had his sights set on completing the eight-lap Enduro event. He has competed at Taupo twice already, last year completing the four-lap Enduro, even if he was the last of seven to finish.
"But it started with 12 entrants, and only seven completed it," he said.
"It took a long time, about 40 hours-plus." Eighty km/h head winds hadn't made it any easier.
Damian is also keen to raise awareness for the Catwalk Trust, a neurological organisation, which he will be riding for in Taupo. He chose that organisation as he himself suffers from neurological problems, "and I hope with my help they may be able to help others. I'm not really collecting on my long journey, but if anybody wishes to give me money I will gladly take it".
He expects to take about a month to reach Stewart Island - as he prepared to set off from Kaitaia he expressed the hope that he wouldn't encounter snow, and observed that he was "getting over this rain" - and can be followed on www.lifeonabikeinnz.blogspot.
Born in Hamilton, Damian said he had been of no fixed abode for the past seven years, just him and his bike travelling the country, staying in his tent 99 per cent of the time, but his passion for cycling was born of pure necessity.
"I can't drive so to get anywhere it's get on a bike. I have to keep riding or my legs go on strike," he said.
"Many people say I'm inspirational. I dunno. I always ask people (when they are moaning about life) 'Can you change it? Otherwise stop complaining about stuff and just get on and do it'."