A Manawatu man has pledged to complete an arduous bike ride from Taupo to Palmerston North to raise money for The Cancer Society.

David Leishman, 50, is making the 250km journey on February 15 on his 1970s style chopper bike, a journey that he expects will take him at least 15 hours to complete. Beginning at 3am, he will be riding the Desert Road along Lake Taupo through to Waiouru and Taihape, finishing up in The Square. Having lost both parents to cancer, he has been involved with cancer fundraising for a number of years, taking part in the Lake Taupo cycle challenge and Relay for Life.

"I thought I'd do the lake as a once off thing but it became addictive. We have a team in it every year," he explains.

"There's never any shortage of motivation to keep going; when you're riding you've just got to think about why you're doing it."


Last year Mr Leishman rode 200km around the Hokowhitu lagoon dressed as Wally from Where's Wally to raise money for Relay for Life.

Completing that gave him the idea of doing the ride from Taupo which is a similar distance.

While he knows it's going to be a hard days work, he's determined to finish.

"I'd be lying if I said it's going to be fun riding for that long. I'll be physically sick and probably collapse afterwards but I'm expecting that," he said.

He's going to be filling up on carbohydrates in preparation for the ride and wife Karen will be waiting every 50-60km to top up the water in his camelbak. Having done the Lake Taupo cycle challenge annually since 2001, Mr Leishman is no stranger to cycling - he says he's well aware of the need for a good tail wind.

"A tail wind would be great but any wind in my face would be terrible.

"Rain is not so bad but if there's a strong headwind, I'll have to postpone."

With his pink 'cancer sucks' socks and Relay for Life bike ribbon, he'll be hard to miss.


To get behind David's fundraising effort, visit www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/DavidLeishman.