Lewis Brindley owes his love of mountain biking to his big brother.

But in August last year Neil Brindley, 32, took his own life in England, devastating his family.

Lewis Brindley, 27, has now found a way to reflect on his life and is at the tail-end of a mountain bike ride the length of the New Zealand.

The British chef has been living in Queenstown on and off for the past six years. He is due to complete the 3000km haul when he arrives in Bluff this morning at 10am. He began on March 9 at Cape Reinga.


The journey is also a way to raise awareness and money for the Mental Health Foundation - he's already raised $3000.

"My brother passed away to suicide last year. It's a little bit of a way for me to take a bit of time out on my own and have a bit of a think about that."

Brindley said he had planned to meet his brother just before his death. "There was no warning, everyone was very shocked.

"He spoke to me a few weeks previously saying he was coming to visit in New Zealand. He was just about to sell a house and everything was looking good."

Cycling New Zealand seemed an appropriate way to celebrate his brother's life. "He was quite outdoorsy as well ... he actually got me into mountain biking, a long, long time ago and I always said, 'I'm going to get better than him'. That was always the plan."

It's not Brindley's first mountain bike expedition. "I tried to cycle across Canada the year before last, but I dislocated my knee ... so this is my comeback attempt."

Brindley was grateful for the public's reception and generosity during his journey. "I've had Kiwis take me into their homes, I've had dinners made, it's been fantastic."

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
Samaritans 0800 726 666
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.