Tomorrow will mark the milestone end to Theo’s journey – an ambitious 25,000 kilometre cycle from France to New Zealand
When Theo Rohfritsch cycles into Invercargill tomorrow the first thing he intends to do after dismounting his bamboo bike, which has been his ‘home’ for the past year, is tuck into cheese on toast.
It’s a fitting request for the Frenchman who has spent over 14 months.
The motivated cyclist, who set off on 27 July 2015, has pedalled through 21 countries as part of the KPMG-sponsored initiative, Cycle for Water.
While he’s raised over $16,000 to provide clean water to over 1000 children in four schools in Thailand, Theo says his drive for the global water crisis is not over yet.
“Once I finish this, I am making a short movie of the experience and will keep on spreading the message about Cycle for Water. I will also be sharing a lot of crazy stories about my adventure with my family and friends.”
Theo’s final leg of his global cycle commenced in Auckland on 1 September and saw him cycle 1600km through communities including Taupo, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Timaru, Ashburton, Dunedin and Bluff towards Invercargill, where he will be welcomed by Mayor Tim Shadbolt.
“After I arrive in Invercargill, I may want to sleep for three days straight! I hope to celebrate by heading to Queenstown for some skiing and enjoying the scenery before returning to France where I will take on my next challenge – finding a job,” says Theo, who holds a Master of Science in Sustainability.
In New Zealand, Theo has been inspired by school children and community groups he’s met along the way, but admits there have been challenges, including getting out of bed early to pedal an average 80/km each day and tackling the country’s hilly terrain.
“I experienced the wettest day ever while cycling towards Wellington. I also got up close with a group of smelly seals that seemed to like being photographed,” he laughs.
Theo says the most touching moment of his entire journey was in March when he met with children at the primary schools in Thailand that will benefit from his ride.
“Seeing the bright smiles of the kids who are waiting for the moment they get clean water, was a day to remember.”