In 2016 the Distance Riders group launched the North Island 800 – an 800km ride in less than 12 hours. This was run on the same day as the NI1600, but the start was earlier in the day.

I competed in the 1600 ride and when I got near Te Kauwhata I found my mate Stretch on the side of the road, lost. I gave him a hand with directions, but at the end of the day Stretch didn’t complete the ride. He got even more lost further down the track and subsequently arrived back after the time limit had expired, meaning he didn’t qualify for the badge.

He was gutted. Earlier this year he asked the organisers if he could complete the ride on his own, if he was able to document the ride to prove he had done it. I agreed to accompany Stretch, and I made a video of the experience.