In a world increasingly preoccupied with throwaway materialistic things; where people are constantly busy earning money to pay for those things, or so their children can have those things;
This is the story of my dreams of travelling the world by bicycle. Because it's there. And because I dont want to die without experiencing the truly important things in life .

A sense of wonder and a sense of adventure.

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Rugby World Cup.

I read in the Cycle touring Club newsletter about a couple of English cycle tourists that have spent the last year and a half or so cycling from England to the World Cup in good old New Zealand

 I tell you, as a cycle tourist, their video and pictures of the trip don't make me envious, as it looks like they did a great portion of the adventure in sleet and ice. I'm not a softy cyclist but I still think cycling in temperatures down to -25 degrees a bit silly when, if you planned the trip a bit better, you could cycle and still have some feeling in your fingers and not have to carry 6 layers of merino with you.

The other part of the trip that doesn't inspire is their preoccupation with everything rugby along the way.Unfortunately for me my father decided to immigrate to NZ before I was born and then instilled in me from an early age how stupid the game of rugby was and how only thick people played it! Thanks Dad for leaving me in a country obsessed with rugby. You could have at least taught me to enjoy it while sucking on a bottle of beer like your traditional kiwi bloke.

The funny thing though apart from my dilemma at university when I found out that my professor in Chemistry not only loved rugby but also played it (how can that be Dad?), was the utter chaos in Auckland yesterday when people couldn't get to the first game or home afterwards because the public transport system failed completely.

Politicians are up in arms and heads will roll they reckon because we have had 6yrs to plan for this. Two hundred thousand people all of a sudden want to use public transport and it all falls over and nobody can get anywhere. And I say its hardly surprising in a country totally addicted to the car as a means of personal travel and a succession of governments happy to spend billions on new roads but hating the fact that a few dollars might be better spent upgrading public transport. City elders thinking God forbid clipping on a cycleway to the Auckland harbour bridge so some nutters can cycle to work.

Well that English couple managed to get to the game on time from the other side of the world. While some All Blacks mother missed her sons game, because she didn't think along with thousands of other kiwis, that she could have made it easily if she'd just jumped on her Raleigh 20. When will people realise that a bicycle is not a toy or just a piece of sporting equipment. Its a vehicle for travel. And capable of taking you from A to B.

I've spent every day cycling to and fro this week but didn't clocked up many kms. Two hundred kms of commuting and the odd shopping trip with the BOB trailer. Had to pick up a new vacuum cleaner as our old one blew up in a cloud of electrical smoke early in the week. Whenever I buy something bigger than a bread box from the hardware or other store I always get the same response. "Are you going to carry that on your bike!!!!!"

I've been plagued a bit this week by born again cyclists on the cycleways. The spring fluoro jacketed cyclists are out again now its warmed up a bit. You can easily spot the born again brigade of cyclists. They're the ones that dawdle along the cycleways with their fluoro jackets , rear vision mirrors which they never use, pushing knobbly tires better suited to tackling Andean mountain trails rather than urban cycleways.

 Travelling in bunches of two to four they're usually easy to negotiate around once they realise there are other cyclists in existence wishing to  pass. Behind them and wishing only to get by they slowly come to grips with how to manoeuvre their bikes onto the correct side of the cycleway so that you can overtake.

Then you're past and on your way to the next fluoro blockage. However on three separate occasions last week I'd be past the jacketed geriatrics only to glance around a couple of minutes later to find one sucked into my slipstream head down with jacket flapping in the wind evidently hell bent on getting a better look at my campag rear derailleur,(his mates are long gone). What is it with urban wheel suckers? I know I haven't got a number on my back so why is it that they think this is a race? In fact I think it's really rude to sit on someones wheel when they don't have a number on their back! There is a certain amount of pleasure to be had in dropping the Mercian into a higher gear and riding them off your back wheel but I still find the thought of it very irksome.

These Viagra induced junkies are a menace since their bike handling skills rarely match their will to win what they must perceive as the' Cycleway Worlds'.

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