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.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Sunny Southland.

Back on the bike at 8.30am for a leisurely 160km ride into Southland and Eastwards more than previously planned to try to make up for the time spent fixing my bike in Frankton. Adi and I had a quick look at the map the previous night and chose a motor camp at a place called Wyndham.
Just Time fir a Quick One.

I started out carefully expecting to hear a crunch any moment from my repair job. But by the 80km mark I had worked out that things were pretty good in the old transmission area with the only glitch being a jump in one gear. Obviously that was the gear that I used the most so the new chain was having trouble meshing with the worn teeth. I hope that as I go on this may get better. Either way I’ll just live with it until I get home because the chain, cluster, changer and chain wheel will all be changed for my global ride.

Adi zoomed off on the Vespa at this stage so she could get to the motor camp and get her bicycle off for her own ride while I plugged on enjoying the lovely fine weather and scenery in Southland. While riding I came to the conclusion that I had never actually cycled this route before. I’ve cycled most of NZ over the years so this is surprising.
They Really Know How to Build Shelter Belts in the South.

I had planned to cycle this route from the Southern Lakes to Invercargill some years ago with Adi but another woman got in the way. Now that I have your attention the story went like this;

Adi and I started the planned tour up North and then met an Alaskan women also heading down the West Coast towards Invercargill. This women was typical of a lot of cycle tourists in that she had a bike that she knew nothing about, the size of the bike was all wrong for her (it being far too big) and she  had dubious fitness.

It quickly became obvious when she got a puncture shortly after meeting us and not having a clue how to fix it, the problem also compounded by the fact that she didn’t have a pump that would fit the two different types of valves on her bike, that unless we cycled with her the whole way she would never make it. I thought it amazing that she was still alive if she rides her bike that ill equipped in Alaska.

Anyway to cut a long story short Adi and her got on like the best of friends so when in 7 days’ time  it became apparent that she had pulled her Achilles tendon from riding with the seat up too high the two of them decided to cut the bike tour short and rent a car to finish the trip. You can imagine how that went down with me. (Like a lead balloon, no disrespect to the 11 people just killed here hot air ballooning)

Women aye, however gorgeous they may think they are, real cyclists know that the bike always comes first. So that’s why I haven’t cycled this route today before.

Anyway at this stage I was rudely brought back to reality by a text from Adi who informed me that she had got a motel in Wyndham because we had added up the kms incorrectly and the days total was actually 210km!!
First Class Camping.

Needless to say I didn’t arrive to motel until 9pm. But first class camping it certainly is. Thank the Bike God that Adi is paying for it. One thing you can count on when you travel with the other sex, the accommodation is usually top notch. No empty culverts or hay barns for them.

Adi tells me it’s another 210km tomorrow if we are to stay on schedule. Joy.
ps. And thanks for the coments to the previous posting guys. Keep them coming. If I'd had problems with a Rohloff the other day, it would have all been over Ian, as I cant afford to fly in a German technician.

1 comment:

  1. The good thing about cycling is that it is relatively easy and inexpensive to fix a bike when it breaks. Karyn keeps breaking her horses and that sure is expensive! We have two on fulltime stable rest and a massive vet bill coming!! But she still would prefer to ride horses than come cycling with me - very strange behaviour... Good luck for the rest of the trip. Jane