Touring new Zealand

In all about the ride, bike, Kiwi, travelling on April 18, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I’ve seen about twenty or so brave or foolhardy souls cycling across new Zealand, most on the south island, generally in bunches of twos and threes, and a few solo. Me in the comfort of my car and them struggling along, panniers fully loaded, some with a trailer as well. Those on the south island by the west coast wrapped up in waterproofs, as the rain hammered down and I was glad to be ensconced in my car cocoon. And it’s not just the weather it’s the terrain, continuously up and down, over the islands many hillocks, hills and mountains. New Zealand is one for the granny gear. Whilst at the summit of the crown range , the highest sealed road in new Zealand at 1076 meters. I spy a tourer struggling upto the top of the hill. His name is phillip and he has been touring non stop around new Zealand for the last eight years. He has a jesus saves flag attached to his bike, and he tells me he was cramping up as he reached the summit. He puts on a head scarf, some leggings and zips up his jacket. His bike has three water bottles, two rear panniers, two front and wide curved Multi position handlebars. He looks exhausted and is heading towards wanaka from queenstown. We both mention that it’s all downhill from here. I take his photo, shake his hand and wish him good luck.

And send out a silent chapeau to each and everyone i’ve passed, and wonder whether the flat will have enough space for a touring bike!

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