Eight months into the tour and it can often seem, and feel, like we spend all of our time cycling, but, as the weeks go by, we have been spending a bit less time on the bike and a bit more time doing other things. Even when we are cycling there are certain things, little pleasures that are always worth a detour or taking time out. The last few weeks especially, since leaving Christchurch, have been all about downtime and enjoying the simple, surreal, sugar-dusted things that New Zealand has to offer.
Even at 3,000 feet above sea level, the ambient temperature, which reached over 37 degrees centigrade yesterday, is set to top that today and is rising rapidly. Much more rapidly than me as it turns out. The computer says I have exactly 182 feet of climbing left to do to reach the Lindis Pass saddle, the high point, but with the road touching gradients of 16% it may as well be miles not feet. I am cycling in roughly 2 minute bursts before I have to pause, breathe, let my sky-rocketing heart rate slow, to sweat and to whimper quietly. I’m also trying not to drink. Why on earth you might think? Continue reading →
You know that quote that says “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” For me, cycle touring is the classic example of that.
When you are away from home for months, or even years on end, you seldom step back and view the trip as a whole, as an epic adventure, instead, what you notice, what you remember are the multitudes of constituent parts, and in particular the things that make a difference are often the small, things.
Before arriving in New Zealand my biggest concern was that they wouldn’t let us in. Not due to any nefarious character traits but the dirt particles on our bikes. Therefore our last days in America were spent with a toothbrush and bleach, scrubbing every minute speck from every scrap of equipment we owned. As it turned out, getting in to the country wasn’t the problem. Continue reading →