The Bike Trip

So the current plan, for better or worse, is to spend the next 2.5 months biking around New Zealand, riding and doing helps projects as I go. I landed in the south island a week and a half ago. As I spent the first week building a brick BBQ, I was investigating buying a bicycle and all the stuff that goes with it. Turns out that renting the whole rig, trailer included, was a much better option. So I did that.

Keep in mind that I haven’t ridden at ALL in a few years. My bike in SF was collecting dust since the day I bought my car. So typical. But some may recall that I did a couple of 100 mile (166km) rides…10 years ago.

So Monday, Oct. 24th, I headed out on a sunny morning from Christchurch. The plan was to go 60 miles (95km) to Methven. Not surprisingly at ALL, it was way too much for my first real ride. I burnt out a paltry 50km in, stopping in Hororata, a tiny blip on the map, after 5 hours of riding not fast. And just in time to, as a big wind storm blew up just as I settled into my tent. I spent a long afternoon/night in my tent, protected by a small grove of trees. Surprisingly or not, I slept very well and was off the next cloudy morning.

The next 50km to Methven was cold and damp, misty and sometimes with light rain. I finally had my first big downhill into a river gorge, but was defeated on the subsequent hill within 30 yards. I pushed that damn rig up the big hill. Did I mention I have WAY too much stuff?

Once ensconced in my motel room, it took 2 hours before my feet were warm. I was quite happy to have a heater and a remote control!

Sadly, the next day dawned rainy and I was forced to spend a full day in Methven, reading, coding and going to cafes. I took the opportunity to send my main backpack back to Christchurch for the duration of my ride. That saved me 22lbs, which has proven to make a huge difference.

This morning started out sunny and it was off to Geraldine, 80km (48miles) down the plains. I should mention that Christchurch is on the Canterbury Plains, the biggest piece of flat land in the country. It’s VERY flat and easy riding: a great place to get my legs back in shape.

I was very pleased to make that 80km in 4.5 hours. My average speed was way up, due in big part to being so much lighter, and probably my legs are getting better. I also found out that listening to podcasts while I ride is AWESOME! It saves you from constantly calculating time remaining, checking the clock every 2 minutes and wondering what the hell you have gotten yourself into.

So that’s it so far. Got about 190km under my belt so far. Took longer than I thought but whatever; I have nowhere to be, at least until my visa runs out in early January.

Tomorrow, shit get real. The plains come to an end and the hills start.

I am working on getting mapping set up so my trail gets published to this blog so you can see my location and path to date.

Hopefully photos will start soon as I get into more picturesque territory.

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