A 36km ride out to Whitepark Bay and back today got the wheels in motion and was more than enough time in the saddle for the first day!
The thought of consecutive days in the saddle is not the most appealing at the moment, but surely we will toughen up as the tour goes on??
There is of course no such thing as the perfect bike, but we need it to be able to carry us and our luggage in some level of "comfort", and we need to be able to pack it (including racks and panniers) for airline travel.
It didn't take much to work out that our battered and shattered old mountain bikes, and our road racing triathlon bikes wouldn't do the trick for this trip, and a tandem is definitely out of the question (our first and only day on a tandem on Rottnest Island, Western Australia almost ended in divorce before a foot had hit the pedal!), so its touring/adventure bikes we're after.
After a bit of our own desktop research and very helpful advice from some serious cycling friends we called in with the experts at Velo Culture, our local bike shop.
Steve from Velo Culture fitting Dave on the Genesis Croix de Fer 30.
To keep things as simple and straight forward as possible we thought it best to each pick the same bike brand/model, it should mean that the specifications and mechanics are much the same on each one keeping tools and spares to a minimum. Gotta travel as light as possible!
Not being fussy on having to have the latest model, we're content with last year's models and have gone with a pair of Croix de Fer made by Genesis Bikes UK. The colours may not be our first choice, but we'll live with that! Having enough gears is more of a worry at this stage, there's likely to be a few hills to climb in New Zealand!
No its not an April Fools joke, the time is right to start planning our long overdue return trip to New Zealand. A wedding invitation from our good friends Matt & Gilly is one we're not going to turn down, and its as good an excuse as any for us to return to the land of the long white cloud since leaving it's shores back in 2012.
We've often talked about a bicycle touring holiday as an adventure we'd both like a crack at, and here's hoping this is the opportune time to give it a go! Having lived in New Zealand for 12 years, we're familiar with the country, the culture, the customs, the climate; we know the geography and the topography (which of course might come back to haunt us when we hit the first big uphill!), we can speak the language (roughly) and read the road signs, and it will be summer (we hope) when we get there. All up it seems a perfectly logical choice of destination for a first-time bicycle tour...
Except maybe for the fact that it is almost 12,000 miles away, and we've never had to organise the logistics of taking two bicycles on an aeroplane before!
Let the planning begin...
This 9-week trip to NZ is not all about biking. We start by dropping the bikes in Auckland, flying to Queenstown to spend a couple of weeks and to run the marathon. Fly back to AKL and ride south to Nelson via Eastland & Hawkes Bay, before returning from Wellington to AKL by train.
teL: +44 (0) 7565 427738
© COPYRIGHT 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.