Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Week out and Delusional

Not been one to face things too well organised things are not all in place. The mighty Richel (my km eating old road bike) stands with missing parts waiting orders to come in, which they will. I am yet to find the locations of every 24 hour food outlet in route or even have defined and finalised route. But do have the madness and silliness to dive into this kind of mission. Can’t wait really. Riding all day, then all night, then all day again, repeat till further notice until your mind snaps. At this point sit on the side of the road and have nut bar. Then continue as before. When the road ends you may stop. All yay’s really.

It is hard to ignore the force of nature that has dealt out such destruction and lose of life in Christchurch. My good wishes go out to those put at ill by this disaster. The ride will continue as planned at this stage although a deviation around Christchurch itself for a variety of reasons.

The start time will be early morning on the second of March, probably around 6:30am. It looks like it will be wet in the Deep South on that day although the winds look almost favourable. So it’s a quick run out of there hopefully. Then straight on up the east coast to Picton. Sounds quite quick but is around 1000km or about halfway.

The North Island is a tad more complicated. Auckland is of course the most so but there are also a multitude of routes present themselves once you head north of Bulls. But at this stage the loose plan is to hit the dessert road then follow the western access around Lake Taupo. Then make my way into the back of Tokaroa and head east of Hamilton towards the big smoke. Though which I will likely get lost several times and end out on the northwest side and wined my way back to SH1 then continue till the road ends.

There is one glaring misgiving in my plans that I am unable to fill at this stage. I’ve got a flight to Invercargill and then I ride to Picton, ferry, then ride again. Then when I am done I will be at the Cape, but I live in Wellington. So I guess I will take a photo or two and turn around, perhaps hitch, perhaps sneak into one of the tour buses. It’s good to have some mystery in such a well oiled undertaking.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Length of New Zealand Now

I quite literally decided to do this on the way home from work on Saturday. It was a work were I was told that the cut in my hours that I knew was in the post was about to kick in. so today I handed in my notice and have given myself a two week window to complete a mission. And what mission could fill this time gap with? Own that has been on my case file for a while, riding the length of New Zealand.

But this ride will bare virtually not resemblance to all precious attempts to break or set a record. There will be no support vehicles, no helicopters and crew of people helping with my every need. No it’s just me with my bike, alone and unsupported for battling the length of this fine land. Oh and I’m also doing the ride backwards, south to north, against the prevailing winds. The reason is because the cape is pretty and it’s about time some did.

With such a spur of the moment decision comes urgency to the preparation. Yesterday I built my first ever set of wheels with the main purpose of completing this ride. There are tires, bags, chains and new helmet to be obtained before the end of the month. There will be hustle for a while yet.

The pure practicalities of the ride are simple. Ride until further notice, stop only for food gathering and essential nap time. Only the ferry ride in the middle will present a meaningful time off the bike. Think fast brevet, but with no one else competing.