Why not? - Over the hill in Aotearoa - CycleBlaze

November 19, 2020

Why not?

Kiwis are on the move. 

With no Covid-19 in the community and tight border control keeping back the usual hordes of overseas visitors, many of us are exploring our backyard while giving a boost to the shell-shocked  tourism industry.

We've been doing our bit recently too, trundling around the top half of the South Island in our RV, bikes on the back, and riding some iconic Kiwi trails. To be honest, we shake our heads in dismay when we pass heavily-laden cycle tourers on the road, wondering why they risk life and limb to pedal from scenic point A to breathtaking view B.

Our roads are narrow, undulating and winding, even the main north-south route, State Highway 1, and many Kiwi drivers are sadly not fully evolved in regard to behaviour towards cyclists.  On the other hand, we have a network of fantastic multi-day off-road cycle trails, ranging from easy, Grade 1 meanders through vineyards to more challenging trails for expert mountain bikers.

The NZ Great Rides website Ngā Haerenga lists all of the rides and provides a wealth of detailed information, highly recommended to all international intending cycle tourists ... for when that day comes. UPDATE: Here's another link that provides a more comprehensive listing of on-road as well as off-road and urban cycling routes in Aotearoa.

So. We are off to complete a mini-adventure.  Completely car-free. This morning, we loaded up the panniers and cycled from home to the Picton ferry terminal.  We're on the high seas now, well, Cook Strait, and have one more ferry crossing this afternoon, across Wellington harbour, to reach the start of the Remutaka rail trail.

It's so good to be on the road again.

Raring to go
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Tour Leader, Bruce, finishing his Heaphy track ride yesterday
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Way to go, Trailforks!
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Today's ride: 8 km (5 miles)
Total: 8 km (5 miles)

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Dawn HunterOh awesome! Lovely day in Wellington today! -well in Papakowhai anyway! So close but yet so far! Shame we couldn't have caught up. Looking forward to your reading your blogs! Enjoy and take care. ❤
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1 week ago
Jacquie GaudetSomeday I might be one of those laden cycle tourists. Flying to New Zealand with my bike to then rent a car or whatever to drive to places to cycle just doesn't make sense to me. I could do that at home (BC, Canada, another place that's not too friendly for cycle touring). However, having lost 2020 and perhaps 2021 and already being over 60 with so many places to go, it might never happen.
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1 week ago
Robyn RichardsTo Jacquie GaudetFair point. I guess my comment partly reflects my sensibilities- I prefer off-road to on-road cycling. And, yes, there is too much of the world to see with even less time now than we thought we had.
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1 week ago
Mike AylingTo Jacquie GaudetI agree with you Jacquie on the long distance touring philosophy.
However we went on a coach tour of both islands last Oct0ber and can endorse Robyn's comment about narrow twisting roads.

But now that we have Robyn's attention can we revert to Scott's post about almonds.
Robyn, do you pronounce the word ah monds or in any other way?

Mike
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1 week ago