Taking Heed

Current Location: Napier, Aotearoa

They call themselves the art-deco capital of the world here, what that means i’m not quite sure of yet but hopefully I can find out tomorrow. This region is also known for it’s wine production, hopefully that’s something I can take advantage of tomorrow on my bicycle. I think the goal is to try wines for as long as I can remain upright on the bike, should be loads of fun. Today’s ride wasn’t bad at all, I started in Wairoa and peddled 118km and arrived into town around half past 5, quite the leisurely day for me on the bike with only 2 major hills, the last one having a 12km downhill section which was a much deserved payoff.

The reason the post is title taking heed is because I tend not to when being told what to do. In my book “Peddlers Paradise” which is the definitive cycling New Zealand book out there it offers a few pieces of advice. Here are a few choice ones which I have learned to follow.

“Sun: In summer use sun block on all exposed skin, forgetting to do so one day may cause severe sunburn…”

Yeah, I didn’t put sunblock a couple days and I was in a world of pain for several days, haven’t forgotten since.

“Sandflies: No dangerous animals such as bears or cats but New Zealand ceartainly makes up for it with sandflies.”

These things are not to be trifled with, I’ve got the wounds all up and down my legs to prove it. I’ve considered bathing in Off as soon as stepping off the cycle. They bite like crazy and it hurts, then it leaves a welt that itches like crazy (I thought I was getting chicken-pox)

“Magpies: They use cyclists as target practice for dive bombing runs and have been known to draw blood”

This one I thought was a joke until today. I was flying down a hill when out of the corner of my eye I saw something big and black take flight. Thinking it was a hawk I turned around to see where it went only to hear something on the other side of me swoop down and squawk at me. Mind you I’m still flying downhill and trying to dodge a damn bird that won’t stop swooping at me. I’m zigging and zagging and nothing will stop this thing from taking pot shots at me. Finally I stop the bike and look back at it, he finally flew away at that point. I think from now should this happen again I’ll just stop the bike and throw rocks at it.

On a seperate note i’m in shooting distance of Wellington which means i’m close to the south island, whoohoo. But I’ve decided to accept a wwoof’ing opportunity for a few weeks so mom and dad can send me my much needed tires (when the arrive.) It’s about 2 days ride from here doing some reforestry work and some other manual labor tasks, i’m looking forward to it.