Up & Down

Current Location: Te Kuiti, Aotearoa

Peddlers Paradise has this to say about the ride through the Forgotten World Highway

“A route for cycluists who love going up and down, no less than six major saddles, numerous hills, a couple of bluffs, a gorge and the odd tunnel or two.”

Pretty accurate I would have to say. Though the last hill really caught me off guard and had me panting the whole way through it. Whangamomona was a neat little place to camp, wikipedia gives a good run down of it’s history. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and I’m sure their biannual independance day would be loads of fun to go to. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet their old president, a poodle, that supposedly had an assasination attempt on it’s life.

The ride from here puts me 2 days to Auckland and probably another 4 days to the top, no major obstacales are between me and the cape, if you don’t consider Auckland to be an obstacle.  So here is to hoping the bike and I stay in one piece for a few more days.

My knee has been okay for the most part, beside a few twinges of pain it’s managing to hold up and I’ve kept on the bike, hopefully that is behind me now.

I added pictures from way back (at least it feels like it) before Bulls up through to Te Kuiti

super sized coffee

Hiding in the Library

Current Location: Stratford, Aotearoa

I’ve been holed up for a few days here in Stratford due to several reasons.  One is that the ride from Hawera to here, merely a 30km ride, my right knee went through what I can only describe as excruciating pain every churn of the crank.  I ended up stopping every 5 to 10k in hopes that time would take the edge off the pain which didn’t help at all but instead only made the pain more sharp each time I started again.  I’m not sure what to chalk up this pain to yet, but several theory include; I’ve jumped into cycling far too vigorously after basically taking 3 months off, I injured my knee somewhere on the farm in Pongaroa, or lastly the clips on my shoe need to be adjusted.  I’m honestly not sure which one has done me in.  The other reason for the stop here is that it’s the jumping off point for the Forgotten World Highway and there is some nasty weather coming through and I was hoping to do the highway in at least halfway decent weather. I’ve decided even if I have to do the remainder of the ride in 30km increments then so be it, I just hope the weather clears up a little bit to help me.

Not much goes on in Stratford, it’s more of a passing point between New Plymouth and Wanganui or Mt. Tarakani.  Though it does have the one and only Glockenspiel in New Zealand.  Side note, I thought a Glockenspiel was a musical instrument but it turns out it means musical clock (at least that’s what the sign of the base of the tower says.)

Cycling next to Mt. Taranaki, aka. Mt. Edgemont, aka. Mt. Fuji of the South was nice.  Snow capped it really could have been Mt. Fuji erupting out of nowhere and gently sloping down towards the center of the island.

Gotta Ride

Current Location: Palmerston North, Aotearoa

It’s time to put this ride to rest I think.  I had Max drop me off in Palmerston this morning due to some broken spokes on the rear wheel.  I’ve had a rash of them ever since getting into Wellington.  I think I’ve replaced 6 spokes since then, fortunately for me I’ve found a decent bike shop that is willing to re-spoke the wheel.  That in itself is strange because every other bike shop I’ve run into immediately wants me to put on a new wheel (takes more time to re-spoke) so it’s nice to have them want to fix it properly.  I’m going to start donating some of the things I’ve been carrying around to lessen the weight (I think I’m up to about 7 books.)

My rationalization of getting Max to drop me off is that I cycled by Palmerston on the way to Pongaroa so this is sorta a warp back to a previous save spot.  I think the cycling will be interesting the first 3 or 4 days as I really haven’t cycled continuously since riding into Mapua a little over 3 months ago.  I’ve done fairly well hiding out the winter indoors wwoofing.  Last week working on the fencing there were a few days that felt like summer, it was great. But the farmers around town were saying when I got there the last two weeks of August everything turns to custard. What do you know when the 16th of August rolls around and it pours cats and dogs for days.  It was nice while it lasted.

We finished up the fencing project we were working on and had some deer steaks ‘hacked off the carcass’ as Max put it.  Quite good eats paired with my favorite purple potatoes and cheap (good) Aussie wine.  As usual the conversations with Max & Jane are excellent and many movies were watched as there is little else to do around Pongaroa.

Motto for the next few weeks, ‘Cape Reinga or bust’.

Couple pictures added, just the hunting ones.

steak, it's whats for dinner