It can’t be easy cycling 870 kilometres through New Zealand, at 70
Today’s article comes from Geoff Phillips from the Auckland Cycle Touring Association which is, in his words, largely made up of older cyclists.
Here’s Geoff’s story about one of their recent cycling trips. 870 kilometres through the back country of the South Island of New Zealand.
With some stunning photos. I’m jealous!
Take it away Geoff.
I belong to the Auckland Cycle Touring Association and this year we did an 870 kilometre trip into the South Island back country.
The ride was over some of the most magnificent high country in New Zealand over mostly gravel roads and included some significant climbs including the Nevis valley at 1,300m and Danseys pass at 935m, McKenzie pass at 785m and a private access road to Black Forest station at nearly 900m.
Our riders are all mostly on the wrong side of 50 and one Glenn is 77. On the ride he had an exit plan to fall back on if the ride got too tough. He mentioned often that he might have to leave us but he made it over all of the passes and was totally chuffed at what he reckons was his best ride ever.
On the hill to Black Forest Station a lot of pushing was needed because of the steepness and the condition of the road. Glenn started talking at the bottom and was still talking when he reached the top a great strategy for overlooking the pain.
Going through the Nevis we camped by the river and overnight a front came through and we woke up to ice on our tents even though it was summer.
Our rides are great because of the scenery and the places we visit but also because of our fellow riders who without exception have a great attitude and a capacity to enjoy themselves even when things get tough.
We stayed at local country pubs and visited many cafes along the way.
That is why I am looking forward with great anticipation to our next ride which will be in November when we go to the East Cape in the North Island.
Thanks Geoff, here’s some more great images of the cycling and scenery.
And you can find Geoff on his 2 websites. For cycling in New Zealand news he runs http://www.newzealandcycletouring.blogspot.com/. He also has a site about cycling the West Coast of the US at http://www.cyclingthepacificcoast.wordpress.com/.
Here’s the photos.