We ticked off a few bucket list items this trip:
- Dave finally made it to Cape Reinga
- Cliff rode from Cape Reinga to Bluff
- Venkat and Sowmya rode 2-up around the South Island for the first (but likely not the last) time
Every March, we ride NZ for a week. Andrew and I pick a route, sort our accommodation and put it out there for anyone to join us. It is always a great week, with a good mix of folk joining us who share a need to ride. Riding experience, personalities, budgets and bikes often vary wildly, and we all experience the same ride in myriad different ways. That’s why we continue to extend an open invite for anyone to come along.
What is a small town?
For anyone coming from overseas, most of NZ’s towns might be considered “small towns.” Anyone who has planned and driven their own NZ holiday quickly discovers that we have a number of “towns” marked on our maps which, in reality, are barely even a settlement never mind a town – the true definition of “blink and you’ll miss it”, especially when there isn’t so much as a town sign. For us, a Small Town is small enough that we’ll be sure to mingle with the locals, and just big enough to give us some basic accommodation and an evening meal within walking distance.
As I mentioned at the top of the post, we rode from Cape Reinga in the North, to Bluff in the South. We went so small one night that I had to order the fish’n’chips before they closed, whilst the rest of the group were sailing across the harbour towards me on the local ferry. Of course, there is a story to be told, as normally I’d have been with the group, but I’d taken an overnight detour back into the Big Smoke of Whangarei to fix a puncture. Talk about looking for small settlements where we mingle with the locals, my puncture happened on a very rural Northland road, well out of phone reception. I was rescued by a group of motorbike mad locals, one of whom was a sometime motorbike mechanic with not only a workshop, but a wide ranging lifestyle business. We spent a couple of hours learning about their banana growing, pig raising, cat rescue and many other forms of income generation. We love meeting these kind of people!
We ride for the joy of riding, and we seek out the best, sealed, back roads, with the best views. For us, our trips are pure escapism by bike. This trip we were fortunate to share the blog of one of our riders. Riding the same roads alongside us, we came to experience our trip through another pair of eyes. Delighting in the sights, photo opportunities, iconic town statues, and the food stops, it is so rewarding to find that we travelled together whilst experiencing our own holiday in different ways.
Navigating ferry delays, but amazingly, not ferry cancellations, we had great fortune with the weather and grabbed some picture postcard photos along the way, especially through Mackenzie Country, past Mount Cook. March is the start of our Autumn, and choosing the right gear for the trip is always a challenge; we left home in 30oC but the days down south started at 5oC. For me, that meant I wore my airflow jacket, with a back up windproof inner jacket. A couple of the boys wore their full winter touring jackets, opening a couple of vents some days, and running heated grips on other days – each to their own!
Come riding with us – we do the planning, you do the booking and we’ll all have our own holiday, together.