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Edwins Bicycle Tour Downunder
Sunday, 20 February 2005
Akaroa, Okains Bay Ride, Saturday 19 February

1) Okains Beach

2) Top of the very steep Long Hill Road

3) Appropiate road name near Okains Bay

Today was again bright blue skies and temperatures rising to 23C I decided to set off for a beach. This was not however going to be a lazing around sort of day as the chosen beach was on Okains bay on the Eastern side of the Peninsular with a 2000ft barrier to climb over to get there and then again to get back.

I decided not to take the super steep Long Bay Road I tackled yesterday (once was enough) so headed along the main road near the bay for 4 miles to Robinsons Bay and then up to the Summit Road on the Okains Bay Road. This was a much more sensible gradient with the bike computer reading between 6 and 12% as opposed to between 10 and 18% on Long Bay Road.

Again there were geat views as I climbed. I crossed the Summit road and headed on down at a steeper gradient followed by a long flat road to the village of Okains Bay and then the beach further on.

The beach is on a wide sheltered sandy bay which seemed popular with surfers. As the day went on more cars arrived which parked on the sand. When I left I visited a very good Maori Museum which is one of only a few houses in the village.

The return back up to the Summit Road was easy at first and then very steep with grades between 12 and 17%. I took the slightly longer route back along the Summit Road with great views and then to the top of Long Bay Road and a steep descent to the smell of brake rubber.

Distance for the day was 30.2 miles but with 4780ft of climb (nearly 3 times the climb of an average 50 mile club ride) Average grade for the day was 9% with an average speed of 8.2 and ride time of 3 hrs 36 mins.

remote Posted by Edwin at 2:09 PM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 20 February 2005 3:06 PM EADT
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Akaroa - Summit Road, Friday 18 February.

1) Summit Road

2) Summit Road just before descending to Duvauchelle

Today's ride was without luggage doing a loop along the Summit Road which follows the ridges created by the old Volcano and then down to the harbour road and back to Akaroa. With a high moving in weather was wall to wall sunshine and temperatures of 24C.

I climbed out of Akaroa for a few miles on the main road and then turned onto the aptly named Long Bay Road. This was basically a pig of a climb. The road climbed from sea level to 2136 ft in 3 miles. The average gradient for the climb was 10% compared with an average of 6% on most climbs. There were many sections with grades of between 12 and 18% with a maximum of 20%

The reward was in the magnificent views of the harbour below and I had to stop frequently to take pictures (catch my breath!)

At the top the road turns and runs north along the summit ridge with views down to the harbour and the ridge on the far side of it. The Summit Road does a half circuit of the harbour far below. The road generally keeps its height but with ups and downs of about 300ft

There were views down to small bays on the eastern side of the peninsula. At one point as the route looped round Duvauchelle Peak views opened up of the far off ranges of the Southern Alps north of Christchurch.

I took a byroad descending steeply to the bay near the village of Duvauchelle and then followed the main bay road back to Akaroa.

Only 26 miles ridden but 3950ft of climb (equal to twice the climbing on a standard 50 mile club ride back home) Average grade for the whole ride was 9%. Average speed was 8.5 mph with 3 hours riding time.

remote Posted by Edwin at 12:18 PM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 20 February 2005 2:35 PM EADT
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Friday, 18 February 2005
Akaroa, Thursday 17 February.

Akaroa Harbour with cloud trying and failing to spill over the surrounding 2000ft peaks

Today is the first of 4 clear days I have at Akaroa a small town on a bay of a large harbour/inlet which goes into the middle of the Banks Peninsular. The harbour was formed by the flooding of a former volcanic crater and is almost surrounded by 2000ft hills. The area is in considerable contrast to the great flat expanse of the Canterbury plains in all other directions.

Akaroa was originally settled by the French and has retained French street names but its current residents are very much English speaking New Zealanders. It is a pretty small quiet town though with a lot of tourists. There are a lot of choices for bike routes during my stay with some very scenic and hilly roads in the area.

Today is a proper off the bike rest day. I made use of the motels guest laundry facility, caught up on emails and wandered round the harbour. Weather was sunny with some cloud and temperatures getting up to 26C.

remote Posted by Edwin at 3:29 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 18 February 2005 3:41 PM EADT
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Christchurch to Akaroa, Wednesday 16 February

1) View over Akaroa Harbour from the Hilltop Cafe at 1500ft.

2) La Rive Motel

I said goodbye to Martin who fly's to Sydney in the afternoon. I set off to stay 5 nights at Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula. This is a very hilly area to the east of Christchurch formed by volcanic action. The day was cloudy with sunny periods especially in the afternoon with temperatures up to 24C.

As with all main routes in and out of Christchurch the roads are very cycle friendly. There is the pavement and then parking bays for cars and then a wide cyclepath and then the carriageway.

I took the main route 75 to Akaroa . This is busy near Christchurch but then tails off to the level of a UK country B road. The notable feature in the morning was how flat it was. Despite skirting close to the edges of the Hills of the Banks Peninsula the road stayed pan flat with only 60 feet of climb in the 33 miles of climb to Little River.

I stopped for elevenses at a cafe near Motukarara And enjoyed a large Carrot Cake with cream. This was just about worked off as after Little River the road climbed steeply to 1500 ft. I stopped for lunch at the Hilltop Cafe with views down to Akaroa Bay.

After descending the road follows the Bay round with four 300ft climbs before Akaroa . My accommodation is at the La Rive Motel.

Distance was 50.4 miles with 2578 ft of climb. Average speed was 10.6 with riding time 4hrs 39mins

remote Posted by Edwin at 2:20 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 18 February 2005 3:35 PM EADT
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Christchurch Rest Day, Tuesday 15 February

Tram on New Regent Street in Christchurch

Today was a rest from cycling but not a rest as such as we packed a lot in. Martin fly's off tomorrow to Sydney and then Cairns. I stay in New Zealand for 5 more days before flying to Sydney to stay there and in the nearby Blue Mountains for 2 weeks.

In the morning Martin packed up his bike in the box which we had posted to the B & B from Auckland. I went down to the City Centre to pick up a package I had sent from the UK to the Christchurch main post office containing maps and guides for Australia and Singapore. I used the box collected to post home maps paperwork and guides for Chile and New Zealand to lighten the load.

In the afternoon we took a ride on the City's Trams visiting New Regent Street for lunch and then the Cathedral and Cathedral Square. We also visited the City's large botanical gardens with a stop at the cafe for drinks and Carrot Cake. We then caught the no 28 bus to visit the harbour at Littleton

After the evening meal I visited an Internet Cafe to update the websit

remote Posted by Edwin at 2:14 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 18 February 2005 3:23 PM EADT
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Lake Coleridge to Christchurch, Monday 14 February

Large sized Carrot Cake at Lunchstop

The day started with heavy rain and we delayed our start by half an hour to let this ease off. This was still only the second wet day in nearly 6 weeks of touring.

The rain eased off and stopped as we rode back down the valley of the Rakaia river. We re-joined the Inland Scenic Route 77. This was very enjoyable as the road slowly descended down a valley wth mountains to our left and our speed boosted further by a tailwind.

We stopped at a shop at Glentunnel for a snack for elevenses and then down to the plains to Darfield for lunch. I had a soup and a carrot cake. This was possibly the largest so far at about 3 times the measly portions served up in the UK for 3.50NZ$ or about one pound fifty. For one reason or another I had failed to get a carrot cake the previous 3 days so this adequately satisfied the cravings.

After lunch the waterproofs were required again as the clouds from a front coming in from the south massed. The road by now was pan flat and dead straight into Christchurch. We got away with light rain for the rest of the ride with the heavy downpour saving itself for evening.

For the evening meal we went to a pub/restaurant operating an all you can eat buffet for 19NZ$ or about 8 pounds for all courses. I was fairly restrained, only 2 main courses and 3 desserts.

Mileage for the day was 64.3 with 807ft of climb and 2066ft of descent. Average speed was 13.2 with 4hrs 47mins of riding time.

remote Posted by Edwin at 2:09 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 18 February 2005 3:17 PM EADT
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Tuesday, 15 February 2005
Staveley to Coleridge, Sunday 13 February

1)Viewpoint on track above Lake Coleridge

2)Martin on the road up the valley of the River Rakaia

Today's ride was quite short at 35 miles so we had a leisurely start. Catherine and Adrian showed us round the farm including the friendly goat, tame baby Deer and the calves they were rearing.

We headed north on the Inland scenic Route 77 which runs on a generally flat route parallel to the foothills of the Southern Alps. To our left rose the peaks of Mount Somers and Mount Hutt and to our right the great flat expanse of the Canterbury Plains.

The day was bright and clear with temperatures rising to 22C.

At midday we descended to the gorge of the Rakaia River with great views from the bridge over the river. The river generally flows in braids
across a wide valley but at this point narrows between rock walls.

We took a shortcut up an unmade road to climb back up away from the river with views of the azure blue river spreading across a wide valley on the Canterbury plain. We had been unable to find any cafes on the route so we stopped at the top for snacks from our bags

We were now headed inland up the valley of the Rakaia River into the depths of the Southern Alps towards Lake Coleridge. For the 12 miles up the valley we had a strong headwind but this did not detract from the magnificent scenery.

Lake Coleridge village is a small village situated about 400ft below the level of the Lake. We left our luggage at Lake Coleridge Lodge and headed on up the lake. This is accessed by a 3 mile long gravel road
with hairpin bends. As we climbed higher the views opened up below us of the azure blue river Rakaia with mountains rising up from the far side
of the valley.

We eventually reached a viewpoint looking out over the clear blue expanse of Lake Coleridge with snow capped peaks falling to its sides in the far distance.

We rode 38.1 miles with 2112 ft of climbing.

remote Posted by Edwin at 7:32 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 17 February 2005 9:58 AM EADT
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A Ride to Middle Earth, Saturday 12 February.

1) Martin on the track to Middle Earth

2) View of the valley of the Rangitata River

3) Lunchstop

4) Mount Sunday (Edoras)

Today was one of the highlights of the trip with a ride up a dead-end road into the remote reaches of the Southern Alps. The ride was up to the spectacular braided valley of the River Rangitata and an isolated rock called Mount Sunday. This was the site of filming of parts of the Lord of the Ring films and the Castle of Edoras capital of the realm of Rohan.

After yesterdays rain the day dawned bright and sunny. We were treated to a slap up breakfast at Awaiti Farm Stay and Catherine kindly made us a packed lunch to keep us going in the remote areas of the Alps.

From Staveley we headed down the road towards Arundel! At the small village of Mount Somers we turned west up the valley of the Ashburton River. The road gradually climbed with about a car every 5 minutes.

The first 20 miles of the route from Staveley was tarred as far as the village of Hakatere (a house and 2 barns) The road then turned gravel climbing up to Lake Clearwater. The scenery became more dramatic and remote with only dry and barren mountains around us.

Eventually we came to a ridge above the valley of the Potts River flowing as a tributary into the massive expanse of the braided spreadout Rangitata River surrounded by high mountains and with snow capped peaks at the head of the valley. This viewpoint had to be our lunchstop.

We headed on down on the track and across the Potts River on a bridge. The track headed on down alongside the Rangitata to the rocky outcrop of Mount Sunday. We stopped nearby for pictures and apart from the track we could imagine ourselves in the depths of Middle Earth.

We retraced our route on the track. By the time we got back to the tarmac at Hakatere we had ridden 29 miles on gravel tracks. On the 12 mile ride from Hakatere to Mount Somers village we were passed by only 2 cars.

We returned to Awaiti Farm Stay to a barbecue meal cooked by our host Adrian. We were entertained by stories by Catherine's brother and a neighbour who called in.

Distance for the day was 68.8 miles with 2342ft of climb at an average speed of 9.6 mph and a riding time of 7 hours 2 mins

remote Posted by Edwin at 12:06 PM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 February 2005 8:08 PM EADT
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Ashburton to Staveley, Friday 11 February

A meal at Awaiti Farm Stay. (Picture taken the following day)

Today the weather front which brought rain to Invercargill yesterday caught up with us and brought rain to Ashburton.

Our days ride was 25 miles so we were in no rush. I had a lot to do to bring the website up to date and that took care of the morning followed by a leisurely lunch while we waited for the rain to ease off.

Eventually the rain eased from heavy to light and we set off. The ride was not especially interesting, the road being dead flat and the scenery invisible. The rain became heavier as we approached our overnight stay at Awaiti Farm Stay. Staveley is a small rural community on the Inland Scenic Route at the base of the Southern Alps and just underneath Mount Somers.

Awaiti Farm Stay was the highlight of the day and the best accommodation I have stayed at during the trip. We were made welcome as if family members and treated to hot drinks and cakes in the lounge. Our wet gear was put in the tumble dryer and we had a substantial meal with our hosts Adrian and Catherine and 4 other guests from Denmark.

We were entertained by Adrians efforts to get across to the one Dane who had limited English the workings of the farm with a mixture of English and sign language.

remote Posted by Edwin at 11:30 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 17 February 2005 10:03 AM EADT
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Invercargill to Ashburton, Thursday 10 February

Bikes on the Atomic Shuttles Bus to Ashburton (Picture taken through rear window)

For today we were taking the bikes on Atomic Shuttle buses. We were also saying goodbye to Peter who was going to Christchurch to fly back. To deal with the 2 bikes per bus problem Peter took a bus from Invercargill to Queenstown, changed there and caught another bus to Christchurch. Martin and I got a bus to Dunedin and changed there for another bus to Ashburton about 50 miles south of Christchurch from where we will continue touring.

The morning dawned with continuous heavy rain as the weather broke. We donned waterproofs for the first time in 5 weeks of touring to ride the 1/4 mile to the Information Centre a few blocks from the Motel from which the buses left.

When we arrived the Information Centre was just opening and about 3 of the ladies were gathered round the corner searching for a Spider. As soon as we came in Martin shouts out "there it is" which brings forth a few screams and a lot of hilarity from the rest of the Staff.

The various bus trips went well and we arrived at Ashburton on time at 7.00 pm. The bus driver asked where we were headed now, a backpackers? (this is similar to a UK Youth Hostel) I said no, a Best Western. We stayed at the Best Western in Ashburton which is considerably cheaper than a UK Best Western. Cost was 100 NZ$ (about 40 pounds for the 2 of us in a 2 room suite)

Miles for the day were 3.1.

remote Posted by Edwin at 11:13 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 17 February 2005 10:07 AM EADT
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Friday, 11 February 2005
Tuatapere to Invercargill, Wednesday 9 February

1) View from lookout towards Fiordland

2) Town of Orepuki

3) On the coast road

Today was cloudy but dry and fairly humid with temperatures reaching 26C in the afternoon.

After 5 miles we reached the coast and a lookout with views back along the coast to the mountains of Fiordland and across the channel to Stewart Island in the far distance.

Cycling along the coast we started to see clumps of trees bent far over by the south west wind which normally roars up the channel of this remote part of Southland. The trees were seared white by salt.

We stopped for elevenses at a pub in the remote town of Orepuki. Some of the centre was long since deserted with the buildings looking straight out of a ghost town from the wild west.

We continued along the Coast alongside the dark and inpenatrable Longwood forest with knarled and stubby trees looking straight out of Middle Earth. We spotted a New Zealand Wood Pigeon twice the size of an ordinary pigeon perched on a branch.

We stopped for lunch at Riverton and then a flat or gently rolling ride to the South Coast city of Invercargill.

Distance for the day was 52.8 miles with 1197 ft of climb. Average speed was 10.4 and riding time 4 hrs 58 mins.

remote Posted by Edwin at 10:12 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 11 February 2005 10:24 AM EADT
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Te Anau to Tuatapere, Tuesday 8 February

1) Lake Manapouri

2) Martin and Peter riding with a tail wind and no cars

3) Martin and Peter riding across the plain from Te Anau

After yesterday's rain on the minibus trip today was back to bright and clear weather with temperatures reaching 28C.

We had a good hot breakfast at our B & B and set off first alongside Lake Te Anau and then across a magnificent plain with a backdrop of the primordial mountains of Fiordland National Park.

We abruptly came down to Lake Manapouri reputed to be New Zealand's most beautiful with mountains rising up from its shores. We stopped here at a pub for an early lunch and to stock up on supplies for the rest of the days ride. Pedallers Paradise advised and this was confirmed by locals that there were no shops or cafes and few habitations for the remaining 50 miles to Tuatapere.

As we rode from Manapouri the Cheviot Hills rose to one side of us backed by the 1600 metre peaks of the Takitimu Mountains.

The road was now due south for the rest of the ride and the wind gradually increased to a strong northerly. At the same time apart from some short climbs the road was gradually downhill from the 400 metre summit of Jerico Hill to Tuatapere at 70 metres. This made for a rare ideal day of cycling as we rode along effortlessly. Peter was in the lead for a while and easily maintained a speed of 17mph. To top it all off we enjoyed an open road with an average of a car every 5 minutes.

A group of 3 Touring Cyclists going in the opposite direction seemed a little jealous as one called out "You choose the right day to be going in the right direction"

In the afternoon we took a break at the Clifden Suspension Bridge over the River Waiau at the village of Clifden.

Distance for the day was 63.4 miles with 1541 ft of climb and 2037 ft of descending. Average speed was 12.4 and riding time was 5 hours.

remote Posted by Edwin at 10:03 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 11 February 2005 10:15 AM EADT
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Milford Sound, Monday 7 February

1) Humbolt Falls

2) Rainforest Path

3) Milford Sound, Mitre Peak in the centre

4) Milford Sound

5) Milford Sound

6) Milford Sound

We stayed 2 nights in Te Anau and to make it feasible to do the 80 mile each way trip to Milford Sound a trip was booked on the Internet before we left with local Tour Operator Trips and Tramps. Most Coach trips to Milford Sound start from Queenstown 100 miles further away and are more rushed as a result. Also our operator kept to minibuses and 10 person groups.

Our driver and Guide Chrissy was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the area.

The route took us north alongside Lake Te Anau with superb views across to mountains partly shrouded in cloud.

On the route we took a diversion up the Hollingford Valley and a short walk up through rainforest to the Humbolt Falls. By this time it was raining quite heavily, our first in over a month of touring and the top of the 150ft falls was invisible in low cloud.

After traversing a mile long tunnel we headed down to Milford Sound and a 2 hour trip around the Fjord.

Although a clear bright day would have been preferable a rainy misty day had its advantages. One of the most dramatic features of Milford Sound is the enormous waterfalls many of which dry up a few hours after it stops raining. Further the dramatic effect of low misty clouds adds great drama to the views. See the pictures above.

remote Posted by Edwin at 9:36 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 11 February 2005 9:58 AM EADT
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Thursday, 10 February 2005
Queenstown to Te Anau Sunday 6 February

1) The Kingston Flyer Steam Train

2) Lake Wakatipu

We had originally planned for today to cross the Lake on the local Steam Ferry SS Earnslaw and then a rough stuff route over the mountains. However engine problems with the 100 year old ferry and forcast wet weather for the mountains forced a change of plans.

Martin and I decided to take the road round to cover a distance of 107 miles. Peter decided this would be too far for him and booked the Atomic Shuttles bus.

With the aid of a continental breakfast delivered by the hotel the previous night we set off at 7.30. We cycled alongside the peaks of The Remarkables Mountain Range and then alongside Lake Wakatipu as the sun gradually rose from behind the towering peaks of The Remarkables.

Our first stop was at a cafe in Kingston at the southern end of the lake after 27 miles.

A short distance on as we cycled along a valley surrounded by remote mountains we spotted some steam in the distance. This was the Kingston Flyer a steam train running a short route for tourists. The train crosses unfenced prairie land next to the road. We put the bikes down and got pictures from within 10 yards of the track.

Our next stop was at the small village of Athol with a pleasant Cafe. We then climbed to the 398 metres Jollies Pass. The road was then down or flat on straight roads to our last stop at Mossburn and another cafe. The village had streets such as Dorset Street and Sussex Street.

At the cafe at Mossburn I had my 3rd Carrot Cake of the day. One thing about New Zealand is that food portions including cake sizes are much more generous than in the UK. Cake sizes were usually twice as big.

We gradually climbed after Mossburn to a pass at 1699ft near the village of "The Key" The day had been mainly dry with sunny periods and temperatures of 28C. We had a few spots of rain as we crossed the pass, the first in a month of touring.

We descended from the pass and gained our first glimpse of the remote primordial mountains of the Fiordland National Park. The mountains were partly shrouded in misty clouds.

We descended to Te Anau to meet up with Peter at the House of Wood B&B.

Mileage for the day was 107.3. Climbing was 2985ft and an average speed of 12.6. Riding time was 8 hrs 22 mins.

remote Posted by Edwin at 7:52 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 10 February 2005 7:58 AM EADT
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Wednesday, 9 February 2005
A ride to Arthurs Point. Saturday 5 February (2)

1) Pond near Lake Hayes, Queenstown.

2) Lake Hayes

3) Arthurs Point Road

On returning from watching Martin's Bungy Jump I had a pleasant Saturday afternoon ride taking in some quiet and very scenic lanes north of Queenstown.

I returned at first on the main road and then turned off on a byroad alongside Lake Hayes with The Remarkables Mountain range as a backdrop.
I continued on more lanes in valleys with mountain backdrops.

Weather was hot and humid about 33C. I stopped for a welcome cold drink and ice-cream at a shop in the village of "Arthurs Point " and then a 600ft descent to Queenstown.

remote Posted by Edwin at 4:08 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 9 February 2005 5:04 PM EADT
Tuesday, 8 February 2005
Queenstown Bungy Jumping, Saturday 5 February.

1) Martin bungy jumping, original picture showing the great height

2) 10 times digital enlargement of a picture of Martin bungy jumping

3) 10 times digital enlargement of another picture of Martin bungy jumping

Today is Martin's big day. At 12.00 he will be picked up by coach from the Bungy Centre in Queenstown and taken 12 miles out of town to the 140 ft high suspension bridge over the River Kawarau.
This is the location of the AJ Hackett Bungy Jump Centre with Cafe and Spectator viewing platforms.

Peter was delegated to use Martin's Video Camera and I planned to take pictures with both my Digital and slide camera.

Peter arranged to get a lift with Martin's coach. I had had enough time off the bike and decided to cycle there. The day again dawned bright and sunny with temperatures up to 33C.

We had to wait about an hour as Martin was checked and weighed and then queued up. The weights can be adjusted so that the jumper can do anything from just missing the water, to the top of the head to a full dunking up to the waist. When given the choice Martin went for the full dunking.

The procedure is that the ankles are tied and the jumper walks out on the platform and on the count of 3 throws themselves off towards the water below. The jumper before Martin was very nervous and refused to jump the first 2 times he was given the count of 3.

To keep up cycling appearances Martin wore his Alpe Huez cycling Gilet. Martin leaped off without hesitation and got a very good dunking and then let off a very good yell on the rebound.

After several bounces up and down a recovery crew in a boat stuck a pole up for Martin to grab hold of and then pulled him down into the boat.

The whole operation was very professionally handled. Martin had paid extra for some pictures and a DVD and these were all ready within minutes of the jump

remote Posted by Edwin at 8:11 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 11 February 2005 11:09 AM EADT
Alexandra to Queenstown, Friday 4 February

1) Peters Bike on the Atomic Shuttles Bus at Cromwell

2) Martin in the Kawarau Gorge

3) Martin and the new tar road

Alexandra to Queenstown, Friday 4 February.

Today I started from Dunedin with an 8.00 am Atomic Shuttles bus to Cromwell 20 miles north of Alexandra to catch up with and meet the others for elevenses. When the bus arrived the driver had to turn the engine off to get the rack for my bike out of the engine compartment. When he came to start it wouldn't go so he gave the passengers a choice of waiting 30 minutes for a mechanic or all getting out to push- start so we did the latter. This was the first time I push started my bus.

The day started clouded and misty but gradually cleared up as the bus headed inland. By Roxbough 20 miles SW of Alexandra skies were clear with temperatures for the day due to reach a cooler (than yesterday) 33C.

Peter had decided that he wouldn't be able to cope with the temperatures and climbs so he booked with Atomic Shuttles the Bus from Cromwell to Queenstown. On arrival my bike was taken off the bus and Peters loaded on.

Martin and I rode through superb scenery alongside the Kawarau Gorge with its milky blue river with crystal clear blue skies. The only problem of the ride came when we reached a 4 kilometre stretch of freshly laid new tar and Chipping's. This immediately jammed up mudguards and we had to walk on the verge. Even here pieces of tar thrown up by cars jammed Chipping's into the mudguards and Martins front mudguard ended up torn in two and had to be taken off.

Further on our route we came to the Kawarau Bridge and scene of Martins planned Bungy jump of tomorrow. We stopped at the cafe and to view the production line of Bungy jumpers going off every 5 minutes. The record is 402 in a day

My mileage for the day was 36.8 and climb was 3427ft.

remote Posted by Edwin at 7:55 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 11 February 2005 8:00 AM EADT
Bike Repairs, Dunedin, Thuursday 3 February

Lake at Roxborough en route to Alexandra

Today was for me a lazing around Dunedin day while the bike repairs were completed, shopping, updating the website, sending emails, booking my next holiday! In Dunedin most of the day was cloudy and misty with maximum temperatures of 19C.

Martin and Peter had a harder day with a 50 mile bike ride from Beaumont to Alexandria. They were well inland away from the cooling effect of the sea and had clear skies and searing temperatures of 42C.Temperatures were near a record for the area.

They rode through a very scenic area which I gained quick views of on the bus the next day. Their accommodation for the day was at the Beaumont Hotel. You had to be careful not to blink and miss Beaumont as it consisted only of the hotel.

I picked up the bike at 6.00. Repairs were a new chain, a rear dropout saver, new gear cable and a Shimano Deore rear gear changer. Total cost with labour was 260NZ$ or about 100 pounds. With 2 nights additional accommodation it proved to be a very expensive sticky piece of stone.

remote Posted by Edwin at 4:44 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 February 2005 7:56 AM EADT
Saturday, 5 February 2005
DISASTER. Dunedin to Beaumont (2), Wednesday 2nd February

Mercian Bicycle on its Sickbed undergoing Surgery

DISASTER. Dunedin to Beaumont (2), Wednesday 2nd February

We continued on the descent of the gravel road to Waihola on the main road. As we neared the bottom the road finally turned back to smooth tarmac. A mile further on and we came to a section of newly re-laid sticky tarmac with loose stone on top not yet bedded down.

As I cycled along everything suddenly seized up with a sickening crunch.It would appear that a stone sticky with tar had stuck to the chain as it went round and jammed in the gears and in the second before I stopped pedalling the force of the pedal revolution tore the gears off the gear hanger tearing out one of the jockey wheels.

Close examination revealed that the really serious damage was to the gear hanger which is part of the frame. This was badly bent and the circle of the gear hanger torn apart leaving options of either welding repairs or a new frame.

We were just into town and a few hundred yards from a cafe so we repaired there for lunch and to assess the position. Where we were now and for the next few days of the route was very much the back of beyond
so far as bike repair facilities were concerned so clearly I had to return to Dunedin for repairs.

We decided to split up. I passed the map and the paperwork for the accommodation to Martin. The plan was to meet up in a couple of days.

We checked into buses for getting me back to Dunedin but there was nothing until the evening so I decided to ring for a taxi which cost about 30 pounds. The bike was stuffed in the taxi boot. I dropped
luggage off at Hulmes Court B & B and then the taxi took me and bike round to the Cycle Surgery Bike Shop. They sent me round to a local steel fabricator, Nealsteel. The bike was put on its sick bed for a spot of welding while I waited and a charge made of 10NZ$ (4 pounds)

Back to Cycle Surgery and although full up with jobs they agreed to complete the repair for 4pm the next day. This will involve fitting a dropout support to replace the threads lost by the damage and the welding. They will also fit new gears by borrowing some from a bike as they do not hold the right type in stock.

There are no buses Thursday evening so I next booked a bus for first thing Friday morning from Dunedin to Cromwell arriving 11.30. On Friday Martin and Peter will be riding from Alexandra to Queenstown and should be in Cromwell for about 11s so I rang Peter at the Beaumont Hotel and arranged
to meet up at Cromwell.

remote Posted by Edwin at 5:43 PM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 5 February 2005 5:52 PM EADT
Dunedin to Beaumont (1), Wednesday 2nd February

1)Brighton Beach

2)Sign for entering Brighton

3)Peter on the coast road

Following a route recommended by Pedallers Paradise we first rode along Stuart Street with a steep climb to 600 ft and then a long gentle descent down the Kaikorai Valley. After cycling under the motorway we took quiet roads on the coast to the south of Dunedin to the small seaside town of Brighton complete with Downland landscape inland. The town centre for this Brighton consisted of one shop.

We then continued on a beautiful coast road for another 10 miles with little traffic and mile after mile of empty white sand beaches pounded by the Pacific surf.

We turned inland at Taieri Mouth and as the road climbed to a vertical 17% it also turned to gravel and climbed on and on to eventually reach 1100ft. Peter must have looked to have needed it because a local offered him a lift to the top. Peter had doubts about the wisdom of this when it turned out that the affable driver was totally drunk and Peter had to hold the wheel for part of the way up.

From the top and on the descent there were great views of rolling downland which reminded Martin of Dorset.

Further on the descent we met the local who gave Peter a lift. He was driving back clutching the bottle of whiskey he had purchased in town. He stopped to chat and advised that our destination for the day wasn't worth going to with a lot of Billy Connelly phraseology thrown in.

See the next post for the rest of the day and some dramatic events.

remote Posted by Edwin at 5:10 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 5 February 2005 5:59 PM EADT

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