Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Pedaling the open road, NZ report
I could never tire of biking down roads like this one. Tire physically, sure, but tire mentally of having the world so open, so expansive, so cloudy and bluesky and mountains in the distance and fresh air and the hum of the occasional vehicle? Never.
I don't believe I ever told the tale of where, and so for the curious, the map-loving and the soon-to-visit New Zealand folk, I give you the following: (distances approximate, and missing more than 150 km of backtracks, in-town wanderings, etc)
Greymouth to Ross (65 k)
Ross to Franz Joseph (108k)
Franz Joseph to Jacob's River including detour to Fox glacier lookout (75k)
Jacob's River to Haast Township (82k)
Haast Township to Makarora (79k)
Makarora to Wanaka (64k)
Wanaka to Queenstown (68k)
Queenstown to Alexandra (93k)
Alexandra to Ranfurly
Ranfurly to Middlemarch (total here 140 km, not sure of the breakdown)
Dunnedin to Palmerston via the coast road (61k)
Palmerston to Oamaru (61k)
All of which tells you nothing about the cruelest headwinds (into Queenstown), the two flats (one in Dunnedin, one on the Waitaki road out of Dunnedin), the "worst" hills (in order: Haast Pass, Crown Saddle, third of three hills from Franz to Fox) or how it feels on a perfect day to have nothing but you, your bike and all the marmite and peanut butter sandwiches you can eat. Mock if you must, but they dragged me up and down this stunning landmass.
I admire the hell out of real cyclists, I just played one for a couple of weeks. I'm itching to get out there again. I miss my roads!