I am just about ready to give up on WordPress.

One of the sacrifices that I needed to make for this bike tour around Taranaki was to leave the laptop at home. I have to admit that trying to write posts on my phone has been more than challenging. The WordPress App was not producing the desired results and while the mobile website delivers better formatting options, using it is very frustrating – I am over “aw snap’, especially when attempting to save your work.

King Edward Park, Stratford
The rain eased off so I dragged Ruth through one of our many old play areas in Stratford – King Edward Park

On a more positive note, the terrible weather forecast for the last three days of the ride never really eventuated. It did turn very wintry but we managed to avoid the worst of the rain and showers,

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Ruth thought that my earlier preview of what to expect in Stratford had been harsh. She gave it top marks – Rhododendrons on the Carrington Waljway

Thr terrain became quite a bit more challenging and on our old huff-n-puff bikes Ruth would have mutinied and I would have given up. The F19s handled them and we only ever had to use the first level of pedal assist.

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It was a roller coaster ride along the eastern side of the mountain but we had the roads to ourselves and by turning on our pedal assist the hills were no longer to be dreaded.

The route for those three days was on virtually car free country roads and lanes and with the scenery ever changing and the rain staying away, it capped a great ride.

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Summer went AWOL for the last three days. Fortunately, we had packed for all conditions.

Even with many stops along the way, in the absence of walking our bikes up hills we were getting to our destinations much more relaxed and much earlier that anticipated.

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The good part of cycle touring is that you can stop wherever you like. We found this a pleasant spot for lunch

My childhood town (Cliff) of Stratford delivered a little rain and cold temperatures but visiting as we did, gave me a different perspective. I was viewing it through the eyes of a visitor, well Ruth’s eyes in particular. She felt my earlier descriptions of it were rather unjustified.

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While Ruth searched for the graves of her ancestors at this old cemetery, I read through the list of residents. I was shocked to see how high child mortality had been around the late 19th century. Each name had the age at death and it made for very sad reading

In Inglewood, our AirBnB host greeted us by informing me that she thought we were related. The only problem was my name. She was related to a Clifford. Ah yes, that would be my great Aunty, she was the only person who insisted on calling me by my full first name. The hosts grandmother. We had shared a set of great grandparents.

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One of the last of many streams we crossed during our five day ride. This bridge was something of an artwork

The quiet country lanes of the last day eventually joined a sealed coastal bike path back to our starting point,

This ride was our ‘trial run’ to determine the capability of ourselves and the folding bikes as a combination for touring.  As we had a celebratory ice cream in the Park we gave it the thumbs up.

While Ruth was in such a positive frame of mind I got her to agree to the next adventures, a more ambitious three week ride that will also introduce the concept of taking the folders on public transport. We head off on that one st the beginning of February.

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Nearly back to our start point.
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On the coastal path in New Plymouth. We had reached a sheltered lunch spot by the time the shower came in off the sea.

3 comments

  1. thanks Cliff! we had been thinking of you two when the weather turned so lousy cold: one morning it was 3 degrees here! The launch went well, 55 participants. not very numerous, but enthusiastic. Tania McInnes did a good job, the need for children’s/teenagers participation was highlighted and help from the audience was requested. With the wwoofers here (one of them worked for four years for google analytics!) we came up with the idea of a little well intentioned taniwha who eats up carbon dioxide molecules during the day, and maybe a little warthog who emits CO2 puffs? Inge

    Like

  2. What amazingly beautiful scenery – but it looks SO cold! Those bikes make all the difference on the hills and you almost have me tempted to give one a try. (Just don’t tell Joe). Are those the North Face bags you bought in Cambodia?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ruth used the smaller bag that we got in Cambodia but for our next longer ride we are going to use the two larger ones that we got there. The extra capacity will be useful for the month long ride. The air temperatures were a little brisker than anticipated but there was no wind and we largely avoid the rain. The country was hit by an unseasonal cold snap. The challenges with the February ride will be heat and wind which are bigger issues on the East Coast where we will be travelling.

      Ruth handled the hills with ease and was able to really enjoy the ride.

      Liked by 1 person

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