It is coming up for a month since I completed my ride of Te Waipounamu / South Island and I was not expecting to be heading off to complete the North quite so soon. However, the opportunity to chip in for the charter of a boat across the Kaipara Harbour was too good an opportunity to pass on. I spotted a Facebook post about a group offering to share costs for the ride on 2 February. There is little formality in the arrangement, I just a hope that after the 175km ride to one of the remotest parts of the country, there is a group of riders and a boat waiting.
Armed with my ‘learnings’ from the South Island leg and a hope that high summer delivers more predictable weather, I am being a bit more aggressive with my schedule. On 30 January I will pick up from my Far North Ride last Easter and hope to arrive in Wellington around 20 February.
I have a riding companion for a week of the journey through the remote central North Island. Ruth, and Howard’s wife, Jill, will be in the vicinity of our travels which means that I can ditch my camping gear for the rugged and remote rides through the Timber Trail and down the Whanganui river. Howard will be on an electric bike so the company may be sporadic, I will catch up to him every now and then.
I have changed my bike configuration yet again, dropping about 3kg in weight. While I used most of the gear that I took down South, I have pared back on the clothing in the hope that high summer brings less severe cold changes.
It has been a challenge keeping the fitness up since my return, especially with Christmas in the mix. Riding over the same routes each week is boring, especially after the interesting (and at times challenging and exciting) point to point rides in the South. It would have been great to have been able to have a contiguous ride but such is life.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I suspect the North may be a bit of an anti climax but it will come with a new set of challenges such as the heat we are currently experiencing. Anyway both the bike and rider are primed and ready to roll.
I have been a bit remiss in not doing more with my collection of videos from the rides so far – here is a collection put together during a storm enforced day off in Ross.