About Detours

In 2002 at the age of 50 we decided that we needed to put some adventure into our lives. Time was running out and unless we put a plan into action we were going to miss out.

missed the boat
We have now published a short book on our earlier boating adventures and motivation for getting into adventure late in life – click here to read it – it’s free

So the first adventure we embarked on was on water – initially in a kayak and then we upgraded to a cruising launch. Neither of us had any boating background.

We spent many years  cruising around the coastline of northern New Zealand. It was a great time but as we started to find ourselves regularly venturing back to the same places we decided that it was time to branch out in our activities. Walking or hiking was added, then we rediscovered cycling, got wings and started to venture further afield.

After an 800km series of bike rides through Germany and France in 2013  we  quit our full time jobs in June 2015 and spent the next six months on the road. More biking, walking and just discovering different places. We have now relocated to a smaller town and also have the time to enjoy other aspects of life including volunteering, particularly in the area of habitat restoration and digital communications. 

In 2017 we spent three months exploring many of the walking tracks and cycle ways here in New Zealand and in December 2017 we headed off on another visit to South East Asia with time being spent in Northern Thailand followed by a slow boat ride down the Mekong River into Laos before returning to finish our adventures in Cambodia that we last visited in 2015. Walking and cycling were again feature of our travels.

Upon our return to New Zealand we invested in two electric bikes. The original concept was to tour through Europe but as we started to appreciate the seriousness of climate change we decided to cease long haul flying and limit other flights as much as we can. We decided to invest our ‘travel’ money in an electric car.

We have so far undertaken two multi-day rides on our folders with the last being a 720km ride from Rotorua to Wellington in the North Island of New Zealand. In early 2020 we embarked on an EV road trip with quite a bit of cycling along the way, as a test of Cliff’s belief that he might try and ride from the top to the bottom of the country in spring 2020. Covid 19 cut short that trip and canned the spring 2020 idea. Cliff also decided that an electric folder or any type of electric bike was probably limiting and decide to revert to a ‘huff-n-puff” mountain bike. The adventure began in autumn 2021 and will (very hopefully) be completed after a break for the winter weather to pass through, in late spring early summer. The total ride will be around 3,300km with 30,000 metres of climbing,. We will not hold our breath on this being completed.

We hope to keep our adventures rolling along as long as the bodies will comply.

The blog name is Detours and while this was meant of the traveling variety, there are also has many detours off the main highway of life. Life is shorter than we think and we need to make the most of it now, tomorrow will one day not come along.


Cliff & Ruth

Autumn 2021 – the Trek mountain bike is as lonely as it looks on the 85km ride along “90 mile” beach to Cape Reinga at the Northern tip of New Zealand.


  1. Oh how I applaud you both for making this leap! We too cut the apron strings that tied us down and have been enjoying the freedom to explore one corner of the world at a time. I’m sorry our time in Amsterdam does not overlap. It would have been wonderful to meet both of you. I see you have plans to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. Any chance you will head further south and come to Los Angeles? Wishing you safe, fun and inspiring travels. May your detour be all you dreamed it would be!


    1. Thanks. This time we are just breaking our flight for four days, found the 30 hour non stop journey to Frankfurt in 2013 a little too tough. happy travels


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