It’s been a roller coaster of emotions, constantly re-orienting the adventure, it was a great vacation. I didn’t ride as much as I expected (about 1,800km). I took the time to enjoy my self and discover New Zealand. I met so many awesome people and saw so much more then I would have seen if I had stayed on the road. I got to taste a lot of good food, coffee, beer and wine.
I slept so well at the end of each day, exhausted from the day and comfortable sleeping in my tent or in one of the cottages at a holiday park. I got used the birds signing very loudly every morning, but still woke up at 6 every day.
Is that a penguin under the porch?
Today was our last day loading the bikes, our last ride in New Zealand. Tomorrow the bikes will be packed and we will be enjoying a couple of easy walking days before flying home. I am really happy not to try and fit my life’s essentials on my bike for the 29th day in a row, excited not to have to fold my bivi, roll my mattress or push on my clothing to fit all in the seat bag. I am now a professional at fitting a wine bottle so it won’t break on the ride, but still can’t fit a coffee cup anywhere on the bike.
It’s quite the life, living on the road!
We were really lucky and had no mechanical issues and fairly good weather. We only had one really wet day, but lots of wind. I wouldn’t be able to ride here in summer. We got sunburned, even with lots of sunscreen, on cloudy days.
I will miss the essential food groups: chocolate, salted cashews, beef jerky and chips. But won’t miss the usual meals: instant oatmeal, boiled eggs, dehydrated meals, cup-a-soup. The wine in a can was hilarious, but New Zealand has great wines well worth carrying the extra weight of a bottle! I was positively surprised with the quality and diversity of cheeses. I would be lying if I said we ate camping food all the time, New Zealand puts everything in a pie, so I had bacon/egg pie for breakfast a few times and a few different weird ones along the way. We also treated ourselves to good meals when there was a good restaurant in town. I will miss our lunch spots, eating on the trails, enjoying amazing scenery or bird watching.
I have been wearing the same two bibs and jerseys for a month and a pair of tights, I cannot wait to put on a pair of jeans and a real bra!
Anne-Marie is the owner of Liv Vancouver, the first female focused bicycle boutique of its kind in Canada. An avid cyclist & bike packer, she has ridden down the coast from Vancouver to San Francisco twice, among other exciting two-wheeled expeditions. She is now on a bicycle tour through New Zealand with her daughter Frederique & colleague Kelsey. Visit Anne-Marie’s personal blog here.