Saturday, 15 March 2008

Wed 27th Feb

Wed 27th Feb 2008
All The Gear, No Idea Spent the morning fighting with technology, that is getting my Eeepc to talk to my camera and upload pics to the web. Picked up my new bike from BikeHQ and the ever helpful Dave set it up and sorted me with a whole new set of accessories which is a crime really as I've already got pumps, helmets, tool, puncture kits and helmets in triplicate back in England. There are African's out there who don't even have two tyre levers to rub together and here I am with yet another set of biking kit.

Foot In Hell Both heels still unbearably sore, cratered, and nowhere near ready to be clamped into walking boots of any kind, thank goodness for my thongs (Antipodean speak for flip-flops).

Port Hills Ride, South of Christchurch
After the heat of the day had passed (the sun here feels really strong and damaging, especially to a direct descended of Viking Warrior and first kind of all England Erik The Bloodaxe like myself. Or is that direct descendant of Jasper Carrot?! The sun index in the news paper was reading 11, Spinal Tap came to mind! Drove a few K's south to Dyer Pass Drive and parked up in a layby, reassembled the 575 and then proceeded to look confused enough for a fellow biker to offer to guide me to the start of the offroad section. The single track was excellent and views from Castle Rock/Summit Point over Christchurch and inland to the Southern Alps were magnificent. A 180 degree shift eastwards saw breathtaking views over the eastern coastline out to the South Pacific. At this point I knew I'd made the right decision in switching activities from hiking to biking. Repeat after me: I am a mountain biker, I am a mountain biker (ad nauseum).

Kiwi Bikers I have to say that based on my first outing, Kiwi bikers are the friendliest most helpful cyclist I have ever met. Without fail they pause and ask if you're alright/lost. Perhaps this is because they appreciate that New Zealand needs someone (A) to map the country properly and (B) to mark the recognized MTB routes better, believe me there's a lot of guesswork, and because the hills are steep it's pretty painful if you take a wrong turn so being a newbie to the area you end up taking the highest path which often results in missing out the best tracks down as I'm pretty sure I did as I descended through the excellent Victoria Park tracks.

Maps Man
Drove home via a fish and chip shop from a fishing port known as Lyttleton. Ate a type of fish I've never heard of, it tasted good though, but sadly they had never heard of mushy peas. Note to all budding Kiwi entrepreneurs: (1) set up an Ordinance Survey firm and map the place properly and you'll become a millionaire overnight and (2) introduce mushy peas and you'll become richer than Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and every man that ever rode a camel. I'm serious.

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