The logistics of Pie Ride 2017 are coming along with just a few final details to iron out over the next week. How am I doing this? Well, I've been pouring over books (Pedallers' Paradise, Classic New Zealand Cycle trails, and Lonely Planet Cycling New Zealand) and maps, researching trails, and making sure to include places that I've wanted to ride. So I'll be heading from South to North and I've now mapped out the majority of my course. Why? Well this will allow me to chase the fleeting Autumn weather instead of running face first into Winter on the South Island. This will also allow me to meet up with my brother in Taupo and ride through 3 of the places that we've lived in so far. This being Kinloch, Thames, and Auckland. We'll be missing Mt Maunganui and Wellington. However, he'll get to experience some great places that have a lot to offer. We'll be able to tackle things at a little slower pace and I'll play tour guide for an area that I know pretty well. We are planning on doing some hiking, sailing, bonding, and of course lots of cycling. As one of my of cycling friends said 'You are mad and should be locked up'. So lots of cycling is to be had. Not to mention pies!
Even though I'm spending a lot of time route planning, I've also been busy getting my bike and gear ready while trying to get through my last few weeks at work. That in itself is a mission. My bike is at the shop getting a tune-up. It had to make a 2nd trip as not everything was completed the first time around. I wonder how often this type of thing occurs. I've got all my planned gear strewn about my office floor. It is almost all there. I've got a couple things in the the mail. I've got a custom cycling cap from No 16 Cycle Caps out of Australia and a Chrome book. I've got to pick up some front bags from Stealth Bags, a local Wellingtonian bag maker, that I'm having made. If you are interested in what I plan on carrying let me know and I can post it up. I'll definitely not be clean everyday, but I plan on doing some laundry along the way. Or at least hand washing things at campsites or hostels.
So I'm setting off from Auckland, on the 22nd, flying to Invercargill right after my last day at work. From there I'll be assembling my bike at the airport and then riding to Bluff after getting some supplies. In Bluff, I'll camp out overnight and then officially start the ride at Stirling Point on the 23rd of March. Then the craziness of the adventure takes over. The following will be a loose template of the adventure.
Official start from Stirling Point to Slope Point (lowest point of South Island) 91km
Slope Point to Balclutha 121km
Balclutha to Middlemarch 121km
Middlemarch to Waipiata 53km
Waipiata to Champagne Gully 108km
Champagne Gully to Makaroa Tourist Center 120km
Makaroa to Haast (78km) or Paringa 131km
Paringa to Otto/McDonald's camping area 103km
Otto to Empire Hotel 116km
Empire Hotel to Ikamatua 95km via West Coast Wilderness Trail and Pioneer Heritage Trail
Ikamatua to Spring Junction (??) to St Arnaud 170km
St Arnaud to Picton 128km (NZTA recommends that non-motorized traffic take the route North through Nelson, but when we were down in St Arnaud the traffic from the earthquake wasn't bad).
Take Ferry to Wellington and spend some time at home. Do laundry. Change out any gear that I need to. Check over bike and take to shop if necessary.
Wellington to Martinborough 77kmMartinborough via Alfredton to Ashhurt 106km
Out of Auckland, the path will follow the Tour Aotearoa path for the portion through the rest of the North Island.
Then depending on time, energy, and Beth's patience, I may ride the course in reverse back to Auckland for O Rock and possibly Wellington.
How can you follow along? Well this blog of course. As it will be updated from the road. Strava will have my ride information uploaded when I have internet. Quick photos will be on Instagram, @viewswhileriding, and photo album(s) will be found by following the link on the upper right. The SPOT tracker will be on for the trip, while I have batteries, and the link can be found on the upper right to watch real-time progress. Well that about sums up what I've been doing for the last couple weeks as this has been getting planned out. Hopefully I'll get to put a few more miles in my legs and ride the trucker loaded before I set off.