For the first time since arriving in Taranaki it’s begun to really rain. The odd day is fine of course, but this is a continuous downpour that tends to counter my enthusiasm for a run or ride. Not to say I haven’t tried; I rode with a friend of mine recently, Adam, and it hammered it down for about half of the ride and broke my phone. I thought I’d rather get wet than wear a coat seeing as I was wearing Lyra cycling gear that doesn’t really retain the moisture and dries quick time, but that strategy failed to accommodate the more sensitive needs of my late mobile.
The upshot of this wet weather is that I might actually get around to updating Cyclefar again. Taranaki, located on the West coast of the North Island of New Zealand, has been a great place to live for the last 7 months, so good infact that I’ve barely had time to do many indoor things until now. Mt Taranaki and the surrounding reserve, the walks, bike routes, new friends and emerging interests in beekeeping, growing food and permaculture have all competed keenly for my time.
The 5 days it took Ellie and I to cycle the from Auckland to Taranaki was the toughest final leg of any tour I’ve done so far. We were totally exhausted. Now I think about it the momentum started to build up from Turkey onwards. We aggressively spun our way through Turkey over three considerable mountain ranges from Bodrum to Istanbul, took environmental lung damage from Mumbai (Bombay) India, spat the putrid fumes back out over Australia’s Alpine National Park, Victorias portion of the Great Dividing Range and finally hauled our bikes over the lumpy bumpy terrain of NZ. The bikes could have been lighter, and the heavy loads certainly made hills challenging, but I have no regrets on packing. I knew I would be away for a while and would rather take it slow and be well prepared for my first really big ride. In the end the tour surpassed every elevated expectation I had, it will be hard to trump.
I suspect this post might only appeal to friends and family, and I was going to write more, but the sun is shining again now so I’m out for a run. I’ve entered for my first NZ Half Marathon in two weeks from now and need to get back on form!