Hihi to Orongo Bay

Day three

img_0470-1It blew from the west all night long, roaring through the trees above my tiny tent. Me plus everything else I’m carrying stuffed into this tiny chamber and I had beans for dinner. Now I know what your thinking, but no… it’s all about diet.

So the average bloke needs about 2,500 calories per day to fuel himself without further expansion of the waistline. If I add that to what I’m burning on the bike per day (or about 3,000 calories) then I guess I’m pretty much doubling my intake.

Oh but it’s not just a case of me now eating two steak and cheese pies when I used to have just one! The diet and wellness politburo won’t let me get away with it quite that easily comrades. There are proteins, carb’s, minerals, electrolytes and other pesky things I as yet have no idea about. So where does that leave me… confused.

As a result I have put together a very simple rule for the road: ‘eat heaps, but carry a small load’. As a result I have a lot of dried, powdered and completely indescribable and unimaginable things stored away, like ‘porridge’.

Yip, porridge, and whey powder, green powdered stuff, red powdered stuff, MSM, effervescent thingies to balance my electrolytes, plus freeze dried whatsits where the packaging looks more appetizing than the meal.

So as I churn through this goodness and positively enjoy the benefits and energy it provides me (which I really do), I must also confess to still stopping for the odd pie. Like I did today at Kaio. Yip the Kaio steak and cheese Pieo. It was delicious.

So back to the beginning of my day… 

The early ride consisted of climbing, climbing and then a testosterone fueled fully laden downhill to Whangaroa harbour. Clocking 61.35km/h with an accompanying ‘yipee’ put me in good spirits for the short dash to Kaio.

The shopkeeper selling the Kaio pieo quipped as he fumbled for the change; ‘fueling up are ya?’ I smiled’ said yes and squawfed down my purchase, not really appreciating what he was getting at. Five minutes later I was hauling my butt up a very nasty incline. I definitely needed that little pastry cased battery for the road ahead.
Maybe the earlier idea of doubling my pie intake was right all along.

A few hours later I’m at Pahia and on the ferry to Russell. Not far to camp now. It’s feeling more like summer again.

Wet wet wet

Day two

Up and out the door by 7:30 for the ride south from Henderson Bay to Mangonui. Started off well, no rain and good conditions, making the turn off to state highway 10 by 10am. Just in time for a coffee, then I saw him…

Meeting the Dutch spy

Two days ago when I arrived in Kaitaia there was another cyclist onboard. I did my best not to engage, but within seconds of unpacking little beastie he was onto me. He was fizzing with excitement and telling me his grand plans and something about “za stealth camper”.

I quickly imagined he is on some secret mission for the Netherlands secret service (hence the bicycle) and perhaps I should call the authorities, but soon realized he probably meant free camping.

Then came that question, “vat is you average”. Now you could interpret that little gem in a lot of manly ways, but I immediately assumed he meant daily distance for the trip, so I boldly replied (although thinking far less ambitiously) “100 kilometers more or less”. There was a pause… a long pause until he finally responded with a “hmmmmm… ok I vill take it. For me it is vun hundred and tventy kilometres por day.”

Oh god, I haven’t even started yet and I’m already in some kind of alpha male pissing competition with a Dutch spy. So I hurriedly packed my kit, said my goodbyes, then scurried off to my motel to hide.

So today when I got to the Awanui turnoff for highway 10, I saw him. Clad in a orange, white and blue Licra onesee and carrying (yes all true) a huge Dutch flag flapping out the back of his bike. If he is indeed on a secret mission he sure didn’t read the manual on trying to be inconspicuous. He greeted me with a loud “vel ello, ello”. I smiled, waved and immediately ducked into a cafe for a coffee. As I ordered I could see him rolling on into the distance, flag whipping at the stern. I don’t think that will be the last I see or the Dutch spy.


So what about today?

Wet and I mean wet wet. After about 60 km, it started to pour a warmish, tedious kind of rain. So it was on with the wet weather gear and back to humping hills, wet on the outside and a small sauna on the inside.

I got to Mangonui and decided I had a need for a feed. I pulling into the supposedly famous chippy by the bay, unpeeled the raincoat and tucked into some shark and tatties.

after an hour I needed a campground and choose Hihi. On I went into worsening weather for another 40 minutes. I’ve spend the last few hours drying everything out and saying a prayer to the sun god for a dryer day tomorrow. What will she deliver?

Start day

Day one

img_0465Got to the Cape on a Harrison’s bus at 1:00pm to be greeted by Low cloud and light rain . Real pea souper, could see a damn thing let alone a lighthouse. So I kitted up and headed south. All down hill from here right?

The rain lasted a few hours as I basically rode out of it, into a sunny hot afternoon. Completed about 66km of hills and valleys… up down, up down and all with that damn load on.

I made it to Henderson Bay for the night and a tucked into a mighty feed. I’m going to sleep well tonight.



There’s been a big shake up in more ways than one. The ground moved in November and the damage at the top of the south was severe. It’s closed the coast and inland roads including the Molesworth muster trail.

This was my kick off route for the South Island leg, riding from Blenheim inland to Hanmer Springs. But rather than look for an alternate route I’m cutting the southern leg altogether.

This was my kick off route for the South Island leg, riding from Blenheim inland to Hanmer Springs. But rather than look for an alternate route I’m cutting the southern leg altogether.


There is an earthquake of another kind on the work front. I have a landslide of community development commitments early in the new year. So the long and short of it is I’ve cut the ride in half and will complete the north island as planned and pick up on the south at a later date (watch this space!)

It’s not ideal and pushes back on my big stretch goal of riding the country in six weeks, but three still qualifies as ‘madness’ in the eyes of most.

Pain in the arse

Trying to find comfort in a world of pain

The saddle is not doing it for me. After wiggling the saddle and my butt around I just couldn’t find any comfort in the brooks after an hour into a ride. I’ve thrown the towel in and purchased a leather saddle, a Selle-Anatomica T Series. I’ve used a Brooks leather on my old Kona so I know what I’m in for.


Instant relief. Jumped on rode over a 100km without the pain. It will stretch over time but at least I can comfortably do the distance.