Stats done on a few days:
Trip dist: 190km
Ride time: 11h
Avg speed: 17.27km/h
Max speed: 65km/h
Total distance: 1866km
After Raglan, I headed off to The Big Smoke, this is how New Zealanders like to call Auckland. The closest I was riding to Auckland the biggest the highway was. There is even now section where bicycles are not allowed anymore. To reach Auckland I followed the great south road, which is close to the highway but almost desert.
I arrived on Saturday afternoon at my Whanau in Otahuhu where I’ve been welcomed warmly as usual. It’s so good to see them all again! I just have the time to unload the bike not even take a shower and we head off to a NRL match. Lewin, on his skateboard and me on my bike. NRL is a bit like Rugby but with 13 players. They get 6 tackles allowed to go from one side to another and put an essay. If they don’t reach the last line they have to give the ball to the other team. It’s as well called footy and it originally comes from Australia. I’ve had my first beer after two weeks. That was good!
The second day we’ve had a good Jam session that I recorded for my next video. Lewin and his dad, Dale are really good guitar players and sang some Maori songs. You might see it in my next video!!
On Monday I’m going a bit further North (15km) to Sarah’s place where I received my Brooks Saddle! I’m so happy! First impression, it’s a hard leather but it will be moulded soon to my bum and should be way more comfortable than the actual seat. We’ve had some wine and food, and a delicious cake, watching all together the movie Meru that I recommend warmly to all mountaineering lovers.
The day after I’ve cycled to Albany where I stayed for two nights at Ross’s sister, Kaye and her daughter Megan. I left them 5 days before in Raglan and here we meet again! In addition, I met Erin the son, Bradley, Megan’s boyfriend and Quentin the dad. Quentin is really into camping and build a lot of stoves from cans. It’s impressive all the different models he made. It’s really lightweight and quite efficient! A really good option for light hiking. I tried Quentin’s inflatable mattress from the brand Exped and I have to say it’s awesome! I really have to get one myself! It will make my nights way smoother. My actual is great but 3 mm is definitely too thin and in addition mine is pierced somewhere so in the morning it’s totally flat.
I’m taking advantage to be near Albany where a big shopping canter is located to buy some stuffs for my bike. This time I improved my pedalling with a pair of SPD pedals and a pair of shoes to go with. Once back at home I’ve tried to remove the pedals but no chance at all. I even broke my multi tool…. After more than an hour trying to remove the current pedals I give up as I have other things to do. I took some interior and exterior photographs of the studio that the Taylors family want to rent and then cooked a quiche leeks bacon for the night BBQ at the beach.
Before the sunset we headed to the beach 1 or 2km from the house. It’s just a big slope… I prefer not to think to the way back as it looks like I’m gonna struggle. This spot is lovely, right by the water with two fire places It looks like it’s gonna be a good night with good food, good wine and good sceneries!
The way back was finally easier than what I expected. I made it back quite quickly.
Today, I’m leaving, but before I have to go back to the city center to get my multitool replaced and my actual pedals removed. Torpedo 7 is a great store as they replaced me the multi tool without asking me any question. In the workshop, they tried to remove the pedals but no luck at the first try. They put degreaser and special products to help it go but nothing to do… still stuck. One of the pedals finally went off. We decided to drill the other one… no success. We removed the crank, grinded the pedal axis and with a big pince finally removed it. I spent almost 1 hour and a half in the shop… I’m getting late… I still have to post my tripod that I sold and to buy a new one smaller. I cycle then to NZ couriers to send it to Rotorua and then go to Camera gear shop, which is 5 km south from Albany.
Here I discover a new brand from China SIRUI T-1005X I’m impressed because in a smaller design it looks pretty much like my old one Mefoto but it’s like if they read in my mind and fixed all the defaults of my Mefoto. This tripod is quite cheap in comparison to my old one, about half the price and can hold 10kg instead of 12kg for a weight of 1.1kg instead of 1.6kg. I keep saving some weight!
I will present you the tripod in a review soon. It looks like the ideal tripod that I’ve seen! I still have to use it to see how it last in the time.
I finally start to ride out of the city at 2:30pm I will cycle until I find a good place to spend the night. I’m lucky, I’ve found an amazing place by two water tank on top of a hill. There is a chain in the entry so no cars can come and there is no tags or drawings ont the tanks so it means this place will be safe and quiet. I can even hear the sound of the waves crashing down the cliff a bit further.
While I was in Albany I bought some fuellite that I now use instead of Kerozene and my MSR Whisperlite works way better. I’ll finally can create some cooking recipes!!
Tomorrow I’m aiming to reach Whangarei so I should better sleep.