Monday, January 17, 2011

Sort out the details later - making the big plans

The summer of (not) cycling
I came into this summer with the best intentions - it was to be the "summer or cycling".  Making best use of the long days and warm evenings to clock up some serious time on the bikes, to launch into 2011 feeling a million bucks as a mile eating climb destroying audax machine.  Didn't really work out that way in reality...  

November rained most of the month.  December it rained all month too, although I managed to get about 900km in, riding around in mud, slop and rain.  January rolls around and it's not been any better - torrential rain, floods, and now more searing heat.  The best I've managed so far this year is a paltry total of 261km.  Sitting around doing nothing was fun for the first two months, but now it's getting a bit dull.  

I've tried everything to keep my cycling spirits up during this time: talking about cycling, texting my mates about cycling, reading about cycling, thinking about cycling, even starting this second rate cycling blog.  On the first  day of the new year, I did something I'd been thinking about for months, and pulled the trigger on my next big bike adventure...

Land of the long white etc
Yes that's right, I'm going back to New Zealand.  This time for a tour of the southern part of the South Island by bicycle, and Jer is coming too.  As I write this it's been almost a year since I last set bicycle wheels on that part of the cosmos, and I miss it a lot.  Yes, I need once again to feel the raw excitement of sitting in an airport lounge, waiting to jet off to ride a new destination.

"I am having the greatest day of my life"

Of course it's not all about looking thrilled in airport lounges, when I'm in a foreign nation I also enjoy looking enthused and interested at local ale houses.

"Unless you are complimenting me on my jaunty cycle themed shirt, I don't care"

And in my classic "shoot first and ask questions later" style I've booked the plane tickets, but have no idea about any other details, least of all how to get from the pale, indoorsman I have become, to a hardcore cycle touring camping freakout guy.

Making the big plans
So the plan is simple and looks easy enough on the face of it.  I need to get back into form as a cyclist, and also back into form as a minimalist camping guy.  

For the cycling part I'm very lucky to be surrounded by some great riders, some of whom ride at elite level.  I'm also very fortunate and grateful that Iain at OC Coaching is helping me out with a training plan for this trip and my audax riding, keeping me motivated and heading in the right direction.  He is also usually up for 2hr coffee catch ups on a regular basis so that is a massive bonus.

For the minimalist camping guy part, Jer and I have a series of short trips of a few days each in QLD and NSW to figure out our systems, try the gear and see how this whole thing is going to work.

Of course, I plan on documenting the whole thing, so I'll need to work on my writing skills as well.  Expect blogs about our rides, our gear, adventures along the way, and any other stuff we happen to find amusing along the way.  I'll also keep writing the odd freelance article for cycling magazines, with the help of Jer's photography.

Back to business
Now that we've made a whole bunch of commitments in public arena, we should probably put in some kind of effort to keep them.  More training, more riding, more audax events, more camping, more writing, more photography - all sounds good and rewarding.

I'll start immediately...

...starting tomorrow.


  1. Great blog gents!

  2. I liked the bit where you were in the airport lounge - any plans to do more posts on waiting lounge moments??