Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Post Script

Would I do it again?

  • Probably, but the laden bikes took some of the joy out of the (uphill) single track sections. Perhaps next time I will have a super light dual suspension 29'er!?

Would I change anything?

  • Yes - I would have more hand position options - aero bars or bar ends. My one lasting injury is tingling in my palms and two little fingers on both hands, a lack of finger dexterity and weakness in the thumb. Basically damage to the ulna nerve - hopefully it disappears soon.
  • It would be nice to travel lighter, but I enjoyed being free to sleep where I ended up at nightfall and I was far more comfortable than those in bivy bags when it rained. Also as a meteorologist of 35 years I have to say we enjoyed a remarkably good run  of weather for the trip - so although I may not have used every item I took I would always have to take them - just in case.
Would I try and do it faster?
  • Probably not. I could only do this by biking longer hours and this would certainly take away from the overall enjoyment. I really enjoyed the longer stops at Arthur's Pass and Murchison.
Best bits:
  • Catching up with and sharing 5 days with Tor, plus interludes with Owen and Mick.
  • Tail wind and clear blues skies through the Alps.
  • Great dinner at Murchison
  • The ride through the back of lake Brunner to Stillwater and Queen Charlotte drive
  • A night in Big River Hut
  • Being able to eat as many pies as I could and still lose weight!
  • Texts from friends following my progress
Not so good:
  • Bonking on Upcot saddle.
  • Grovelling up the Porika and Maungatapu.
  • Sandflies at the start of the Wharfedale.
  • Poorly explained entrance to McDonald's farm.
Overall it was a great adventure and has rekindled my enthusiasm for biking overnight into the back country of NZ - thanks Simon and all those who helped put it together.

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