Sunday, February 5, 2012

The First Day is the Hardest

Like they say. They say that, right? I hope they say that.

Rented a bike. It's nice and lightweight, but then I loaded it up with my 12 lbs of gear, so that's a new challenge. It's got drop handlebars. That's new for me too. Oh, and "motorway" means "highway with no bikes." That's somewhat terrifyingly new! The good news is, folks honking at me weren't just a bunch of jagoffs.

Still, I rode into a headwind on a boring road for the first day. Only 60km, but it felt like more. I got a flat tire.

Slept in a converted rail car. That was pretty neat. There are lots of hostels (or "backpackers") here in NZ, and that is really nice. USA, get on that.

Second day went better; I made it 78km up to Hanmer Springs. At about the 50km mark, I really got into it. Phew! I'd hate to be in for a 10 day ride if it was all going to be kind of crummy.

Or rather, I guess it's all going to be kind of crummy, but sometimes it's okay. When I asked my friend Pete about the "runner's high" once, he said that there is no magic runner's high where it all of a sudden feels good. And yet, he likes running anyway. Something to keep track of; ask me how I'm doing in a week.

Then I met my friends Marty and Jackie (from Dharamsala) and Marty's parents, which was quite nice, and now here I am, resting a day in Hanmer. So all's well!


  1. I googled images for hanmer and saw lots of pretty scenes- many involving people in hot springs looking like snow monkeys, against dramatic backgrounds of trees and hills. Also a tall bridge to bike over.
    Hope you took advantage of the pools!
    Have a good rest.

  2. It must be hammer time. Seeing new scenery this time? Seen the Southern Cross yet?

  3. On a stop sign outside the town, someone put a sticker that said "Hammer time". I'm surprised nobody's made stickers that said "Hanmer time" yet.

    I did go in the pools. They were crowded, but warm. The scenery is kind of like we've driven through. Still no southern cross.