- 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.
- 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.