Cotter Micro-Adventure

On Friday night I rode out to the Cotter for a night in my bivvy bag, and then rode back through to Canberra the long way. It was an excellent little micro-adventure and well worth the crazy rush trying pack up on Thursday night.

Can’t think of anything else to say really, so enjoy a photo or ten.

Mt Aspiring Hut Walk

After my walk along the Greenstone-Caples Track I met up with my friend Tol from SmilingLeaf for some more adventures. We headed up to Wanaka and then after some messing around for food (again) set out towards Mt Aspiring Hut. Now this was only a short walk of a few hours each way, with huts and such so we took it easy, carried some wine and dips and crackers etc. Really it was quite splendid and absolutely spectacular!

After the walk we headed back to Queenstown and hung out a bit more, with some ducks fo company.

Planning a new style of Adventure

SO…

I have bushwalked, cycle toured, canyoned, canoe toured, lived out of a 4WD and a whole lot of other things but this January I have committed myself to a new style of adventure. It isn’t new technique-wise but this adventure means gear weight and equipment generally will be more of a consideration than my previous trips. What am I do? I am going to walk a section of the Te Araroa!

The section I have selected to do is at the top of New Zealand’s South Island, from Ship Cove to St Arnaud.

Now the walking doesn’t inherently worry me, nor does 18 days tramping by myself (though if anyone wants to come you are more than welcome to join me!)

What worries me is the fatigue of carrying a pack and knowing that weight will have a significant impact on how my body handles a long walk, and then combining that with the fact that New Zealand’s weather is notoriously variable and wet. I think basically my inner gear freak is having a field day worrying about what gear to carry!

I am torn between taking a tarp, bivvy and bug net or a small one man tent (which I don’t own currently).

I am sure I will write more on this, but any thoughts or ideas would be more than welcome!

 

 

Rams Head Snowshoe Trip

On Saturday Tol (of SmilingLeaf fame) and I headed into the Snow for an end of season adventure. Her amazing write up of our adventure – with awesome photos of yours truly can be found below!

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Reunited with my outdoors buddy the Graceful Cyclist, after too many months apart, we headed to the Snowys. My plan for months had been to do an overnight snowshoe trip. However, the forecast for t…

Source: Rams Head Snowshoe Trip

Middle Rhine

So here is a first installment of the middle Rhine. Everything I bitched about for the Lower Rhine forget and go to the middle. The castles are so plentiful I have a sore neck from constantky looking around, I have stopped so many times to look in awe at where they built the things. On top of that there are the churches, natural landscape and humourously translated descriptions of why the area is significant.
I am still a little low as settling back into solo riding and long days of either rain or burning sun (seriously i want a refund from my skin’s designer) but rhe scenery is amazing and the track has mostly been away from main roads which has helped a lot.

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A few weeks of “normal life”

In the two weeks since P and I got back to Sydney after bring in Fiji life has been pretty close to normal. I have been in the office (yay!), been for a bush walk, spent some time at site and dropped through Canberra, Cowra, Orange and the Blue Mtns. I suppose that makes life pretty good really!

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Jeusalem Bay walking with Mike

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Mike on Brooklyn Dam wall

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Cowra Japanese gardens

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Cowra Japanese gardens. I love the contrast of native and japanese plantings

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Orange, or blue

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Mum and Dad on our little walk

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Bungendore hills. I want to go to Wales!

Gear

One of the commonly asked about is what gear I use and what I carry  on a cycle tour. On this page I aim to cover the basics of what we carry with a few little rants about things I think are important.

Bikes

I like bikes, and I like to have the right one so I have Surlys. Surly makes big heavy steel framed bikes, and then they fit them with big heavy steel racks and everything ends up being heavy. The upside of this is that you can carry an immense amount of stuff and never worry about hurting your bike, or as experience has shown you can be run over at low speed and hurt the car more than your bike. The downside of this is that the Long Haul Trucker weighs in at 21kg before it is loaded, and for a longer trip can easily reach 50kg on the road. Thank god for gears!

My Surly loaded up for an 8 day ride.

My Surly loaded up for an 8 day ride.

The ECR

So for my current trip I am using a different Surly, an ECR which I have taken to mean Everything Combined Really, but Surly themselves have since defined as Escape Common Routine. Eitherway it is an awesome bike and it what I recently spent five months riding around Europe.

Panniers

I use Ortlieb Panniers. No particular reason other than that I like them and I could order 7 at once when I wanted to get our panniers. They are super tough and very reflective so I don’t think anyone could have a bad word to say about them.

To be specific I have back-roller plus and front roller plus models with a large handlebar back. I also got the map case that fits onto the handlebar back which has proven to be a great investment because it is just so convenient.

I also use a Bike Bag Dude bar roll on the front of my bike to carry my sleeping bag because otherwise it just takes up too much useful space in my panniers!

Wet Weather Gear

Over shoes! I don’t really have much else to say because raincoats are raincoats and safety vests are safety vests, but if you are planning on riding a lot invest in some water proof overshoes to keep you feet warm and dry. We both use Gore City Overshoes which are great.

I’ve previously invested in a pair of dutch RainLegs which are a great invention. They are a waterproof rain cover for the tops of your legs, that leave the underside of your legs free to sweat and stay cool.

For my latest trip I have bought some brilliant rain gear from Showers Pass who make some rather cool gear such as rain jackets and pants specifically for cycling.

Useful Links

If you want to read more come back and read again one day, or go to the following links which provide excellent advice on gear.

http://estherwarren.wordpress.com/equipment/

http://estherwarren.wordpress.com/equipment-the-hardware/

http://northernwalker.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/cycle-touring-iceland-gear-list/