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Summer Down Under

Summer in February is hard to get used to. It's pretty cool wearing shorts in the middle of winter, uh I mean summer. My body clock is having trouble adjusting to the switch in seasons. I keep thinking, "what a mild winter!" I'm having a tough time thinking about doing lots of long rides, because at this is the time of year, I normally am out doing my best to stay upright on ice covered roads with a "studded tire attired" fixed gear, and Nordic skiing. The body just wants to take a break from cycling. But this is summer, so I better do some.

I am still doing some work for a nearby bike shop, and one of the tasks is to help out with an upcoming ride. I've offered to help maintain a database of riders, as well as post the results to the website. But the cool thing is we get to ride the event too. Like many kiwi events, it's a one way affair, with a remote start. So being the folks we are, John and I rode out to the start the night before. We had a great time on this ride and made some friends too. One of the really cool things was meeting Denis and Frith. We knew the names from an Internet mailing lists for tandems. Frith had posted some very entertaining race reports a few years back. At the time, they were living on the North Island, so it hadn't occurred to me to look for them in Nelson. But just a few days before this ride, Mike, who owns the bike shop told me they were in Nelson. It was a thrill to meet another tandem team who had similar interest, and riding styles. We rode along and talked for most of the ride, and have gotten together for a few more rides since. They've shown us some local unsealed roads to get us away from the maniac kiwi drivers which has really helped our enjoyment of riding here.

We were talking with them about our desire to do a loop of Rainbow and Molesworth Roads. Frith said Molesworth was closing soon, so we should do it now, so we did. On the heals of that trip, came the 440 km Christchurch to Nelson.

By the time we finished Christchurch to Nelson, we were pretty pooped, but next on the list was the Rainbow Rage. So we decided we needed to start doing a bit more offroad and gravel road riding. After Denis and Frith showed us some roads in the Hira Forest, we had made several trips back there. We also made some trips further afield, including a loop with lots of gravel road and a section of single track on the Archer Track.

The weather has been absolutely unbeatable, and I just can't emphasise how awesome the scenery is, so I'll just share a few pictures to demonstrate.

In between rides, and working on our website, the bike shop site and one for a local bike club, we've been working on the house.


The New Year