02 Jun

HAYWAY Episode 43 – Upper Hutt, NZ

That’ll do.

After almost 16,000km and 13 months on the road we have arrived home in the Hutt Valley of New Zealand.

We arrived in Wellington Harbour on a beautiful day and formed a peloton of friends and family to ride 30km to Baden’s sister’s house in Upper Hutt to signal the end of our journey.

It has been a weird ol’ month since we’ve been back. Baden really misses the cycle touring lifestyle while Shelley’s enjoying being inside again.

Thanks for listening to our series of podcasts. They’ve been fun to make. We have loved recording our memories in this form and hopefully you have enjoyed them too.

Watch this space for future podcast projects but for now farewell!

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Cycle touring in New Zealand

03 May

We’re Famous in the Hutt Valley

Cycle touring in New Zealand

If you have a letterbox in Upper Hutt, New Zealand, you’ll find a copy of the Upper Hutt Leader inside on Wednesday (NZ Time).

The front page should feature a couple of grubby cycle tourists who arrived home over the weekend.

For those of you who don’t live in Upper Hutt then please move here. We need more friends. Before you pack your worldly possessions and set sail for the green grass of the valley, you can read the story online here.

It’s been great being home and we have ridden our bikes every day so far. We just can’t shake this bug yet. Riding our bikes just feels normal.

Our homecoming podcast should be online later this week or early next. There will probably be one more podcast where we review our trip, some of our gear and muse on our future plans.

We also want to provide the cycle touring community with a decent gear review portal so keep coming back and hopefully we will have extensive reviews of how our kit list stacked up after 13 months on the road.

02 May

HAYWAY episode 42 – Picton, NZ

We’re almost a stone’s throw away from home in this week’s How Are You? Where Are You? podcast.

A lot of road has been traveled between Christchurch and the top of the South Island and we’ve been blessed to meet some brilliant people as well as enjoying outstanding autumn weather.

We thought we had left all the beautiful scenery behind when we left the West Coast but the mainland has continued to delight especially when riding the lonely Rainbow Track through the country’s biggest farm. The weather tried to spoil the party that day but like what has happened so many times on this journey, the following day’s bright and brilliant sun erased any memories of struggle 24 hours earlier.

Two of the most moving things to happen to us since we arrived back in the homeland occurred on this final leg. One was a visit to Baden’s old stomping ground of Christchurch to see all the positivity to arise from the trauma of a devastating earthquake in 2011. The other was a visit to the Te Awhina Marae, the Maori meeting house in Motueka where we were privileged to be formally welcomed on but also to hear cycling comrade Nick sing.

Peanut butter is the fuel that has kept our wheels turning since we arrived in New Zealand so we went to inspect the Pic’s factory in Stoke for any performance-enhancing qualities.

Oh and something shat on Baden’s face.

Rediscovering Christchurch

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: Rita Angus’s ‘Cass’ at Christchurch Art Gallery; Shelley and Baden on route to Hurunui; our digs in Governor’s Bay; brilliantly shot photo with Baden and buddies Katie and Conan; Baden and his other mate Lola

Riding the Rainbow Track

Cycle Touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: Rainbow Track day 2; Nick and Guk smash a stream crossing; Fowler Hut interior; Nick tries to show us the way to go; break at Fowler Hut; on top of Island Saddle, NZ’s highest accessible road pass.

Motueka Inspires

Cycle Touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: Motueka mural; Sean from Te Awhina Marae; the famous “Moist Maker” sandwich; Baden and Nick ride the backroads to Motueka; Te Awhina Marae.

Final Days on the Road

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Left to right from top: Monica, the tour leader at the Pics factory; something shat on Baden’s face; a provincial curry in Picton; illegal drinking in Picton; day 2 on the Rainbow Track; Rainbow Track river crossing; dog whistle; movie watching in Nelson; Nick and Pikiora at Te Awhina Marae; Sedgemere Hut on the Rainbow Track

Our Final Leg in the South Island

19 Apr

HAYWAY Episode 41 – Arthur’s Pass, NZ

The West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island covers the distance between the two major cities in the North Island, Wellington and Auckland, but this part of the country only has 33,000 thousand residents and bugger all cell phone coverage.

This week’s How Are You? Where Are You? podcast follows our journey up the coast and introduces some of the people we met along the way. All of them outstanding citizens.

This trip home is blowing any stereotypes we had about the people of this land out of the water. We have ridden into big walls of kindness, laughter, wisdom and friendship.

We visit some Greenstone carvers, glacier guides, a gold miner, a fisher and do our best to give some sort of verbal justice to the magical scenery, all while coming under attack by the wildlife in Arthur’s Pass National Park.

The Ride Up From Haast

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: up and over tiny Haast Pass; a Coaster’s rules; Belted Galloways, our favourite breed of cattle; this way on the West Coast Wilderness Trail; riding through native bush

Life on the Coast

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: the salmon truck and Dirk arrive at Lake Ianthe; salmon released; Baden and gold miner Des; water reservoir near Kumara; farm house at Whataroa; Des and Shelley inspect the mine

Home of Pounamu

Cycle Touring in New Zealand

Left to right then down: Stan McCullum, master pounamu carver; the mighty Arahura, the greenstone river; Amy’s pounamu; Jade cutting blade; our hosts Jules and Mark in Fox Glacier

The Majesty of Arthur’s Pass

From top: up towards the viaduct on Arthur's Pass; Waimakariri Valley; watch out for the cheeky Kea; New Zealand fern; Cass railway station

From top: up towards the viaduct on Arthur’s Pass; Waimakariri Valley; watch out for the cheeky Kea; New Zealand fern; Cass railway station

Our Journey Up the West Coast

14 Apr

HAYWAY Episode 40 – Cardrona, NZ

Like the hopeful miners of the 1860s New Zealand Gold Rush, we too struck the precious metal while cycling through central Otago.

In this 40th episode of the How Are You? Where Are You podcast we follow in the footsteps, or even the cycle tracks, of the kiwi pioneers along the mighty Clutha Mata-Au River where we find signs of the bygone days.

What the hills surrounding the Clutha lack in altitude, they make up for in stature. They hem you in as you ride along their valleys.

Baden hones his sheep farming skills in a visit to a high country sheep farm and enters a heated discussion with Farmer Jack.

The week of cycling ends over a bottle of central Otago Pinot Noir while relaxing at the Cardrona Hotel, one of the country’s most iconic pubs. We reunite with cycling comrade Nick who decided to cross the Crown Range with us to be hooked up with nice food and good times.

Music Credit: Southern Man by Denis Henderson

Sharing the Road

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: Baden and Shelley in a reenactment of the gold rush times in Arrowtown; plaque marking the site of the first gold find in central Otago; asking motorists to not run us over; Shell cycles the Clutha Gold Trail; a tree blocks the trail’s path; can’t get enough of the mighty Clutha.

Over the Crown Range to Cardrona

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: Baden and Shelley on top of Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest sealed road pass; The cycling couple grapple with the gradients; almost beer o’clock at Cardrona Hotel; seafood platter and Speights; Baden and Shelley as mere specks on the road.

The Clutha Valley

Cycle Touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top: High country sheep farming up the back of Shingle Creek; Clutha Mata-Au River revelling in fine sedimentation; it was hard to find which way to go in Clyde; Farmer Jack surveys the flock

Our Ride From Gore to Cardrona

04 Apr

HAYWAY Episode 39 – Balclutha, New Zealand

We became members of a cycle touring gang in this week’s How Are You? Where Are You? podcast.

As we headed into the remote Catlins region of southern New Zealand, we were joined by a couple of good buggers from the States.

Brian and Nick taught us a great deal and we had a brilliant time riding through some of the most stunning landscapes these isles have to offer.

Laughs and cheese rolls were shared on the journey and Nick’s mechanical nous came to the fore when Baden’s bike Fausto suffered his most catastrophic failure of the trip. A gallant attempt to resuscitate him an in impromptu ER in a woolshed was in vain, leaving the pair stranded in the wilderness until a kind Russian family came to the rescue.

There were some giant hugs handed out in Balclutha when we went our separate ways. The Americans drawn by the city lights of cosmopolitan Dunedin while the local kiwis sniffed the smell of moonshine in the Hokonui Hills.

Gang Riding in the Catlins

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: spotting the Yellow-Eyed penguin in Curio Bay; the same bird on our banknotes; more sage advice from Brian and Nick; riding to New Zealand’s actual southern-most tip at Slope Point

Cycle Touring in Heartland New Zealand

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: sheep rule the roads; Gore would like to be known as the Brown Trout fishing capital of the world; Shannon serves up the moonshine; Gore operates a No Gumboots Inside policy; Cheese Rolls, typical kiwi grub.

31 Mar

HAYWAY Episode 38 – Rakiura, (Stewart Island) NZ

We’ve made it to New Zealand and without trying to sound deliberately cheesy, it’s blowing our minds.

Our journey so far has seen us arriving in Queenstown in the South Island (Te Waipounamu) and riding out into the Central Otago wilderness.

We visited the magic of Fiordland and pedalled into the land of good buggers in Southland.

This was recorded this a few days ago on Rakiura or Stewart Island – a beautiful blip of land at the southern tip of Aotearoa.

Life in New Zealand is expensive but we’ve been loving tucking into the Jaffa Thins and meat pies and covering our eyes when it comes to doing the budget.

Being tourists in our own country is a weird experience, especially when it comes to taking local advice from a French guy sleeping in the back of an old van.

Arriving into Queenstown

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top: Baden goes walking in the back country; was great to see Mum Brenda again; Glenorchy train station; the views over Lake Wakatipu; ready to ride again.

Cycling Walter Peak to Mavora Lakes

Cycle touring in New Zealand

From top left: Dinner time somewhere up the Von River, taking the TSS Earnslaw over to Walter Peak Station; Shell's shoes are off for a river crossing; Shell navigates another cattle stop; one of the best campsites of the trip.

Milford Sound and Western Southland

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top left: where the road ends at Stirling Point Bluff; Stefan, the legendary Bulgarian psychiatrist; Clifden suspension bridge; Manapouri cheese rolls; Milford Sound or Piopiotahi.

Tour de Rakiura

Cycle touring in New Zealand

Clockwise from top: Baden and Fausto explored all the roads in Rakiura; bird man Matt; Baden tucks into a dozen oysters and a beer; Paterson Inlet in Rakiura; don't run over the kiwis.

The Riding Has Been Superb

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