May 03, 2019

Cycle Touring in New Zealand

New Zealand Cycle Touring Routes

This blog includes details of the cycle touring routes that I have ridden over the past few years.
The objective of this blog is to provide cycle tourers with information on the best cycle touring routes in New Zealand.

From my experience there are different types of cycle tourists. Some are keen on achieving goals such as riding from the North Cape to the Bluff while others may concentrate on seeing the best scenic parts of New Zealand. Which ever group you fit in this blog should provide you with valuable information to enable you to plan your route.

Part of the enjoyment of cycle touring is riding on roads that have adequate shoulders or have low traffic volumes and the blog includes strategies to avoid busy roads that have high traffic volumes and inadequate provision for cyclists,

In planning your cycling route it is important to have an idea of what to expect on the ride and based on the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words images of what you will see on the cycle routes have been included. The route descriptions are not intended to provide a turn by turn route description.

To give you a general idea of what to expect when cycling around New Zealand the links below show images and descriptions of some of the rides that I have done. I have included the Nevis and Molesworth rides in the South Island. These rides are on shingle roads and while the scenery is magnificent there are some significant climbs. You can stick to the tarmac and still see lots of great scenery.

Happy pedaling!

Tour of Wairarapa

I recently completed a 9-day tour of the Wairarapa which had some very interesting rides incorporated in it. Some of the ride highlights included:
  •  Ride to Featherston and then over the Rimutuka Rail Trail and then back to Lake Ferry. We got a ride to the western side of the Rimutuka Rail trail so that we could return back over the rail trail.
  • Lake Ferry to Cape Palliser and back 
  • Lake Ferry to Martinborough
  • Martinborough to Masterton climbing Admirals Hill.
  • Masterton to Riversdale
  • Riversdale to Castlepoint.
  • Castlepoint back to Masterton. 
 The highlights for me included the ride from Lake Ferry out to Cape Palliser and the ride over the Admirals hill returning from Martinborough to Masterton. Admirals Hill is a gem. It was a reasonably hard ride but very scenic especially on such a brilliant day.

Wairarapa Tour maps and Images

As a member of the Auckland Cycle Touring Association I take advantage of the expertise of the members in designing really interesting cycling rides with like minded cyclists all at a budget cost.

March 19, 2018

Flying with a Bike

There are some important things to remember when travelling by air with your bike.

  • The first thing you need to know is the policy of the airline you are travelling with in relation to the carriage of your bike and in particular to the weight maximum allowed per passenger. Their sporting goods carriage policy can usually be found on the airlines website.  Not all airlines have the same weight restrictions so check that the airline you are thinking of using has a reasonable maximum for each passenger before booking.
  • Airlines usually require bikes to be carried in a bike box while some airlines are not so strict and will allow bikes to be wrapped in plastic. This is good option when on the return journey as it may be difficult to source a bike box from a bike shop. While my wrapping does not look that good it has served its purpose well with the advantage that it less likely to be thrown as is the case with a bike box in my experience.
  •  It is very important to weight your bike and all your panniers and to know your exact combined weight before you get to the airport to ensure that you do not exceed the airline overall weight limit. If you exceed the weight restriction the charges on the excess will be very high. Of course if you take to much gear you will also have to carry all of your gear on your bike which is another strong incentive to take the minimum in gear on your bike tour.
  • You need to include all of your bike gear such as pumps and tools and cooking gear in the panniers and not in your carry on luggage. If they are in the carry on luggage they will almost certainly be confiscated by airport security. And of course you cannot carry cooking gas bottles or similar on aircraft at all. You need to research the availability of these items at the destination where you start your cycle tour.

Bike wrapped in plastic with panniers bag

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