The Greater San Fransisco Area

Continuing my quest to travel the world.

It has been my quest to cycle around the world for a very long time, although I have ticked off 16 countries to date, I still haven't achieved the ultimate goal of cycling the world. I cannot wait any longer for the conditions to be perfect, age is catching up with me, so it is now or never.

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia
After our trip to Vietnam in 2012.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Special Airfares.

Our friend Di – who is also our travel agent, told me she had found some really special airfares to the USA, the only catch was that they had to be paid for the next day. How do you work out dates for a trip that you don’t know how long it will take?
I have all the maps.
 Having just left my job, I no longer had the ability to save and my savings would have to cover the tickets, and these special fares meant that Niel and I both had our fares paid for. But again how do I work out dates? Flexible dated tickets were out of my price range – I had to work out an itinerary I had all the maps for the Trans Am route with the mileage on them. I absolutely love staring at maps, so I stared, added up kilometers, stared some more, counted more kilometers, adjusted and tweaked and when I finished staring and counting I came up with a challenging but realistic itinerary with a day off programmed in every 2000kms to rest and recover (well I’m not going to win it am I?) and 5 emergency days up my sleeve in case of mechanical problems, injury or illness or bad weather. If I don’t use them cycling then I’ll use them at the end of the event. Then there is the few days flying there and getting to the start at Astoria, and getting back to the west coast in time to fly home. In addition to all this I had to bear in mind that I had to get home before Niel left for his adventure in the first week of August.
A lovely field of blue flowers among the Hop vines.
 So now I am committed, no more procrastinating. Actually I am glad as I can finally get my mind into the right head space, being ‘between jobs’ gives me the time I need to train properly and summer has finally decided it is here for good. But now it is Christmas time, the sun is shining and it is the longest day, what have we got planned? A kayak and swim down at our local beach – a typical kiwi Christmas.
Cycling past a do it yourself Nativity scene - Kiwi style.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Around Lake Taupo

I've just completed the around Lake Taupo bike race,  and all my cycle racing friends are obsessed with my time. They are amazed that it took me 8 hours and 45 mins to ride over 38 big hills on a 160km course where only 40kms wasn't a gale force head or side wind. Frankly I'm very proud of that time., I'm not a great hill climber but I paced myself so that I never had to stop or walk, and I only put my foot on the ground three times- once to fix a mechanical problem,  and twice to have a drink from the drink stations.
It has been 20 years since I last did the race, and it has changed. It used to be about ordinary people who wanted to be challenged by a long ride,  but now I think every racing cyclist in  NZ was there and hardly any ordinary people. All you hear about is the top times and the records that were broken.  I believe it's the people who rode unicycles the whole way around,  or the kids riding it with their father,  or the 79 old woman who completed the solo loop of the lake that made the event.
In the 20 years that I last did the race,  my body has also changed. No matter how much riding you do, you will never be as strong as you were 20 years ago.  And a 54 year old woman will never be as strong as a 54 year old man.  I feel like saying to my cycle racing friends - could their mothers or wives ride 160kms in gale force winds over 30 big hills?  No?  Then stop asking me my time because it's irrelevant.