Leg 10 – Hastings to Rotorua

Some people will be aware that I have now actually finished cycling and am actually on my way back to Blighty after a few days in Australia, visiting family and seeing the sights.

It’s a bit of a spoiler as far as the blog goes but I am trying to still keep things in chronological order! This was one of the toughest weeks I faced and I wasn’t even sure I was going to make it through.

One of my favourite things from this week was the silver poplar trees. I can’t remember which day I first noticed them and apparently they’re seen as a weed but I thought the silver undersides of the leaves fluttering in the breeze were absolutely stunning.

On with the blog! Don’t forget to sponsor!

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Leg 5 – Fox Glacier to Glenorchy

**Don’t forget to sponsor**

I have been cycling for over a month! This seems crazy to me. It’s one of those situations where all at once I feel as though I have just begun but also like I have been doing this forever. Each day brings with it fresh challenges and entertainment, I feel set in some kind of routine and aware of my capabilities yet I am always exited to see what the next part of the adventure will bring.

This week has been the most diverse so far and I am only a few days away from southern tip of the South Island now! If you are time limited, head straight for the pictures nearer the end of the blog. So exciting!!

Sorry for the delay but I haven’t been able to get internet at all.

Route Map B5

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Leg 4 – Nelson to Fox Glacier

Well! It’s been a very industrious week in terms of cycling. The Google map isn’t quite accurate, I don’t think. Though I have cycled 364 miles (ish) this week, I have climbed a massive 24578 feet (7491m). I definitely feel stronger – my legs feel like steel – and I have been feeling more positive generally! AND I HAVE HIT 1000 MILES!!! Hooray.

The overall feeling for Leg 4 is probably wet. I’m not sure I have really had any philosophical awakenings this week. Though I am now contemplating the possibility of short term Warmshowers/Couchsurfing hosts on my return to London while I try and work out where in the city I want to live… Maybe I’ll remember something super exciting as I am typing! It’s probably going to be a bit briefer than previous posts but some fun photos anyway 🙂 I did read this funny article about passing wind whilst running… work for cycling. If so, I should definitely keep eating the dried apricots…

Route Map

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Leg 3 – Waitarere Beach to Nelson

**Sponsorship going well but donations still accepted!!**

Oops… A couple of confessions or articles missed from the last instalment.

Firstly, I forgot to say about my significant increase in falls in comparison to my rides pre New Zealand. Well. You may remember me saying about being able to unclip as Bree and her husband were proffering ‘Side Challenger Mix’ out of their open window. This was intended to lead nicely into my realisation of my own stupidity. As I began to explain to the travellers the details of my problems, all became clear… ‘it just seems that if I clip in one side, it’s impossible to unclip!’ I began… ahhh. That would be because you bought two sided pedals, dear, but only turned the tension down on one half. Ooops. My old boss, Janet, referred to situations such as these as, ‘talking to Grandma’ – no sooner do you voice the details than you work out the solution. Obviously, I turned down the tension on the remaining halves and have had fewer problems – if my bike is tumbling, I am able to clip out and leave it to its own devices.

Secondly, I completely forgot my milestone! By the time I reached Waitarere Beach, I had covered over 500 miles, over 800km!

Also. I apologise profusely for typos, incorrectly placed punctuation and glaringly obvious repetition of words. I’m under time pressure and also the laptop casually moves the cursor to random places within my writing on occasion and I miss mistakes. It infuriates me when I do cast an eye over previous blogs. I’m sure you’ll forgive me!

I’m going to try and embed a Strava widget on my blog but if you want to follow me, I think you can use this link.

Route Map

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Leg 2 – Oparau Roadhouse to Waitarere Beach

Some notes on the blog – I am converting to legs rather than weeks as I am not sure how many days will be in each! Then I will keep the cycling days numbered consecutively, which will be fun for me! Also, my writing style will vary from blog to blog, paragraph to paragraph depending on the mood I was in as I started tapping away.

Route Map

Over the week, my mind has wandered and I wanted to note the following things… Do not judge a nation of people by the way its people drive. Silage and manure smell the same here too and it makes me feel such a country bumpkin that the smells make me happy. Anything is possible if the view is good enough. Wind is the most terrifying and challenging of the elements. What goes up must go down, must go up again ad infinitum. Biting creatures love biting me and I am bad at not scratching. ‘Passing lane, 400m ahead’ can roughly be translated to, ‘don’t even think about enjoying that descent, just pedal as hard as you can because we’re going up again soon’. Sometimes, not that much happens and that is OKAY.

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Merry Christmas/Ooops I forgot to blog again/The End of the Beginning

**Sponsor me please**

On a crowed plane, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, I am sure it is still Christmas somewhere and I am listening to Mariah’s Merry Christmas – apparently it belongs under the genre of ‘US and Euro Hits’. Who knew? Perhaps it is finally time to reflect on the whirlwind of the past couple of months, the many unwritten blogs and the journey so far, for it is now the end of the beginning. The challenge is here.

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Paying it Forward

Whether it has been the sponsorship I have been given from friends, family and complete strangers or the advice and offers of accommodation, I have been on the receiving end of huge amounts of kindness and generosity. This week, I hit my first major fundraising target and through the second donation of Marie. I’m 10% of the way to my overall target and have now raised £0.20 for every single mile I will cycle. How exciting! Thank you all so much! Having reached this impressive total, I thought that it was about time to do some paying forward.

milestone

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#6 The Wandle Trail

I booked my first hotel! This is all getting incredibly real. I have decided to spend Boxing Day night at the hotel next to the airport. I think it is going to be important for me to have a good rest after two days of travelling so this will be my first and last bit of luxury for a while. I’m getting very excited.

What an awesome weekend! A beautiful cycle in what felt like the countryside without even leaving the city and a party with so many cyclists – it was actually the lovely Mark and Brian’s party (CB #5 and #4). It’s a shame they’re now all ruled out for the 20:20:20 challenge though because they were great fun… maybe I need to bend the rules?

Who wouldn't want to visit this place?

Who wouldn’t want to visit this place?

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