Multitool.org Forum
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
+-

Hello Lurker! Remove this ad and much more by logging in.


Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again. 643

No Life Club Posts: 4,736 I'm an Adult?!?! When did that happen?
Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« on: April 14, 2021, 05:00:46 AM »
On the 6th of April around about midday there was an announcement that a "Travel Bubble" was going to be opened between Australia and New Zealand from 19th April with no quarantine or vaccine requirements.

Within 6 hours I had booked flights from Brisbane to Christchurch in the South Island on 1st May and a return from Queenstown back to Brisbane on 23rd May. With the plan to ride CHC to ZQN between these dates.  600-800km (350-500 miles) depending on route.

I had basically given up any hope of getting away this year.  Admittedly this is going to be rather late in the season for bike touring with it WELL into autumn (fall) and the temp's are likely to be no better than mid teens Celsius in the day and down to low single digits overnight (or colder in some parts). Think 30-60 freedom degrees...

SO, the short version is that I have had to cram what would have been 6 months of planning, organising, purchasing and preparing into 3 weeks. The worst of that is having to buy any required equipment at retail prices rather than eBay/Amazon/mail-order. Items like wet-weather gear and sleeping-bag liner costing double what I could have got them for with more lead time.

Following on from lessons learned during the 2019 and 2020 trips, Hopefully I am able to shed some dead weight without losing redundancy and add a couple of items to the equipment list that would have been good to have. BUT, as we all know... I'll take too much stuff.

Route choice will depend on the weather when I get there. At the moment I would like to be able to do the West Coast but it is the part of the country that could have THE worst weather possible. A couple of years ago there was so much rain that the main highway (which is THE road down the West Coast) was cut in several places with bridges washed away. Tourists in campervans were stranded for weeks with the only way out from some places by helicopter.

It will literally be an "on the day" decision when I reach the fork in the road near the end of day one.
I will be completely happy and possibly a little more comfortable to retrace the route I followed in Feb 2019 but the western option will be more of a challenge with much further between towns of any consequence necessitating several nights of rough camping and eating from whatever I have with me rather than stopping at a shop or dining in at a café or restaurant.

Now we must address the elephant in the room... specifically the elephant sitting at this keyboard.  A year of covid lockdowns and restrictions have not played well with fitness/fatness...   too many lockdown snacks, too much booze and not enough exercise have seen my "loose 10kg" goal blow out to "loose 15kg or even 20".
I'm essentially carrying an extra bag of cement with myself at the moment. I've been for a few rides over the last couple of weekends and thankfully it seems that the muscles have only been sleeping, they grumble a bit at being woken up but I can still probably manage the 50km a day relaxed pace that I prefer to tour at.

I wouldn't have thought last month that I would now be 20 days out from pushing pedals on another Grand ride.

More to come. Gear lists and pic's, Route plans, bike details and pic's, all that good stuff.

No Life Club Posts: 1,046 Queen's Venturer
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2021, 05:47:55 AM »
Neat! I'd better keep watching.

A year of covid lockdowns and restrictions have not played well with fitness/fatness...   too many lockdown snacks, too much booze and not enough exercise have seen my "loose 10kg" goal blow out to "loose 15kg or even 20".
I'm essentially carrying an extra bag of cement with myself at the moment.
I know that feeling. Hoo boy.

I've been for a few rides over the last couple of weekends and thankfully it seems that the muscles have only been sleeping, they grumble a bit at being woken up but I can still probably manage the 50km a day relaxed pace that I prefer to tour at.
Out of curiosity, what kind of average speed are we talking about here? I've spent a lot of time on my bicycles, but have no experience touring.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,969 \o/
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2021, 04:34:54 PM »
Cool!
What kind of bicycle do you have?

You should seriously visit vicfan.com. All the hoopy froods are doing it.
Hero Member Posts: 763 Brick Bradford of multitool universe
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2021, 06:27:03 PM »
Sounds like fun and challenging endevour!
Best of luck and pls. post more on this!

Lähetetty minun SM-T515 laitteesta Tapatalkilla


by this axe I rule
No Life Club Posts: 4,736 I'm an Adult?!?! When did that happen?
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2021, 02:18:04 AM »
Cool!
What kind of bicycle do you have?

Still not 100% decided what to take. (I know... two weeks out.  ::) )
I have two probable candidates and a couple of possibles.

The most likely is my 2019 Giant Toughroad SLR 0, Pretty much made for the purpose being Giant's flat bar adventure bike.
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/au/bikes-toughroad-slr-2019

Close second is another 2019 Giant Toughroad SLR. this one being built up from a bare frame I bought. The frame is technically a 2 but the bike has been built up closer to the specs of a 1.

The only other bikes I have on hand which would suit are the Reid CX II  that I rode last year on the North Island trip or a frame/fork/box of parts that I've had kicking around for a few years but that would require building from scratch.
Only pro's of the last two are relative low value. I get paranoid about leaving a $2k bike outside a supermarket and weight considerations mean I can't take a bloody big chain and lock with me. But performance would definitely be sub par.

I'm pretty sure it will be the Zero.
The One has slightly wider gearing being 2x10 (38,28 x 11-36) whereas the Zero is 1x11 (36 x 11-42). So 10% lower and 5% higher.
BUT it is actually a Kona CX fork on that bike which does not have the side mount points for the front racks like the Toughroad forks do, and I have a pair of the genuine Giant racks.

So, the Zero has better luggage carrying capability, lighter/simpler driveline, better brakes (4 piston hydraulic disc) AND I actually bought it for this purpose. Leaving aside the fear of it being stolen, it's the logical choice.

Hella long reply there, but it's more documenting my thought process in finally making a decision. 

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,699
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2021, 04:01:29 AM »
 :popcorn:

Autumn in Central Otago is :dd:

No Life Club Posts: 4,736 I'm an Adult?!?! When did that happen?
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2021, 05:10:39 AM »
Out of curiosity, what kind of average speed are we talking about here? I've spent a lot of time on my bicycles, but have no experience touring.

I don't really aim at an average speed touring.
I ride with a different mindset than when I'm on my roadbike.
Especially in a location like the South Island. The scenery is far too spectacular to ride through as fast as possible with your head down.
That's more the case in Australia where (in some places) between towns we've got nothing but red dirt, burning sun, stunted trees and snakes, spiders, croc's, sharks jellyfish and drop bears all waiting to kill you.  :ahhh

I've started with the total distance to be covered (in this case 800ish km) and divided it by the number of days I'll be there. 23, less travelling days so call it 20 which in this case gives a nice leisurely 40km per day minimum pace.
This is basically to allow me to figure if I'm on track to make my flight home.
Most days I will do more, sometimes double. A few days I might only do 20km.
There is too much to see and do and sometimes the next attraction is just down the road.

Having said all that... from experience I find that on the flat, no wind, sealed road I tend to maintain about 20km/h. If it's a down grade I stop pedalling at 25. Save the energy, especially in the first few days when there is three weeks of the same to come. Also I tend to stop at shops and photo op's.

I have a crook knee so I have to make conscious effort to spin, not grind so I flick my way down through the cassette pretty quickly for the hills.. and MAN are there some hills in NZ. I don't mind if I end up in first gear trickling along at 8km/h up some of the mountain passes. I'll get to the top... eventually.
Of course the plus side of this is that there are as many going down as up. Queenstown is only 300m above sea level but in the route I'm planning on taking there is over 6000m of climbing and 5700m of descent. Last trip my top speed (stupid) descending the Lindis Pass was 79.9km/h (yeah... POINT NINE!!) Madness, I was riding with four American guys and it kinda turned into a race between three of us. We were overtaking cars... on fully laden touring bikes.

The West Coast of the South Island (I bet they were up all night thinking up these names) is somewhat sparsely populated in parts with more than a comfortable day's ride between any centres of population. But if I don't make it to a town some nights, well, freedom camping is legal in New Zealand and I'll just throw up my one men tent out of sight of the road with the camo fly over it.
Provided the weather is good this can be THE best camping you will ever find. On a clear moonless night (New moon is smack in the middle of my trip) it's so dark being 50km away from the nearest street lighting that you'd swear you could reach out and scoop up handfuls of stars.

Photo is one of the places I freedom camped in 2019

No Life Club Posts: 4,736 I'm an Adult?!?! When did that happen?
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2021, 05:13:50 AM »
:popcorn:

Autumn in Central Otago is :dd:


You've got that right...    I'm about a month later than I would prefer but rather late than not at all.
Wish the travel bubble had been opened end in March.

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,699
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2021, 05:59:57 AM »
Autumn in Central Otago in Autumn is :dd:
FTFM  :think:

The West Coast of the South Island (I bet they were up all night thinking up these names)
:rofl:

Te Wai Pounamu is an alternative name for the South Island (and a nicer one if you ask me).

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,969 \o/
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2021, 07:15:04 AM »
Those are some pretty cool bikes. A bit of a first world problem having to decide which one to take :)
I would love to see the southern hemisphere night sky in a place like that. I guess you won't bring a telescope with you. You would need a luggage trailer :D

You should seriously visit vicfan.com. All the hoopy froods are doing it.
No Life Club Posts: 4,736 I'm an Adult?!?! When did that happen?
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2021, 05:17:09 AM »
Those are some pretty cool bikes. A bit of a first world problem having to decide which one to take :)
I would love to see the southern hemisphere night sky in a place like that. I guess you won't bring a telescope with you. You would need a luggage trailer :D

Yes they are both nice bikes, I was lucky on both of them. The tan one I bought from a backpacker who was leaving the country in three days and I got a one year old $2k bike for $1k.
The black one I picked up the bare frame brand new for a good price and then lucked onto a near new bike with suitable group set that had a cracked frame and was going cheap.

The only downside is that the Toughroad has a couple of oddball features that made it expensive to build up. Giant's "Overdrive II" steerer tube fork and their D-Fuse seatpost made it both difficult and expensive to source these components.
I had to import the seatpost from the UK and actually machine down a Wolf Tooth lower headset race to allow me to fit the Kona cyclocross disc fork (which I got at a steal).
In the end I think it ended up costing me somewhere between $750 and $800, which is still about half what the equivalent model retails at.

My justification for the two of them (other than N+1) is that I want to keep the tan one as my touring bike and don't want to beat it up or wear it out and the black one is my gravel bike. I have a 100 mile long rail trail almost on my doorstep so these days I ride there as much as on the road.
My roadie is a really nice bike, took a lot of "buy/fix/sell/profit... repeat" work to work up to it. 2014 Giant Propel Advanced 1.  FAR more bike than I could ever do justice to, but sometimes it's nice to have nice things.
If I could afford it I would do selected Great Ride parts of the South Island on it with a campervan "support vehicle" but I don't have the money or female companion/driver for that. :D

Yes there would be some great locations for a bit of star gazing with clean air, low light pollution and a few thousand feet of altitude. If I can find them I might take my 10x50 binoc's along with me, but they might get cut in the inevitable weight reduction cull.

No Life Club Posts: 1,046 Queen's Venturer
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2021, 10:15:51 AM »
The only downside is that the Toughroad has a couple of oddball features that made it expensive to build up. Giant's "Overdrive II" steerer tube fork and their D-Fuse seatpost made it both difficult and expensive to source these components.
Funny you should mention D-Fuse seatposts — I picked up a 2019 Giant Contend 3 two weeks ago, and was quite relieved to find the 2019 model used a standard seatpost instead of a D-Fuse. Not all the model years do.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,699
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2021, 10:48:20 AM »
I would love to see the southern hemisphere night sky in a place like that. I guess you won't bring a telescope with you. You would need a luggage trailer :D
Yes there would be some great locations for a bit of star gazing with clean air, low light pollution and a few thousand feet of altitude.
Well if you end up going through the Mackenzie Basin again there's Mt John Observatory (although I don't know if there is any access for the general public at night).
I hope you get to go the West Coast route this time though.

No Life Club Posts: 4,736 I'm an Adult?!?! When did that happen?
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2021, 11:46:37 PM »
Funny you should mention D-Fuse seatposts — I picked up a 2019 Giant Contend 3 two weeks ago, and was quite relieved to find the 2019 model used a standard seatpost instead of a D-Fuse. Not all the model years do.

<rant>Yeah, a royale pain in the arse. For the post and the clamp wedge (which seems different for every bloody model) it was going to cost twice as much and take twice as long from Giant here in Aus than it cost/took me to get it myself from a seller in the UK... LITERALLY half way round the world.
I can see the benefit of the airfoil posts on some of the road bikes (the Propel has one and the wedgie clamp setup) but this round post with one flat side is just a proprietary gimmick solving a problem that barely exists, in a way that locks customers in to buying only OEM replacements. There are plenty of compliant seat posts that still fit in a round hole. </rant>

No Life Club Posts: 1,046 Queen's Venturer
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2021, 08:48:11 AM »
<rant>Yeah, a royale pain in the arse. For the post and the clamp wedge (which seems different for every bloody model) it was going to cost twice as much and take twice as long from Giant here in Aus than it cost/took me to get it myself from a seller in the UK... LITERALLY half way round the world.
I can see the benefit of the airfoil posts on some of the road bikes (the Propel has one and the wedgie clamp setup) but this round post with one flat side is just a proprietary gimmick solving a problem that barely exists, in a way that locks customers in to buying only OEM replacements. There are plenty of compliant seat posts that still fit in a round hole. </rant>
Absolutely agreed — the whole reason I bought a 2x8 road bike is for easy repair and easily sourced parts, so I don't know why anyone would want the proprietary seat post added on the 2020-21 models.

But this isn't about me! I'm really here because I finally followed this link:
The most likely is my 2019 Giant Toughroad SLR 0, Pretty much made for the purpose being Giant's flat bar adventure bike.
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/au/bikes-toughroad-slr-2019
A 1x11 drivetrain? That's cool. I've never played with one of those.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,969 \o/
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2021, 02:03:54 PM »
I hear the travel bubble has already been closed!?

You should seriously visit vicfan.com. All the hoopy froods are doing it.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,699
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2021, 11:09:41 PM »
I hear the travel bubble has already been closed!?
I don't think so? There is a lockdown in Western Australia due to a cluster there.

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,969 \o/
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2021, 06:20:10 AM »
My apologies. I was misinformed. This news article says so but the pages it links to make no mention of it :think:

You should seriously visit vicfan.com. All the hoopy froods are doing it.
No Life Club Posts: 4,736 I'm an Adult?!?! When did that happen?
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2021, 04:48:41 PM »
I hear the travel bubble has already been closed!?

Currently "paused" for Western Australia because they have flown into a panic and gone into lockdown because of ONE case.
Still okay from all other states. I'm in Queensland.

No Life Club Posts: 4,736 I'm an Adult?!?! When did that happen?
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2021, 05:26:45 PM »
Well, things might be changing a bit. I've been looking at the weather and in defiance of global warming, the temperatures in the parts of the south island i will be travelling through have plunged well into winter.
Queenstown in particular is currently only reaching about 6C during the day and slipping into the negatives overnight.
Some places are forecast to receive snow in the coming week and I noticed on the webcam for the Remarkables Ski Area that they have had a a light dusting in the last few days.

I'm all up for adventure but sleeping on the ground in a one man tent in sub zero temps is not sounding all that great.  Perishing in the frozen wilderness is not on my list of things to do.

There are some crazy deals going at the moment and I can get a rental campervan for the three weeks for $650.
Sure, that's going to completely change the nature of the trip but perhaps for this year discretion is the better part of valour.
Simple facts are it's too late in the year so it's going to be too cold and I'm both unfit and underprepared.

BUT I will still be taking the bike and doing as many "day rides" as I can fit in. There are several opportunities for that. The Hydro scheme canals between the lakes are a nice scenic ride that could be done as a "out and return" ride easily in one day. Leave the van at a camp at the start and get back there for the night.
A couple of the mountain passes would be a good ride, from Omarama to the Lindis pass summit is 32km with a 525m climb at a near constant gradient. Without all the touring gear on the bike it's not that hard a ride and I could damn near coast the return. Same with the Crown Range.

Realistically I don't care what I do over there I'm just going to be over the moon to have got a trip in this year.
Anyway, with motorised transport I can cover about three times as much ground and will be able to do BOTH of the routes I was looking at choosing between, Also be able to take heavier gear like my DSLR and kit rather than just relying on the camera in my phone.

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,690 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2021, 08:30:37 PM »
There is something to be said for not camping in a small tent in freezing weather.  I have done that and do not recommend it.

A small RV sounds like a very reasonable back up plan, and means that you will still get to enjoy the vacation, rather than being forced to give it up. 

Plus the uphill parts will likely be a lot easier!  :D

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 4,736 I'm an Adult?!?! When did that happen?
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2021, 01:55:05 AM »
Only a couple of days to go now and I'm still totally disorganised.
There is a pile of gear in the middle of the living room floor which I have to get into a suitcase.
Still have a couple of things to do on the bike I'm taking (the black one now).
Need to take Fred (cat) to mum's tonight.
Still adding to the list of "Things to find"
... 

Plus the uphill parts will likely be a lot easier!  :D

Def

Funny thing is that some of the rides I want to do ARE the uphill bits. If I park the camper at the bottom of some of the mountain passes I can ride up (on a non-laden bike) and then gravity ride back down. I'll try not to yell  WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE  all the way back down.

Currently jamming a few odds and ends onto a laptop, which I now have the weight budget for.


Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,699
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2021, 03:49:49 AM »
It has gotten noticeably colder here (North end of the South Island) in the last day or so.
Nearby Mt Arthur/Wharepapa got it's first dump of snow.

No Life Club Posts: 4,736 I'm an Adult?!?! When did that happen?
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2021, 05:00:15 AM »
Sitting in the departure lounge...
Four hours and I'll be there.
 :woohoo:

No Life Club Posts: 1,046 Queen's Venturer
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2021, 05:43:24 AM »
Sitting in the departure lounge...
Four hours and I'll be there.
 :woohoo:
That's pretty exciting! I'm looking forward to it, and I'm not even going!
No Life Club Posts: 1,046 Queen's Venturer
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2021, 05:46:14 AM »
Funny thing is that some of the rides I want to do ARE the uphill bits. If I park the camper at the bottom of some of the mountain passes I can ride up (on a non-laden bike) and then gravity ride back down. I'll try not to yell  WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE  all the way back down.
Don't try too hard not to yell WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE all the way down. In your place, I would definitely be yelling WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE all the way down.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,699
Re: Bike Tour 2021: Third time's the Charm? South Island again.
« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2021, 05:58:17 AM »
The weather looks good for the next couple of days for both routes until about Tuesday, when it will turn windy inland and rainy on the West Coast. Then rain for a couple of days both places.

 :popcorn:
« Last Edit: May 01, 2021, 06:08:37 AM by Syncop8r »


 

Donations

Operational Funds

Help us keep the Unworkable working!
Donate with PayPal!
May Goal: $300.00
Due Date: May 31
Total Receipts: $79.60
PayPal Fees: $5.65
Net Balance: $73.95
Below Goal: $226.05
Site Currency: USD
25% 
May Donations

Community Links


Powered by EzPortal
SMF 2.0.17 | SMF © 2020, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.045 seconds with 33 queries.
© 2018 Defender Web & Tool