Monday, December 13, 2010

The First Two Days On The Bike.

   ____The NZAA came and ripped the door panel off and jammed up the glass with a piece of wood. The camper van people didn't seem very happy but it serves them right for hiring out rubbish. Because biking out of a big urban area can be a pain; I drove round in the Toyota and planned a route going out eastwards to the sea. Undulating to Manukau, Manurewa, Clevedon and first sight of salt water at Kawakawa Bay.
____Then there was a sting in the tail of the days ride. A 350 metre climb over the Mataikokako Headland to the campsite at Orere Point; the hardest 3 kilometres of the day. An Australian couple, also on there first day joined me on a park bench halfway up; they were finding it tough even with electric motors fitted to their bikes. We finished the day side by side at the same camping.

 ____The second day turned out to be much  easier. Thanks to the Seabird Coast, a flat marshy area and the Hauraki Plain, flat lowlands given over to dairy farming, it was good going, even the wind was behind me. But I still need long rests between stints of an hour in the saddle; every park bench and picnic table gets a half hour visit. It's better to recover sitting down looking at a map than falling off with exhaustion; things will get easier but I'm in no hurry during these first few days.
____The night's stop is at Paeroa, I'm glad I'm writing these NZ place names; it's easier than pronouncing them. Famous for the L & P lemonade drink, a favourite in these parts. A busy town on Highway 2, it looks good for a breakfast in the morning; with proper bacon and not that disintegrating North American stuff. Another 70 kilometres to match the day before.

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