• By Cliff Mail

Waiheke to Wellington - by bike: Photos from the first week

I didn't join the ride. Having just completed a 720km bike tour of my own I was not ready for another 1,000 plus.

However, I get the exhilaration, exhaustion, sometimes pain (Lindsay I hope you jumped back on your new saddle quickly) and of course the amazing adventure of really experiencing the countryside at just the right pace. It is the only way to tour and you get big 'brownie points' for not adding yet more CO2e to the what is a rapidly deteriorating crisis. That is the primary driver behind the ride, getting to Wellington and making our concerns know to the politicians who are about to consider the Zero Carbon Bill.

In the first week the team have made amazing progress covering at least 530km from Auckland through to Mangakino in the South Waikato. Here are some of the pictures that I have pulled from the teams Facebook feed. Your can see more of these at: https://www.facebook.com/carbonneutralkerikeri/photos

I received the following comments / observations from the support crew and cyclists:

  • Yesterday Bill (74) used an e-bike for the first time in his life and said that some of the hills he would not have made without it. He is considering buying one, but it should have levers and not buttons to press.

  • Chris and Darleene (from Bikes and Barbers) adjusted/repaired the bikes: humidity, saddle, chain, bottle holder issues. A support vehicle with tools is proving very useful, especially when the terrain gets more challenging.

  • Medical repairs: knee bruising and severe swelling (Warren, 74), scratches from falls (Lindsay, 70, and Louis, 10)

  • Buying food without plastic packaging (Lynda’s project) is very cumbersome and time intensive. The suppliers need to be told to adjust. especially those with nice yoghurt and humus, all in Triangle 5 pots!

  • There seems to be a job opening for riders who collect comments/observations on path conditions, which can be received by helmet wearers (similar system to when Google mapped all the roads). Chris is in contact with some inventor. Note: Having recently completed a ride we also struck issues due to a lack of detail on the condition of trails, traffic volumes on roads, etc.

  • Most people react positively to our signs Carbon Neutral Signs.

The Waiheke crew

The cycling team with the support vehicle with the solar powered charging station in tow & in action (below)

Kaitiaki is always on the lookout for a good story

The joy of riding is being able enjoy the amazing scenery rather than it passing by in a 100km per hour blur.

Kaitiaki gives a team member a bit of encouragement

A shot from the front of the peloton

The first casualty of the trip on the final leg of the first week - Lindsay felt like a roll in the dirt but at the end of the activity both him and the bike were a little worse for wear.

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