Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 843 – 845: Christchurch, New Zealand!

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Jan - 24 - 2013

I knew cycling would be popular in New Zealand. I got an indication already on the plane from Sydney to Christchurch as three other people were checking in their touring bicycles! Brigitte and Klemens from had been on the way for 2 years starting in Switzerland, and Martin from France had been cycling around Australia.

As our flight landed late we all had planned to camp out in the airport until the next morning.

Another indication that New Zealand is a cyclist’s paradise is the fact that Christchurch airport has a designated area for assembling bicycles! I don’t even think Copenhagen has that.

As the other cyclists were leaving on their bikes in the morning I was waiting for Phil to arrive. I first met Linda, Phil and Luca from on a beach in Thailand. At that time the Irish couple had been cycling through Europe and SE Asia with their four year old son Luca. A few months later I got a message from Linda and Phil saying that the next time we met there would be an extra family member. They had now parked their bikes in Christchurch and invited me to stay.

Many people had told me that New Zealand would be beautiful, but I hadn’t expected it to start right from the day I landed. Linda and Phil’s house is located just outside of Christchurch on the beautiful Cass Bay. I had also heard that New Zealand was often cold and rainy, but for the first 3 days the temperature was close to 30 degrees as we went for a swims in the fresh, blue water next to Linda and Phil’s house.

Christchurch is still recovering from the horrible earthquakes that struck in 2011. Walking around the city center felt like being at a movie set.

It felt somewhat strange to go shopping for hats, gloves, base layer clothes and long trousers with the summer weather outside, but I knew the weather changes fast around here.

My bike also needed a bit of attention. First of course was new tires and tubes as I was getting tired of fixing flat tires. Another problem was developing on my back wheel hub. The bike mechanic told me it would either be a small adjustment or an extensive rebuild of the wheel. Luckily it turned out that it was enough to tighten a few screws and we were good to go again. A cycle tourer can never really relax unless his bike is in good shape.

On my final night I managed to meet the local radio amateurs. Scott K9MA from the US was also in town, and to my surprise I learned that he was also about to cycle around New Zealand. What are the odds?

A big thanks to Linda, Phil, Luca and Eli for a wonderful welcome to New Zealand! With all the natural beauty and friendly people around, New Zealand does indeed look like a cyclist’s paradise. Now I can’t wait to get started.

Categories: New Zealand
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