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*on Raleigh 20s.
A Raleigh Rally, if you will.

because why wouldn't you? New Zealand is so little and Raleigh 20's are known for their all terrain capability, their craftsmanship and their copious amount of luggage carrying capacity ..

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We’re two friends who have worked together and ridden mountain bikes together for a number of years.

Without any particular experience in endurance events or very much forethought, with a relaxed training regime and a lot of optimism, we’re riding the Tour Aotearoa on our Raleigh 20 bicycles.
But aren’t they kids bikes, you ask? Well, umm .. who knows, really. (We'll keep you posted ..!)

​Starting at Cape Reinga at 7am on 17 Feb, we aim to make our way 3000km all the way south to Bluff without breaking down emotionally, physically, or mechanically. (We're on the road now, you can track where we are here!)

We’re raising money for Christchurch City Mission, a charity that does incredible work for underprivileged people in Christchurch. If you’d like to support us and make our insanity worthwhile, please give generously to City Mission here.

Thanks to those who have helped make this possible- our families for tolerating our silliness, Bevan at Frontal Lobe for helping with set up, our employers for allowing us time off but who probably won’t miss us, and you, for reading this blog.

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Popping, pizza, punctures and pretty lights


Today I bought some nommy cheese supreme Doritos from the Mangakino Four Square. I strapped them to the back of the R20 and we headed into the bush. Now as far as I'm concerned, cheesy Doritos are the king of snacks with their fluorescent orange color and deliciously moreish flavouring. I don’t know what fine cheeses they use, but it is a truly wonderful flavour. I strapped them as tightly as I could without popping the bag, being careful not to damage my precious cargo.

As Yeats wrote: I have spread my [dorito chips] under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.*

As we headed into the bush, the track got rougher, and the bag shook loose, and unbeknownst to me, eventually fell off. I heard a distinctive pop as Dan ran them down, popping the bag and shattering my pride and joy, my precious chips. Was it deliberate? Will we ever know? Certainly he thought it was hilarious - his vindictive cackle still haunts me. I was distraught! My mood improved only slightly as I scooped handfuls of delicious dorito crumbs into my mouth, but how I mourn for all I lost this day ...

.. but the show must go on. Today we went from Mangakino to most of the way through The Timber Trail. At the start of the Tour Aotearoa, a number of people looked at us and the bikes sceptically, and said things like “yeah, you might be fine for the first few days, but you clearly haven’t thought about the Timber Trail” and similarly encouraging comments. So apparently this Timber Trail was a Big Deal. It was going to be brutal climbing, technical descending, and was going to break our bikes and make us realise ho naive we were for bringing along such silly bikes.

But what a track! It was spectacular scenery, the track was well made and looked after, and it was nice to get off gravel and tar seal onto interesting, slightly more challenging riding, even with no suspension, small wheels and very little meaningful brakes. It was a brilliant track, and we enjoyed it a lot.

the indignity! poor lil' bikes all akimbo

Early evening we made it to the Timber Trail lodge in the middle of the trail, had pizza and drinks, then carried on. Riding the 150m from the lodge to the trail, we both got our first punctures. How about that for bad luck!

behold: one blurry glow worm - no, seriously, thats it.

We carried on as it got dark, switching the lights on as it got colder and darker. We got to where the old timber tram line went, and as we were riding through one of the cuttings through the hill, Jeremy noticed some glow worms! We switched off the lights and discovered both sides of the cutting full of glow worms, so you could walk down the middle of it in the pitch dark, with a wall of little sparkling lights on either side. Amazing! It's just a pity the photo isn't quite as stunning .. 

Todays vital stats:

Distance: 99 km

1861m climbing

8:13 riding time

4325 calories

57.2 kph Max

*my apologies to Yeats; I suspect he would be devastated by this mangling of his work. Educate yourself about the real form of 'Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven' here.

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