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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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Three new friends (and a grump)

DAY 19

we saw the SUNRISE; this definitely counts as early

We had a big day ahead, so we got up and left ‘early’ (7am is ‘early', right?). In a fit of uncharacteristic forward thinking, we’d checked the weather forecast for the next few days. Normally, our philosophy regarding weather forecasts is that we have to ride each day anyway, so it’s not like we can avoid the weather, so why worry about it? Anyway, we noticed some decent rainfalls predicted for a couple of days, so decided to try and get to Haast in two days.

So we started early.

And it was cold.

And I was resenting cold early morning starts right up until a weka came and offered some encouraging words.

Friend 1: the best kind of moral support comes from a fellow bird that can't fly

The first half of our day’s riding (to Ross) continued on the West Coast Wilderness Trail. It is a brilliant trail, through some brilliant scenery.

new friends everywhere- a Whataroa local

And today, there were quite a few people out riding it, most of whom were older people on ebikes. It was great to see, and I rode along, talking with one guy who was riding from Hokitika to Ross and back (probably about 50km), and he explained how much more accessible to older people like him ebikes made things. And then he rode away from me, not even puffing, while I rolled along the neverending bike trail to Ross.

never-ending trail into the blue

Not all cyclists were quite that same level of friendly though; as we passed another cyclist, Jeremy got curtly informed he should get a bell. He actually does have a bell, thank you very much, but the constant ringing as we ride on gravel is somewhat annoying, so he’d adjusted it so it didn’t ring. You just can’t please everybody.

We made pretty good progress throughout the day, stopping at each of the well spaced settlements for drinks and snacks: Hokitika for second breakfast, Ross for elevensies/lunch, Hari Hari for afternoon tea, Whataroa for after-afternoon tea, and then powered through the last 30km into Franz Josef for dinner. Brilliant!

Key stats:

166km total distance

1124 m elevation gain

8:27 total riding time

6247 calories

68.0kph max speed

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1 Comment

Steve Bilton
Steve Bilton
Mar 15, 2020

Hey boys, congrats on getting to the finish line and winning a whole stack of adoring fans along the way. Just wondering if there is a finale blog post to come out?

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