Monday, January 28, 2008

Slow Start. I am Knackered. Many Hills.

I finally got started with this tour. I'm still doubtful of beng able to ride the North Island, but I'll at least give it a start.

Time for hills and more hills under an almost full load. The good news is that the bike was more stable this time and going downhill didn't seem scary any more.

The bad news is that after the hill up O'Brien Rd, the hill up fromO'Brian to Erua Rd., the hill from the RTF to Ostend, the hill up fromthe Causeway and two more hills on the road out the the ferry--I was knackered.
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This was not a good omen. Finally after a few more climbs on the way toCockle bay and only 15km of riding, I reached my friend Peter's. House in Cockle bay, Howick.

Peter was busy working on a campervan conversion. It is coming along quite well. He took a used Fiat Ducato (sort of like a Ford Transit) panel delivery van. Added sliding windows on both sides, a vent on top,access ports for gas and water, 220v connections, cabling for 12V and240V inside, roof and side paneling inside, fresh water tank, underside grey water tank, tankless water heater, 12 volt lights like our cabinetlights in the ceiling, a toilet and shower, sink, and a settee and cabinetry for the refrigerator and stove and storage.

He still has to finish the cabinetry, install the refrigerator, stoveand gas connections, add a lowering table, install the teak trim and get it a WoF and CoF.

His wife, Ann, has made all the cushions for the inside. They are just like boat cushions.

Peter and I caught up on all the usual things, FTG stuff , his work,cycling, motorcycles, etc. We discussed the best (least hilly) routefrom here south. There isn't a non-hilly one. He suggested going toClevedon via Manuwera and Alfriston then up to Hunua and then it wouldbe downhill to Rt 2. A short bit of Rt 2 (which I wouldn't really lookforward to), before the side road to Miranda. That might be two days forme and trailer.
I'm not sure of that one. It is not the most direct and I'm not convinced that going up to Hunua is not any more hilly than the coastal route via Clevdon, Kawakawa Bay and Orere Point.

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