North Island Bicycle Tour.

Postby rory161192 on Tue 9/Jun/09 9:46pm

Hi,

Me and my brother are interested in doing a small tour of the north island, starting in somewhere like wellington and ending up at home, Auckland (fly down, ride back). There's a whole heap of things i have no clue about regarding this, for example whether you are allowed to cycle on any old road, or if its restricted to cars only.

If some of you could kindly give some input on the following things id be really grateful:

- Bike choice. I need to buy a road bike for this, but id like to be able to use it in city rides etc, so nothing touring specific. What sort of range of bikes/companies/models are worth looking into? Id have around $2000 to spend, new or second hand.

- camping. Can we camp anywhere? Any essentials we wouldn't otherwise know about?

- distances. for 2 reasonably fit boys (17 and 19) who ride bikes every day of the week, what sort of daily coverage of kms would be sensible? we want to make it a challenge each day, but nothing silly.

My brother is most likely going to be singlespeeding it, inspired by the granddad who used to race track bikes. If you could share any recommendations, experiences etc regarding such a tour, it would really help us plan it all out.

Cheers in advance,
Rory :)
rory161192
Member for: 10 years 8 months

Re: North Island Bicycle Tour.

Postby Mr_Bob on Tue 9/Jun/09 11:25pm

get a copy of peddlers paradise
http://www.paradise-press.co.nz/ppguides.html
Distances in there are realistic and easy, and it's a lot better than the lonely planet cycle touring nz guide book.
I did a 6 week trip around the south island on a mountain bike, with a road cassette, V brakes and a lockout fork.
mountain bikes are a bit beefier, and will also handle gravel and off road a lot better.
Also, I broke an axle, and wrote off a rear rim when I had touring bags - too much weight over the back wheel. Bob trailers are great, and I eventually plan on using my one for another trip somewhere :cool:
No you won't be able to just park up on the side of the road, and set up a tent, but campsites are cheap, and it means you have a shower at the end of the day, and a kitchen.
Singlespeed will be seriously taxing on the knees after the first few days, you will find it hard to find a gear that's easy enough to go up hills, but one that won't max out going down a hill.
When are you looking at doing it? winters starting to settle in, i rode the south island in january - april.
Mr_Bob
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"Pedal!"
Member for: 12 years 7 months

Re: North Island Bicycle Tour.

Postby rory161192 on Wed 10/Jun/09 10:50pm

Mr_Bob wrote:get a copy of peddlers paradise
http://www.paradise-press.co.nz/ppguides.html
Distances in there are realistic and easy, and it's a lot better than the lonely planet cycle touring nz guide book.
I did a 6 week trip around the south island on a mountain bike, with a road cassette, V brakes and a lockout fork.
mountain bikes are a bit beefier, and will also handle gravel and off road a lot better.
Also, I broke an axle, and wrote off a rear rim when I had touring bags - too much weight over the back wheel. Bob trailers are great, and I eventually plan on using my one for another trip somewhere :cool:
No you won't be able to just park up on the side of the road, and set up a tent, but campsites are cheap, and it means you have a shower at the end of the day, and a kitchen.
Singlespeed will be seriously taxing on the knees after the first few days, you will find it hard to find a gear that's easy enough to go up hills, but one that won't max out going down a hill.
When are you looking at doing it? winters starting to settle in, i rode the south island in january - april.



cheers for the input Bob, im looking at doing it in sort of spring/early summer time so its not too hot, but shouldnt be cold and wet dark and miserable.

A thought of mine today was, what about food/water? obviously wed take some sort of stove perhaps, and some lightweight meals, but we arent guaranteed to replenish fresh water every day or so. We plan on using panniers, carry our food and water in those.

I guess il pick up a copy of that book, thanks for suggesting that, looks like it will really help. cheers
rory161192
Member for: 10 years 8 months

Re: North Island Bicycle Tour.

Postby Mr_Bob on Wed 10/Jun/09 11:06pm

Whitcoulls (sp) should have the peddlers paradise book.
as far as water went,
I had a bottle cage that could carry a 1.5 litre bottle on the downtube, I had a second 750ml bottle, and I had a 2l camelback which was more enough.
I carried 1-2 days of food, it saved me having too much "dead weight" on the bike, I fully loaded touring bike can get unstable when you get up to speed on a decent as I found out.
I regretted carrying as much as I took with me, it's great travelling light too.
Loading up your panniers will also put a lot more stress on your back wheel, and your back axle too. (and make the bike handle like crap)
If you're interested in using a Bob trailer, I have one that I could rent out to You, flick me a Pm.
And definitely try a 1-2 day trip before hand to get used to the way the bike handles, and on a long ride.
Last edited by Mr_Bob on Thu 11/Jun/09 12:08am, edited 1 time in total.
Mr_Bob
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"Pedal!"
Member for: 12 years 7 months

Re: North Island Bicycle Tour.

Postby znomit on Thu 11/Jun/09 12:00am

120 a day is likely a good distance. My tours ranged from 90 to 160. Under 100 is a bit short and over 130 means no sleep in.
You go a lot slower than you expect. Probably 18kph is reasonable.

I used to run 3 bottles and another litre in the panniers. More if it was hot and a long way between shops.

Do a weekend trip first as a shakedown.
znomit
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Member for: 9 years 5 months

Re: North Island Bicycle Tour.

Postby Bruce C on Thu 11/Jun/09 6:21pm

I did a couple of those as a young fella. I would reccommend your brother reconsider the single speed thing. The North Island is not a track! There used to be more roadside gas stations in 1988, and considerably less traffic, but we never had an issue getting food or drink. Unless you are on a serious budget you should consider buying food along the way. Sub of the day will only run you $3.90 and there is a Subway in nearly every town!
Bruce C
Member for: 8 years 7 months

Re: North Island Bicycle Tour.

Postby duzall on Sat 13/Jun/09 10:00pm

Hi, if you look on 'crazyguyonabike.com' you will find a whole stack of journals of possible routes and journeys. A suggestion is out of Wellington over the Rimutakas on the cycle track, up the East Coast via Masterton and backroads (Eastern most route to Napier, up the Gentle Annie to Taihape, then across to the West Coast backroads to Pukekohe. Otherwise across to Palmy then up from there to Whaunganui River Rd, or Forgotten Highway. Or you could stick to H'way 1 and 'Have a hell of a ride!'
The minor roads are always nicer to ride on, less traffic and people with more time.
The panniers versus trailer debate is a valid one, not many people seem to like the Bob trailer preferring to use panniers, a lot of the fully loaded toureres seem to break spokes. The Bob trailer takes the weight off the wheel. I went on a short tour earlier in the year with a 'Bob' the trailer is fine once you get used to it, takes about a day, the afternoon was hell from Clevedon to Miranda, by day 3 I was enjoying myself, and was reluctant to take a lift home on day 5. Don't try to go too far if you don't want to suffer from Mega sore ass for a start. It is really different doing day after day of 100+kms.
duzall
Member for: 11 years 6 months

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