Wednesday 21 December 2016

Friends and an Overnighter.

Usually I ride on my own at my own pace, but through the summer every few weeks, I go for a ride with my friends Margaret and Judy. These are sociable rides and always have to involve at least one cafe or pub! We have had some great days out and I love riding with my friends.

The other weekend Judy and I went for a ride ( Margaret couldn't make it) along the Clutha Gold cycle trail to Millers Flat Pub. We called into the Millers Flat Campground, and I thought this would be the perfect place to have my first overnighter trip and to work out what will make my life on the road comfy for my big tour next year.

So last weekend I loaded up Birdy with my tent, sleeping bag, food etc in a day pack and set off. I don't have my pannier bags yet, so everything was loaded onto the rack at the back. One of the things I have been nervous about is cycling with a load but I have to say...I found it really easy. It seemed to make Birdy a lot more stable. I had approx 10kgs on her and really didn't feel much difference.

And yes...I will admit I was nervous but also pretty excited about pitching my tent somewhere other than the front lawn at home! The weather was just perfect for the ride up.

The Millers Flat Camping Ground is great! If you are biking the Clutha Gold Trail I really recommend it as a place to stay. The showers are lovely and hot, the camping spots are very sheltered, and you can sit on the banks of the Clutha River, watch the sun set with a glass of wine and talk to the wild ducks. John and Marise will look after you so well and the coffee is really good!

My neighbours

I had a great time on my first "overnighter" at the pub, cooking dinner out of a can and a pretty good sleep in my tent.
The most important thing about the whole experience was it gave me the confidence to look forward to my trip.... yes I'm slightly terrified about what I am planning to do. The more I get out there and push myself away from my comfort zones, the more I am looking forward to doing it, and feeling that I can do it. That is the important part...the confidence within yourself to follow a dream.

Today was a quick ride on the Gorge Trail to Shingle Creek and back. This is one of my favourite rides, its not long but has a bit of everything in it and the views are spectacular. On a hot summers day the air smells of all the wild thyme that grows throughout the gorge. 

Not a bad place to have lunch!

"No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams"
Maya Mendoza

Sunday 4 December 2016

Great day for a ride.

Since I started thinking and planning my ride, it's been great joining up with various Facebook groups to ask questions and read about other cyclists travels. There are so many questions in my head about routes, camping, safety and security. To be able to talk to other people, especially women about the trip has been very reassuring and makes me realise for a first bike tour, this route is an excellent one to do. I have to say a thankyou to Colleen, she has been so helpful with all my questions!

I read in one of the Facebook groups about an organization called Warmshowers so I joined and now host touring cyclists. So far we have had 2 couples stay with us...a french couple and a kiwi couple. It has been great hearing about their bike touring adventures and gaining a lot of good hints and tips for my upcoming trip. I know that when I start my tour I will be looking up some Warmshower hosts to stay with. Its a good reciprocal system.

Five months seems a long time until I head off, but I'm sure it will fly by so I need to make sure I'm fit enough to ride day after day. I also need to do more road riding to get use to traffic whizzing by, so Birdy is now kitted out with a rear vision mirror and front and back lights. I should have gotten a mirror a long time ago, its great!!!

Yesterday was the perfect day for a good ride...the weather was absolutely ideal, not a breath of wind and a little bit cloudy. I didn't realise how many hills I would have to climb though, but its all good practice.

Not a bad spot for lunch.

Birdy looking smart with her new mirror.

Chatting with the locals.

One of the many hills.

" And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy, and your eyes sparkling."