I like half of all hills when I am on a bicycle – the half that goes down. Of course to get this joy, you must also cycle the half of hills that are notably less friendly. Now that Leah and I have left Australia for good, we have arrived in New Zealand with a plan to cycle from the south to the north, loosely following the Kennett brothers’ Tour Aotearoa (in reverse). As our route is not particularly well planned, I don’t know the exact figures, but Google informs me that we will be climbing a minimum of 12,480m. As Mount Everest stands at 8,848m, we will essentially be cycling the height of Mount Everest one and a half times. My body quivers with fear. To put that another way, if we were to cycle vertically up for 12,480m, we would be entering the stratosphere.
Are we super fit or super prepared to be doing this journey? No, not at all. But if we pedal once, pedal again, then repeat, eventually we will complete our journey. The exact length of our journey is not yet clear, but I anticipate that it will be around 3,000km. We have 30 days to do the journey, with several planned stoppages for friends and sightseeing, meaning that we will have to exceed 100km every day that we cycle. The above mentioned figure of a 12,480km ascent was based upon Google’s auto generated route of only 1,861km, meaning that in reality, we might end up ascending the height of Everest twice instead. Oh joy.
I’m excited for this journey as it has been nearly a decade since I was last in New Zealand. It is a beautiful country with friendly people and somewhere that I once thought I could call home (if it wasn’t so far from England). After a year out in Australia, not particularly doing what I wanted to do in life, I hope this journey gets me back on track.