Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Days off the trail in taumarunui

Days off the trail in taumarunui

Time off the ta ride in taumarunui - well I'm now in one place long enough to get suff in post - I been playing tag with some much needed bike parts coming from a friend's bike shop in Hamilton for about 2 weeks now (can be fun trying to work out where to get suff sent to when you not sure how long you will take to get to said place (and on what day of the week) also after looking the bike over (finding more broke spokes) and talking to my friend at the bike shop I ordered some more parts including a new back wheel (the bike is around 8 years old and has been getting a hammering on the trail so it was better to get a new wheel as the hub was on the way out as well) - was hoping the parts would be at the post shop in town on Monday - well as it turns out its a holiday for parts of nz on Monday also for some odd reason I had to pick up the parts from some where else in town (even though they was sent to the Post shop) - was a good thing I found that out before hand other was my parts would of got sent back to the bike shop (only took about a hour or so to short out - so it ended up being Wednesday when I got the parts including the tool to take off the disk rotors (I got disk brakes on the bike)  so i could swap over the back wheels   so ended up having 4? Days off the trail

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Bike F.A.Q

Bike F.A.Q

how many km do you ride each day

Depends on the day - some times 190 km other times I might only do 5 km they decide that I'm going to spend the rest of the day there - most of the time around 50-80 km a day (depending on wind and hills and if I need to be some where at some fixed point in time (like at a horse event where I'm helping out at)

When did you start traveling by bike

Um full time on the road from around 2005? Part time a few years before that (after getting hit by a truck on the bike  in 2008 my memory is some what hit and miss (lost around 3/4 of my memory (head injury from getting hit by the truck) - one of 7 head injurys that I know of?)

Where did you start riding from

Well I grew up in Hamilton until around 2005? So let's just say Hamilton

How old are you -

 you know it's not nice to ask a woman her age -  so let's just say I'm some where in my 30's

How far do you ride each year

Well it depends on the year though most years it's around 10,000 km a year or so

How many km have you done so far in your life?

Who knows?  Perhaps 80-100,000 + km

Do you ever do fun rides or races

No I don't race - with the way my disabilitys are I tend to have a set top speed most of the time around 15-25 km/h there dont seem to be much that I can do about it - it's more just the way my body is - on a side note doing every day things can be hard work including that I tend to burn around a 1/3 more energy then others doing the same things as I have to work that much more harder to get my body to do what I want it to do (tend to have a high food bill at times : ) - I'm not fast but I can ride for a long time

As for fun rides I do some times do then - as my average ( daily) rides are as long or longer the many of the fun rides out there I'm getting into doing the longer rides like the 2x, 4x and 8x taupo rides around the lake (with each lap being 160 km (riding though the night with around 1300-1500 m climbing each lap (can't remember the number of m climbed) as well as some of the other long rides like one near fielding and also one near picton  as I find them more enjoyable (more of a "fun" ride and less then a race)

Why did you start bike touring

I wanted to see what's around the next bend in the road/trail  and where the road would take me : )

When will you stop bike touring (and settle down and get a real job like every one else)

Um one day when i decide I no longer wish to do it (as for the 2th part well I can't do many jobs because of the way my life is also because of the way my disabilitys are as for settling down in one place - well I have tryed a few times over the years but it never seems to work - some times its other people that's the issue other times its just the road calling to me to keep traveling : )

What do you do in winter - keep riding - if I start getting cold I find a hill to climb or try to pick up my speed to warm up  - and yes a have full gear for all times of the year - winter sleeping bag and good tent (lost  count of how many tents I have gone through over the years on the road)

Bike Friday questions

What happened to your bike?

It shrunk in the rain : )

Why are you riding a bike with such small wheels & how much did it cost

- it's my bike Friday pocket larma - a folding touring bike with 20" wheels that was custom made for me in 2008 in  the USA (with the bike being set up in a none standard way (because of how I ride) with the bike being payed for (hand made bikes are not cheap) by people in the horse world doing fundraising  for it (to replace a bike that went walk about at a A&P show (I spend my time helping out at different horse events all over nz (been doing that for the last 12? Years helping out at around 10-12 events a year (can be long hours and tends to wipe me out for a few days after (at times I need to take a few hours break in the day time - more so in the heat (my disabilitys and how weather don't go together well :  (  )

Is that hard to ride -
no its around the same as most other bikes

Do you need to peadel more or work harder with the small wheels ?  -
no its all in the gears - though it is set up for low gears - hill climbing over speed

Can I have a ride

- NO - it's set up just for me so there's a high risk of some one breaking it or coming off also it my main way of getting around kind cannot drive a car (just the way my disabilitys are   (mostly my dyspraxia including my body awareness issues) so i really don't let others ride it

Why do you have a bike trailer

Partly so I can carry more suff (or having different options for carrying my suff) but also it's the hard case for the bike - the trailer frame and wheels come off with the bike folded up the bike and trailer parts all fit inside the case (so no bike fee on planes/bus's because it's a airline size case (don't matter what's in the case- besides how heavy it is)

Why do you have so much gear

This is my home all year round also because I help out at horse events I have extra gear for that (I used to have even more suff like camera's and laptop (did horse and landscape photography for a few years) what I no longer carry with me)

You got to much gear/suff you would go a lot faster /climb hills more easily with less suff

Maybe maybe not - at any rate it's my suff to cart up the hills (having very low gears do help) and I stopped worries about my speed on a loaded bike years ago

When are you going to get a real bike

Well I do have a 26" wheel

Mt bike what I sometimes do use - I tend to find it a lot more harder to ride on so it don't get used much (the Mt bike got last used on my tour aotearoa ride as there is a few places where the Mt has a bit of a edge over the bike Friday - mostly off road as it has front suspension and more hight with the rear gear changer ) but my bike Friday is much easier for me to ride (I tend to fall off it less as well) for me riding a road bike would have far more down sides and very few up sides  (also would have to be set up like my bike Friday (like with the hander bar set up)

What happens when it starts raining

I get wet : )  I do have a good rain jacket : )

Where are you sleeping tonight?

A very good question um next question please : )  or ask me tomorrow as by then I should have a better idea : )   

I have been known to stay in all sorts of fun places over the years - much of the time I decide on the day when I'm staying (it's mosty in city's that I have to pre-planned where I'm staying the night : )

Words have power

This is something I just posted on Facebook I'm reposting it here - as its something people should think about

Words have power - Please do some  fact checking /some thinking before just hiting the share button when sharing posts or pictures or even speaking - I have noticed that many people make jokes about transgender people / or call transgender people trannes or use other transphobic words when they think they  being funny - the thing is by sharing such posts or using such words (even if you are making a joke) you are in a way giving the ok for other people (who may or may not know it's a joke /someone trying to be funny) to be transphobic and hateful towards any transgender person they might see or meet therefore putting other people's lives at risk  - yes there has been people (most who had never seen me before ) that have tryed to attack me or even tryed to kill me - why? the only reason was because of a joke or untrue storys they heard some where about transgender people and so thought that they should attack or kill the next transgender person they saw - in this case me - who is just like anyone else going about they life - on a side note using a transgender person old name /gender is not nice as that is not who they are anymore (so please call then by the name /gender they wish to be called - it's also about not outing then in public as being transgender )

So if you post/share (or make) a transphobic joke or fake story I will be unfriending/Unfollow you (some of you may get a warning pointing out the issue) as you are indirectly putting my life at risk (and the the other lives of transgender people and they friends /family - yes transphobic people do at times go after the friends and family members of transgender people)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Some where to taumarunui

Some where to taumarunui

I'm pack and on the trail early first heading across the big brige that I camp near last night  then a mix of different types of trail that lead to the mid point on the trail  (the doc camp site where I spent new year eve 2015-2016 at on the way north (i went south from te kuiti to taumarunui before heading north up to Cape reinga so I could do the timber trail and parts of the river trails as a test run for doing the tour Aotearoa route)   I did think of having a short day and staying at the doc camp ground but decide to just keep riding to taumarunui (or where ever I end up when it gets dark : )

From the doc camp site the timber trail climbs up towards the end of one of the bush tramlines crossing over the largest bridge on the timber trail along the way - from the end of the old bush tramline the trail heads down hill. I keep riding until I get to the ongarue spiral  where after trying to do a video of riding around the spiral (didn’t work) I headed back and just did photos of the spiral (what did work : )    - the ongarue spiral was built as part of the bush tramline so the trains could make the climb up the hill (to lessy out the grade of the climb)  then it's on to the end of the timber trail at ongarue.

From ongarue  the tour Aotearoa route heads along a mix of gravel and tarseal back roads to taumarunui where I get some food before heading out of town to the camping ground what's about 5 km south of town for the night

Some where to some where else (on the timber trail : )

Some where to some where else (on the timber trail : )

After packing up camp it's back on the trail riding to mangakino where I do a bit of shopping to replace a drink bottle (lost some where on the trail yesterday ) - after asking at the library about water (where I have a bit of a chat to the nice person there about my route and my ride- who let's me full up on water as my next chance to full up on water that I know of will be some where on the timber trail

 then it's back on the river trail (stopping at the bus stop café for a bit of a chat to some people for a bit ) until I get to where the ta ride notes say to turn off (big thanks to the person (you know who you are : ) who spent a lot of they own time doing ride notes for the tour Aotearoa route - It made my ta ride so much easier knowing where to go and when to turn to stay on Route ) heading a hill I get to what looks to be a locked gate where I would have to unload the bike to get over - luckily it only looks locked then it's on to a fun mix of tarseal and gravel back roads that lead to a road end where there is a rough 4wd? Track down a hill to a old very norow swing bridge (on the site of a logging road  bridge)  I take all the gear off the bike before loseing off the stem bots so I can turn the Handel bars 90% so it's easier to take the bike across the bridge - once I'm across the bridge I put everything back on the bike  - well I should of done the next bit of trail first before reloading the bike as there is a bit where the track?  Drops a bit (where the old track is washed out) and taking the loaded bike though that bit is hard work for me) 

Getting to a old overgrown road I reread the notes to make sure I'm going the right way (it would be very easy to get lost in the Maze of old overgrown bush roads by missing a  turn off in this part of nz)  then it's riding along old bush roads until I come out on to a gravel road - from there the route is along gravel roads to a turn off to a walking track that leads to the center of the North island (where I get some fun photos of the marker) it's one of the places that been on my to visit list as well as a photo stop on the tour Aotearoa ride (one of 30 photo stops on the ta route)

Back on gravel roads I ride until I get to a place where there's a army camp set up so I stop for a chat to check that im still on the right road also if they is any thing I need to be aware of (in case of any army training on my route) then after getting some water from them it's back to riding enjoying the mostly down hill ride to the turn off to the timber trail - on the link track between the gravel road and the timber trail is a old 1928? Caterpillar Crawler Tractor that was used in loging in the 1930-1940s?.

Onice I'm on the timber trail ( A trail I know we'll as I biked it as part of my ride up to the start of the tour Aotearoa route at Cape reinga as well as all so walking it when I walked the north island part of the te Araroa trail (walking from cape reinga to Wellington over 108 days in 2014)  it's a great track to ride ( no steps or places where i have to get off and walk where the trail is to step or hard for me to ride unlike the river trail)  so i have a lot of fun riding it

The trail winds it's way up hill - after one bridge I stop to full up on water out of the steam (using my water filter) . Keeping a eye on the time I keep riding until I run out of day light - was hoping to get to a camping place on the trail but fell a bout 12 km short so ended up camping some where near one of the large swing bridges (that the timber trail is known for) for the night  - yes I did have good bike lights for night riding so could of keep riding into the night but decide not to take risks with possible coming off in the dark or even falling asleep when riding (i have been there done that before ) it being a long hard day on the bike for me

little waipa domain to some where

little waipa domain to some where

From little waipa domain the river trail is a single track leading to arapuni with the odd  boardwalk to cross wet lands.  At arapuni I see the café is open so I decide to stop in for a bit of food (just for a bit of a change to what I been eating day to day) then it's time to full up on water (having come this way on the way north I knew where to get water from and that there would be only a few places to get water from in the next few days)  I took some time to ride across the old big swing bridge high over the river - the bridge dates from 1926 and was built to allow access across the river to the people building the arapuni dam (the bridge is around 50?m High over the river and about 150 long -with one end being 8m higher than the other end - ie the bridge is uphill going from the power house side to the town side of the river ) from arapuni after looking at the ride notes I decide to bypass a bit of the trail taking the road by pass (as i did not want to risk the bike or me on the much harder bit of trail - now that I'm much better at off road riding on trails after riding the tour Aotearoa route I may come back for a ride a long that bit of trail : )  the river trail runs on road with a bit off road riding though Jim Barnett reserve  (where there is a camping area - near there i get talking to someone about the river trails (the person had help set up the trail so I asked about the water taps (yep they are safe to drink from what is good to know)  as im taking a bit of a break I see some  some riders with bike packing setups (after a  bit of a chat I find out there doing a training ride for the tour Aotearoa ie doing the same route as what I'm doing) then it's back on the trail climbing on tarseal roads to a road end when the river trail heads back off road on single track (including passing through some anti- motor bike batters (there are to cut down on moter bikes using the walking /cycle trails but can cause a few issues if you have a bike trailer or gear on a rear panner rack)  from the top of the hill the trail heads down to river level by using lots of switch backs (tight 180% bends) so at the start of the down hill i decide to check my brake pads - end up replacing the front pads also the front brake cable as it was partly wore though (better safe than sorry with little things like brakes : )  that little job over its time for a fun?  Ride down the hill - it's a hill I remember well having come up it on the way north 

The ride from the bottom of the hill is more single track (with some bits  more easily then other bits with some riding on forestry roads in places at one place there is a big swing bridge to ride over then after some more riding there's a long  set of steps to walk the bike down (what's a lot easier then taking the bike up the stairs (what I did on the way north) shortly after getting to wapapa dam where the trail cross's the dam to the other side of the river  - more single track riding including a few places where i get off and walk (hike & bike) riding until it starts getting dark where I find a place to camp for the night

Matamata to river trail

Matamata to river trails

After packing up camp it's time to get back to riding : )   heading in to matamata I stock up on food  to last me to taumarunui (the next place that I will be passing with a supermarket)  then I head out of town on mostly back roads (yes the main road would be shorter and quicker to ride but where is the fun in that : )  there's a short bit of busy road to ride before turning off on to more back roads that run next to the  Waikato river  where a few km down the road I turn in to a small carpark  for the start of the river trails  - at the carpark there is information on the trail also on the old Horahora power station (what is now under water - Initially commissioned for the Waihi Gold Mining Company in 1914, the Horahora Power Station was submerged in 1947 when the Waikato’s Lake Karapiro was created)  from the site of the old power station the river trail mostly runs  next to the road  to little waipa domain  where after some thought I end up spending the night at

Some where to near matamata

Some where to near matamata

OK who's idea was it to get up at 5 am?  Well I did have a good reason to get up that early - I had a meet up with one of the other ta riders in matamata to get to at a set time  so it's on the road nice(?)  and early as I head down the rest of the cycle trail getting to te aroha around sunrise then it's time to ride on back roads roads to matamata where after running a bit late I get into town to meet up with the ta rider and they kids - it's the rider who is the one who did the big job of doing the tour Aotearoa route notes (you know who you are : )   - after spending some time with them (thanks for everything and I'm hoping you are enjoying your ta ride) i spend some time looking around town (including having a bit of a chat with someone who knows me from a horse event  before i deside to head to a near by camp ground (with swimming/hot pools  : ) for the night to plan out the next part of my tour Aotearoa ride

Rest day at camp grounds near matamata

Well the plan was to Start of the river trail today but my body had other ideas so it ended up being a rest day off the bike - I did go for a swim in the pools (first time swimming at pools for Damiana : )  and did some reading and relaxing

Some where to some where else

A early start to the day as I'm up and on the road before sunrise  - it's a great day for riding : )  as the sun is starting to rise  I surprised a bunny that starts running down the road in front of me as I ride along the road (run bunny run: ) at times I  tape the brakes so I don't hit it  - after a few hundred meters it heads off the road into a paddock - in places there's some mist near the ground - looks like it's going to be a hot day on the bike again today - after a few hours I get out to the coast - at one point passing a road side café?  Done up like a castle 

From mirada it's a nice ride along the coast - one of the last times I bike this road I had heavy cold rain and strong head winds here- today it's hot and sunny day  with little wind) so a lot more nicer day for riding : )  riding towards Thames I stop for a bit at a café (called the bugger café  I think?) where as I'm looking around some one comes over to say hi - turns out that they been following me on Facebook (ta rider I think ? - funny how many people seem to know me and say hi when they see me on the road from the different Facebook pages I have/ Facebook groups/my blog ) after a bit of a chat it's time to get back on the road riding on roads to I get to kopu bridge (there's a off road cycle lane/walk way on the new bridge (i see the old Bridge is still there with a part on the bridge that used to swing open to let boats past the bridge to head up/down river)  from the Thames side of the bridge I Start riding on the cycle trail south (i did think about heading north up to Thames but in the end  deside not to on this ride) 

On the trail it's nice riding stoping at a few different places along the way for photos (i think I may of past the  500 km mark? of the tour Aotearoa route some where around here or something like that?)  after a stop at a road side café (with a fun name) I head to paeroa where I stock up on some more food (and get some photo’s of the big l&p bottle)  before heading back on the cycle trail riding until near dark where I find a place to camp for the night Some where on the trail

Hellenvill to hunua? A year older and perhaps a year wiser?

A year older and perhaps a year wiser?

Yep it's my birthday today (as for how old I am - well  it's not nice to ask a lady her age : )  so what's this birthday girl up to today?  Riding though auckland on her bike  - the days riding gets underway a bit later then planed starting with a climb up hill on a back road keeping a eye on the tour Aotearoa route notes as it's not a road I been on before (yes there is still a few roads in nz that I have not been on before : )  the road rises and dips a few times as it heads towards auckland city on different back roads - in a few places I stop to look up the maps on my phone so I can work out just where I am and to stay on the tour Aotearoa route though auckland

From the edge of the city the ta route heads though auckland on a fun mix of cycle ways , roads and the odd ride through a park or 2 - the cycle way takes me towards the cbd before I turned off it on to a mix of streets that lead me though the city (stopping at a bike shop to get a few spokes to replace one that I broke in the back wheel) and heading up one of the old vocaner cones  Mt eden?  Partly as it's one of the photo stops on the tour Aotearoa route (there is 30 photos stops on the route)  then it's back down the hill and across the old  mangers bridge then on towards the airport  - in places the tour Aotearoa route follows around the same route at the te Araroa trail so in different parts I remember places from when I walked through Auckland on the te Araroa trail in 2014 (i walked the north island part of the trail in 2014 - 1500 + km over 108 days)  

Near the airport there is a error in the notes (fixed in the next set of notes I think ) so i end up doing a few km off route before I work out what's going on and end up doing a u-tune on a busy 4 lane road (not fun) once I'm back on Route I head past a supermarket so I stop to get some food for the next few days (including a chocolate banana cake - what?  It's a birthday cake for this birthday girl)  then it's back on the road heading towards the south side of auckland at one point riding though a park where I end up looking up the park on the net to work out what paths to ride on to get to where I should be  then some more city riding before I can escape the city : )   

Once I get out of the city I can go one of 2 ways towards Thames - around the coast though clevedon (the way I tend to used to get south out of auckland)  or though hunua (inland route)  - after so thought I take the in land route - mostly as it's on roads  I have not done yet on the bike yet - it's been a nice day for riding and it looks to be good weather over night as well so I deside to put on my bike lights on and ride into the sun and into the night

There's just about no traffic on the roads - only saw one car of young people being a pain  - I did have one car drive besides me as I climbed up a hill just after dark asking me what I was doing and where I was going - my response was I'm riding my bike up a hill in the dark and ask me tomorrow where I'm heading for tonight as by then I might be able to say where I'm spending the night : )  as im riding until I decide to stop some where in the night /morning : )  one of the fun things about night riding is you can't see the big hill you about to ride up : ) 

It's a great night for spending time out riding on the bike with nice weather (now that the temperature has dropped to a nicer leavel - it was a hot day to be out on the bike today)  after a few hours of
riding I start getting a bit sleepy (well it has been a long and hard  day on the bike for this girl today) so i start looking for a safe place to camp for a few hours (planning a early start to beat the heat of the day)  at some point in time I ride pass a hall (one of the many town halls that are all over the place in nz) so i decide to have a look around to see if I can find a safe place for the tent - I do find one so after setting up camp I head off to sleep for the night /morning : )