Friday, February 2, 2018

Hot stuff!

We've been on three major cycle trips in Australia already but managed to do every one without carrying a camp stove.
Apart from the odd occasion when we've approached a caravanner for a jug of hot water to rehydrate a freeze dried meal, we've settled for cold, mainly tinned food - baked beans, creamed rice, sardines etc.
Our next trip is a little more challenging, though, with several 400+km stretches between road houses.  For food variety and sustenance, we've decided to invest in a small camp stove and a collection of tasty freeze dried dinners.
Checked out several stoves and eventually bought a compact little stove and pot.
Tested them both using a Gasmate canister. Gas on full, water boiled in 2 minutes 40. Quietly impressed!
We'll buy the gas when we get to Cairns but will probably stock up on the freeze dried meals back home as most of them are produced here.

Phew! Feeling much more confident about feeding ourselves on those long stretches now.
Of course we'll have to carry enough water for 4 days, too - but that's another hill to climb!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Getting sorted! Search for a Mirror!

When you're two old adventurers on bikes with trailers, battling traffic, a mirror becomes a vital necessity.
The mirror prewarns of road trains, caravans etc behind us and helps us negotiate traffic at intersections and to dash across busy highway lanes when necessary.

I have relied totally on Del, his mirror and his impeccable traffic commands!

We've tried several mirrors over the last few years, most attached to Del's handlebars. 
Vibration tends to distort the image but the main problem has been breakage - bike falling over, mirror clipping an immovable object etc.
The solution -  find an unbreakable metal mirror that could be held in the hand when required. 

We found one. It was kept, easily accessible, top of Del's handlebars.
It survived two long tours, but now has lost its shine and, more importantly, its clarity.

So we went on a metal mirror hunt. Size, handle etc had to be just right. 
Finally discovered the ideal mirror in Karangahape Road's Army and Navy store.
It's a French Army shaving mirror. 

Yay! Vive la Foreign Legion! We're in business again!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Power to the People!

We've invested in a power bank, for those long stretches away from civilisation.

I'll try to be very economical with power usage while on the road, but hopefully I'll be able to charge my phone several times on this little beauty.
It's surprisingly heavy for its size (like me really) and will be an additional weight in the trailer, too, darn it, but it's an asset and worth its weight - literally!

Pics and blogs - no excuses now!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Better Late than Never !

Time to check the planning - Del with his daily distances and me with the nightly camp sites and roadhouse stopovers.

Time for some stamina building on the bikes.
   Time to dig out the Lycra again!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Life is Like Riding a Bicycle!

Can't believe that it's been 2 years since we arrived back home, euphoric after our safe and successful 3000+ kms cycle through the outback from Adelaide to Darwin.

As soon as we arrived home, plans were being hatched for the next cycle trip, but everything was suddenly put on hold when we discovered that Del had some vascular problems that needed surgery.

Twenty Four months and a couple of operations later, Del's fighting fit again - cycling and working out at the gym.

We recently moved to a lovely apartment in a new retirement village south of Auckland - Ryman Healthcare's Possum Bourne Village in Pukekohe. Our bikes and trailers came with us.

At our age, you have to "use it or lose it" so we've decided to take the plunge and do another unescorted ride in Australia this coming winter.

This will be the longest distance we've ever cycled - over 7000 kms - from Cairns on the east coast to Perth on the west coast.

We'll fly to Cairns with our bikes and equipment. We'll ride south to Townsville, head east to Mt Isa and Katherine and across to Broome, then south to Perth.
Doesn't sound far if you say it quickly!!

There'll be long daily rides and many wayside camps to contend with this trip. We've googled all the numerous rest areas and roadhouses along the way. Carrying enough food and water will be a major challenge.

We plan to leave NZ on May 24, the day after my 77th birthday.

We've updated our phones to  new Huaweis! 
I'll be able to take photos and the odd video and blog to my heart's content - though mobile coverage will be limited for much of the trip, so blogs will arrive irregularly and in multiples!
We've bought a lightweight, down sleeping bag for Del - half the size and weight of his other one - which will allow more space in my trailer for carrying extra food and water supplies.

We've checked the tent - all good there - and will book the bikes in for a service before we leave.

Look out Australia! Here we come!