Not all the roads have shoulders - and on some of those that do they're too narrow to be much use. That said, I don't think I encountered too many roads on the South Island where I'd be uncomfortable on the bike, but there were certainly some on the North Island.
Worth checking too that whatever you're using for navigation shows the difference between surfaced and unsurfaced roads - we got caught out once when we encountered a sudden change to gravel in the hire car after 20 miles of tarmac... turns out the otherwise exemplary MapOut for iPhone doesn't mark unpaved roads differently!
Yes most NZ main roads have a good shoulder that you can ride on but it often means that traffic won't move over at all to pass you, so keep well to the left if its busy, also the shoulders disappear at bridges.
Only restricted roads are the motorways, of which there are only two or three short ones in the whole country close to the main cities, and there are plenty alternatives.
I can't comment on mobile internet as its seven years since I was last in NZ, but why not get Viewranger or something on your phone, they have the whole of the South Island at 1:50,000 topographical mapping for £15, or whole of NZ for £22 https://shop.viewranger.com/products.php?category_id=33
When touring I like to aim for a minimum of 100k a day and set a target about that distance away and then just see how it goes. Sometimes 65 miles is plenty and sometimes I'm having so much fun I just carry on to 80, 100, 120 depending on the terrain and weather and availability of camping. I have to confess it's all about the cycling for me, with the location just being a bonus. I'm mad I know but there a sense of achievement and thrill I get from powering an 80lb bicycle for 200k that no view or historic landmark can ever top.
I've seen that there are a lot of dedicated cycle trails on South Island which from the pictures appear to be gravel tracks. Although it's a road bike I'm riding, it's got Deore hubs, A719 rims and 35mm Marathon Supreme tyres. It can comfortably cope with canal towpaths and the like so does anyone have an informed opinion as to whether it'll be up to these New Zealand tracks and the gravel roads out there?
Also, I can see from Google that the main roads connecting the towns seem to be good single carriageways with a strip of tarmac to cycle on beyond the white lines in many places. Are there any roads with cycling restrictions and if so, will I be able to find alternative, parallel roads that I can ride on?
Finally, can anyone give me an idea what the mobile internet is like on the island as I usually navigate by Google maps and Garmin? Should I be buying a road atlas?
Thanks in advance!
This should link to their cyclocross videos. Matt Does Cyclocross are the episodes I was on about. Sometimes if I've got 10-15mins to kill I'll call up one of their videos. Definitely worth dipping into. Some stuff is admittedly plain silly, but doesn't mean that's a bad thing
If you can hunt out the videos where they try to teach Matt how to ride cyclocross, they're quite funny.
GC Thanks I will definitely do that and I have to say all the presenters come across as nice lads.
... and horizon and manybikes and MickF ...
Yes, thanks for your help.
... and horizon and manybikes and MickF ...
Touring is on a Streetmachine recumbent so I can get the heavy stuff under the seat and between the wheels where the only affect on handling is to glue you to the road a bit better.
Both will take stupid loads without complaint.
In August of this year we did a circuit starting at Hook of Holland, taking in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and the Hague.
Lots of things to see and do including beaches, woods, zoo, citys, museums, windmills and best of all a theme park.
Accomodation was at the stayokay hostels which were reasonable price and offered a good standard of rooms suitable for families.
We took our 12 year old daughter and she managed the cycling fine and loved the whole experience.
lots of varied cycling but all on good cycling paths separated from the car traffic.
This was our first family cycling holiday and we were all a bit nervous about it, but it was much better than we all expected.
No weight on the bike, so your bike still feels like your bike.
In my experience, the main north - south road should be avoided/minimised.
I have experienced a high incidence of close passes ( punishment passes, quasi-road-rage incidents and incompetent elderly drivers ).
Any other route is better - if you can find one !
PS. I prefer to head for Bosham these days.
How about some smiley faces for Friday afternoon?
These lovelies from Somerset Nursery Clairmont Gardens completed their 8 week Play on Pedals sessions last week at Kelvingrove Tennis Courts (thank youGlasgow Sport for venue).
Megan (their nursery staff) has had great fun with the children and will be starting another group on their pedalling adventures soon!
Thanks again to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for supporting these children and others across Glasgow to learn to ride bikes.
Its been a while since Play on Pedals shared its successes so we thought we’d give an update on how far we’ve come over the last 18 months.
Since April 2014 Play on Pedals has:
- Engaged over 2,000 children, with just over 1,260 children having received the 8 week training programme within their nurseries and 820 children engaged through shorter drop-in sessions.
- Trained 176 Instructors from 128 different nurseries and organisations, each receiving bikes and resources to carry out an 8 week training programme with nursery children.
- 151 of the existing 176 trained Instructors are women – many of whom haven’t been on a bike in their adult lives!
- Trained 9 Instructor Trainers to roll out Instructor training across the city and nationally.
- Recruited 15 Hero Organisations across Glasgow to support the coordination and local sustainability of the project. Hero Organisations include local bike shops, community groups, housing associations and nurseries.
- Rotated over 450 balance and pedal bikes around the city.
- Coordinated two city-wide bike amnesties with support from Glasgow Life and Hero Organisations, to date fixing over 100 unwanted bikes for distribution back for use by pre-schoolers across the city.
- Created a bespoke maintenance training course, delivered by the Glasgow Bike Station, for volunteers, parents and staff to fix and maintain bikes; to date training 30 individuals.
- Attended 40 community events across the city holding taster sessions and providing information and advice for parents.
Here’s a map to give an indication of the current spread of venues trained and delivering Play on Pedals across Glasgow (correct for Oct 2015)
We have also:
- Received support from NHS Community Health Partnerships Team across the city; in the North East this has been in the form of additional funding to provide expert mentoring from one Hero Organisation to a selected cluster of nurseries.
- Secured the entry of a question relating to riding a pedal bike into the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, with thanks to Glasgow Centre for Population Health.
- Worked with Glasgow Life Cycling Development Team on a number of projects, including a bike amnesty, community fun days and provision of training facilities.
- Featured in local and national press, including The Scotsman, The Herald, The Evening Times, The Daily Record, STV Glasgow, The Community Channel, BBC Radio Scotland, United Christian Broadcast Radio, Third Force News, CTC’s ‘Cycle’ and Cycling Scotland’s ‘Spin’.
Huge thank you goes out to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for supporting Play on Pedals to deliver these successes :)