Day 1 (!) Auckland/Mangere to Miranda Hot Springs

96km (60 miles) – total = 96km

NOTE:  Photos will be added in a couple days.  Typing on a hoopdy rig in a ghetto campground….

It was a good day today.  I managed to go to sleep at the reasonable hour of about 1030 last night, figuring that as tired as I was by then, I would thwart jetlag entirely, having slept two hours in well over 24, and wake up refreshed at 7 or 8.  Unfortunately, I was up promptly at 3.  But, I slept soundly until then, so I started out with a pretty good day of rest.
It took a while to pack the trailer, but it was already tighter (as Chandra predicted, but also because I put some things in the front bag and in my camelbak).  In any case, I was aiming for a departure at about 9 but it ended up being closer to 1030.  I got a long lecture from an Australian couple staying at the Skyway lodge about the Cormorandal Peninsula, although I already know where I need to go.  But, they were very passionate so I had trouble exracting myself.  Luckily, Ralph and his wife Hayley wanted a photograph of me leaving but they were ready to leave as well so they pulled me away.  They are a very cool British couple traveling for 6 months with their very young son Ru.  We got talking about bike touring and they said they like to tour on their Raleigh 3-speed “shoppers.”  So, I told them about the Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour and they were really stoked!  In fact, they asked for information on the off chance that they can make it it May on their way back to the UK from here!
Once I finally got riding, and older fellow going the other way flagged me down.  Tony is 74 and has ridden everywhere it seems.  He was totally full of advice and enthusiasm, interspersed with stories about hitchhiking in the US in 1962, travels in Europe, and everything else.  All told, I talked with him for over an hour, which was bad for my legs/energy level, but he was so stoked to tell me all these things, and he really gave me quite a lot of good ideas for the next bit of my travels.  When I started making the social cues for moving on (putting the map away, putting my sunglasses back on) he still would have talked forever.  It’s holiday though right?  Really, with 60 miles on the day, how much of a hurry did I need to be in?  Granted, I was less than 15 miles in at that point.
So I followed his route recommendation for the next bit, having pretty much escaped Auckland traffic (which was bad but nothing worse than Madison or San Francisco) and got a pretty big push from the wind much of the time heading east.  I stopped for a little lunch at a roadside picnic table and saw the dogpoo sign in the picture.  Too funny! I’m glad it came with instructions.

A few firsts today: 1) using a mirror – I’m addicted!  So much easier to see what’s coming rather than wait until you can hear it!  2) a new kind of pie – meat pie (well, smoked fish in my case) 3) first 60 mile ride ending with a soak in a hot pool 4) I saw a bird rivaling the size of the World’s largest Pheasant in South Dakota!

A couple things I can do without in the future:  1) Mr Tuffy’s when riding with high-pressure tires.  I got a flat and could easily see that Mr. Tuffy was at fault.  In order to not start a trend that while familiar I would not like, I patched the tire (BTW – why did patching my tube feeling like ripping out my heart?  Because Chandra is the patching mastah!  *sigh* it must be love…  2) having that nice push switch to a headwind just as the hills ended and the end was in sight.

So the soak was luxury (but sorry M@t – no didge), dinner was so-so ( the tomato sauce I bought tasted like catsup!) but I’m going to crash in littleTent to face the day tomorrow.  Hopefully an earlier start and many kms!

3 thoughts on “Day 1 (!) Auckland/Mangere to Miranda Hot Springs

  1. Hey there!!!! Sounds like your adventure is going exactly as we thought it would . . . that is, filled with all those wonderful friendly NZers. That’s what I love about bike touring, and everyone says that the NZers are amongst the friendliest in the world! Can’t wait to get there. We’ll have to find a place to soak after one of our rides! . . . doesn’t seem fair that the blog is on day one, and yet I am on day five of you being gone! Glad to know that you miss me. lv, yur patch-masta!

  2. Hey, Mike:
    Glad to hear (actually read) that you are off to a good start for your adventure. I will be flying to Seattle tomorrow morning for my annual NASM convention. Looking forward to some great seafood eating! I will return on Tuesday evening and very much looking forward to the Thanksgiving Break. Then it will be CinCC, followed by Messiah with the Mankato Symphony the next weekend.

    Tonight I am playing continuo with the Gustavus Philharmonic Orchestra (all strings) and Judy is picking up Dad, John and Martha to bring them to the concert.

    Last Sunday afternoon we saw Joel in Oklahoma! He really did a terrific job, and looked good on stage–also looked at home there. Great fun.

    Those pictures of you assembling your bike remind me of you assembling your bike in Berlin not so very long ago.

    Anyway, enjoy your New Zealand adventure–I will watch for further blog updates.


  3. Hi Michael–just wanted you to know that I am following your adventures and wishing you a safe and joyful trip. I of course also need to remind you to BE CAREFUL. Yes, I know I’m shouting by using caps but you are a long way away. Can’t wait to read you updates. Love MG

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