Christmas in Franz Josef with Matt and Lori

The drive down the West Coast was scenic, but not much to say about it. We made a quick stop at St. Arnaud for Chandra to see including a visit to the start of the Rainbow Road. Oh – and it’s cool that there are penguin crossing signs, and sometimes you have to share the one-lane bridges with trains!

We tried to go for a mountain bike ride at the Kaniere Water Race while camping at Lake Kaniere near Hokitika, but I broke spokes. Again. Now, though, I see a pattern. Both spokes broken were adjacent drive-side spokes and they popped when I made a rough shift going up a steep-ish spot. I realized, when I replaced them at the campground, that the issue is some badly distributed spoke tension – as I have broken spokes and had to true the rear wheel alot, I usually tighten rather than evenly distribute spoke tension, so over the 1600 km to date, the issue is overtightening. After fixing with my final remaining spare spokes, my new goal is not for this rear wheel to carry a loaded trailer. The new goal is for the rear wheel to be rollable to get my bike onto the ferry and the plane from Wellington to Auckland where I will box it up. Sad indeed…

At Franz Josef, it was awesome to meet up with Matt and Lori! We cooked for each other, hooked up a sick batch of belly pleaser (coconut, mango, rice, love) with mimosas for Christmas morning and headed out to the Patrick Point hike overlooking the Franz Josef glacier. It’s about a 20km return hike but the second half of it is seriously approaching fourth class (not so bad in exposure but seriously scrambley on very slippery rocks!). I think it was worth it though! Lori turned back a bit before the end but Matt and Chandra and I made the end of the trail, snapped a few photos, then hurried back to Lori so we could all descend together. Not a bad way to spend Christmas on the other side of the world!

Leave a Reply