Days 23 – 24: Christchurch

50 km mountain biking in the Port Hills

After the experience of working on my bike in the wilderness with a broken chain, spoke issues, and then facing a southerly headwind (cold!) and rain for 140 km to Christchurch, I decided to take a shuttle into town, fix up the bike, and hopefully get some mountain biking in. Cath and Lee, who I joined on the Queen Charlotte Track were super kind in giving me places to stay and helping me with the logistics of being there, not to mention the opportunity to hang out with cool folks again! Cath also had arranged for me to give a talk at Lincoln Ventures where she was working on Monday, after picking up Chandra. It was to be a fun weekend with also some logistics and reuniting with Chandra after a month of solo riding to enter a new phase of travel!

After arriving on the shuttle, I went from the Cathedral Square directly to a bike shop seeking a new chain and (as I figured would be required as well) a new cassette. I replaced both in the Cathedral Square with a rotating audience of curious and enthusiastic tourists. Eventually, I made my way over to Lee’s place for dinner and crashed in Lyttelton for the evening. In the morning, I cranked up the bridle path from Lyttleton to the Summit Road of the Port Hills for a day of outrageous singletrack along the hills above Christchurch, meeting up with Lee about halfway through where we watched some crazy serious downhillers and then sent the Flying Nun which was ridiculously fun and more my speed of downhill action. We ended the day with a Christmas party at David Scott’s place (he’s a legendary hydrogeologist at Environment Canterbury) and then Lee and I made our way to his favourite English pub (The Twisted Hop) for cask ales pulled with a pump and enjoyed several before making our way back to his place. It was late, and the beer was plentiful, and in the morning, my first driving experience would be picking up Chandra at the airport!

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