Riding the length of NZ
By Cameron Nicholls
October 13, 2017
I think you’ll agree with me when I say – it’s very easy to fanticise about tackling that next adventure but getting to the start line can is a different story. The logistics that go into planning and organising often hold us back from the mere daydream.
So what if I told you Cameron Nicholls (Bike Chaser Co-founder) only decided to ride the entire length of New Zealand just 7 weeks out from the start line on July 18th 2017?
Granted, Cameron did have a planned New Zealand husband and wife two-week get-away already locked in, however, it was never meant to be a 13 day mid-winter cycling adventure until his wife (Alice) suggested ‘why don’t you look into doing some cycling while away’ – one of Cameron’s favourite recreational activities.
'One thing led to another', Cameron says. 'One minute I was Googling ‘cycling in New Zealand’ and the next minute I’d found an article on Craig Harpers world record attempt of riding the length of New Zealand in 4.5 days'. While Craig’s story of sleeping on the side of the road, catching helicopters from the North Island to the South, and cycling on Hwy 1 was intriguing for Cameron, it was never in his contemplation to attempt any records. Although reading Craig’s piece got him thinking about riding the length of New Zealand at a solid but doable pace off the main Hwy’s.
The main story can be read here but to cut to the chase, Cameron managed to convince his wife to support him literally weeks away for the start line.
'The big motivator for me was to properly see New Zealand' Cameron goes on. 'My mother is a Kiwi and has always told me about the beauty of New Zealand. What better way to see the country than on my road bike.' Cameron had reasonable fitness but needed to train some solid 30 hour weeks on the bike in the short lead up, ensuring his fitness was up to scratch.
Cameron average 180 km per day over the 13 days. The original 12-day itinerary was slightly disrupted by the extreme conditions New Zealand is prone for. 'The winter conditions and the disruption to the itinerary made it even more of an adventure' Cameron continues. 'We ended up having to play multiple days by ear and stayed in random towns – such as ‘Ross’ on the South Island – that we never would’ve come across if it wasn’t for my endeavours'.
Day to day Cameron’s wife Alice would book the accommodation, drive past him around mid-morning, and then meet him for lunch. While Alice wasn’t riding, she too got to experience the adventure, albeit in a car as opposed to out in the elements.
Upon reflecting on the journey, Cameron and his wife were blown away by the beauty on the South Island, especially through the Glaciers, Haast Pass, Wanaka, and of course, Queenstown. 'While I won’t be disrupting a husband and wife getaway for a while, both my wife and I reflect on the adventure with great memories. Getting out of your comfort zone and being spontaneous was a life changing event that I’d highly recommend to anyone' Cameron concludes.
Copyright © Cameron Nicholls. 10.13.2017. All Rights Reserved.