Something we have noticed about New Zealand is their love for biking! Unfortunately for us, their idea of biking is a little different to ours. Great mountain tracks and wine trails, not so much road biking. When it comes to the hiring of road racing bikes, it seems the same.
This said, some places have stood out for us, friendly, informative, great bikes, and good information on routes. It really helps to have the insider knowledge and a great bike to ride on makes all the difference.
Avantiplus – Blenheim – Ian, our lodge host at our apartment Tresco, helped us so much, we rang ahead to ask him about rentals and routes in the area, and he went out of his way to source a good hire shop, and even persuaded them to open on a Sunday for us.
Danijel at the shop was a big help, and gave us a lot of insight and route information. He even spoke Dutch! The roadbike he had planned had not been returned yet, so I got a cyclocross bike, a race bike with thicker wheels. So gravel roads can be defied as well. He even had the right click in pedals for my bike shoes (what a treat!)
Danijel had a great route planned, partly gravel, partly paved but few cars. With hills, vineyards and views. Can’t go wrong, he said, only a few corners! So off I went, ready for 65km, with a bottle of water and some snacks.
It was beautiful indeed! But then…
Of course I did turn left where I should have turned right and got lost. I remember thinking: “I am almost there, I can now safely drink all my water!“, and drink it I did, every last drop. My snacks had already been eaten. Little did I know I had a long road to go, again, in a burning hot sun on a very hilly road!
I made it, almost 30k more then planned, I have never been so dehydrated! With visions of food and water at every climb. Even had a little sun stroke after! Learned that preparation is very important and also that I am stronger than I thought!
The first dead end, I was still a happy camper!
Imagine 30 km of this whilst having visions of water!