Welcome to my blog. I started bike packing 3 years ago and all I can say is that I am hooked. The sense of abstraction you get from the daily norm is something words struggle to convey. I think it has something to do with the fact, that whilst you are bike packing you only have to concern yourself with eating, drinking and getting from A to B. It’s a humble experience to be able to observe people around you rushing around whilst you are in this transient abstracted existence.
If you are contemplating embarking on your own mini nomadic bike packing adventure, then all I can say is go for it. I am sure you too will find the whole experience very enlightening and rewarding. A word of warning though and I hold no responsibility should such an event should occur. If you stay out in the wilderness too long, you may turn feral and struggle to reintegrate back into society.
I hope you find my musings inspirational and they spur you on to tackle your own adventure! If any of my routes catch your eye send me a message and I’ll see if I still have the GPX files to hand.
Good luck, happy pedaling and who knows, I’ll maybe see you on the road 🙂
February 21, 2021 at 3:21 pm
Good to meet you yesterday. Not had a chance to look at the blog yet – but I’ve saved it!!
See you off the road 😃😃
February 21, 2021 at 6:08 pm
Hi Jonny, I enjoyed the chat and as soon as spring comes and trails dry out maybe go for a MTB ride if you fancy it.
December 18, 2018 at 9:37 am
Hey mate, just came across your blog after researching the Tour Aoetearoa. I think I have read almost every blog post so far, really enjoying it! Your blog is pretty difficult to find on WordPress, when you search “onemanandhisbike” it only comes up with 2 posts from when you did the Great Divide and it takes while to find your other content. I think your blog deserves way more traffic because it’s so good! I think if you sort that issue out, you’d get heaps more traffic!
December 10, 2017 at 9:13 am
Hi there, well I have just 4 weeks to go until I fly to do the TA route. Not done as much on my bike as I would like and it is now snowing in Kent. Thanks for your previous advice. Pre tour panic now setting in. Any words of wisdom will be grearfully received ?
Did you have to lower the pressure in your front forks before you put your bike on the plane?
December 10, 2017 at 9:48 am
Don’t sweat it. I too did very little cycling the month before I flew out. In fact I contemplated cancelling my trip, but so glad I didn’t!! By now you will have developed a good base. I’d suggest just getting a few rides in if possible, but don’t worry too much as you will build fitness as you cycle through NZ. The key points I’d make are as follows.
1. Don’t overcook it by pushing out stupid mileage from day one. You will get saddle sore and suffer big time! Be conservative the first 3-4 days.
2. By now you will have your setup dialed and have a checklist of what you are taking with you. If not. Write that list. I break mine down as follows.
a) Gear for when riding
b) Gear for when eating
c) Gear for when arriving at camp, showering and sleeping
That’s it. A nice simple existence awaits you!
3. It is very important that on day one of the ride down Ninety Mile beach you set off when the tide is just right. it’s the only day where you do have to put the power down and push on. Get the tide wrong and you’ll have to lug your bike up a sand dune and wait for the tide to go back out. (Take 4-5 Litres of water too)
4. Have you booked the ferry crossing from Pouto Point -> Parakai as if not you should or find out when it is going.
Aside from the above, my only real advice is as follows.
Just relax and go and have the time of your life!
ps – I didn’t take an air shock pump, but can’t remember if I borrowed one out there.
November 22, 2017 at 10:38 pm
Dear Justin, I just stumbled on your blog from STW and it looks amazing. As an aspiring bike packer, I look forward to reading it!
I came across you on STW regarding your post about the dynamo wheel, and I’m curious if it’s still available. Sorry to post it on here, I couldn’t find a contact email anywhere.
November 23, 2017 at 7:08 am
Apologies, but the wheel was sold some time ago. Bike packing is great fun and I hope my blog inspires you to get out there 🙂
November 26, 2017 at 1:45 pm
Thank you for letting me know! I think bikepacking is the most amazing thing ever! I depise the cold though, but I’m still going to try and get out this winter!
September 10, 2017 at 12:05 am
Thanks for this: interested to see your view of our wee country. I’m starting the TA on 12th February 2018, so am reading all I can. Did you have any problems with numbness in your hands? I’m planning to use my On One Pickenflick CX bike with 50mm Soma Cazadero tyres – but wonder if I’d do well to get a hardtail. And yes, small market with too many middlemen: bike things are dear, but you do the expertise of a bike shop sometimes.
September 10, 2017 at 7:56 pm
I didn’t suffer with numbness in the hands, but I made sure I had multiple hand positions. Ergo grips with stubby bar ends and I also fitted tri bars. These were great for the road sections where you could get down low, grind out the miles and also give the hands a rest. There were a few other riders who didn’t have tri bars and they didn’t complain of numb hands.
I think about that trip quite frequently. What an adventure!
PS – Make sure you find the small take out burger store in Wanaka as it was the best burger I have ever tasted!
July 29, 2017 at 10:03 am
Did you fly into Auckland then out of Queenstown?
Hoe did you get up to the start point from Auckland?
July 29, 2017 at 11:00 am
The logistics of getting to Cape Reinga from Auckland airport was in theory as follows. As my flight landed in Auckland at 0500hrs I had planned to get to Keri Keri that day. Keep moving so as to avoid falling asleep and then go to be ~ 2100hrs NZ time (It worked and I suffered no jetlag)
1) Air NZ domestic flight from Auckland to Kaitaia
2) Intercity bus from Kaitaia -> Kerikeri (https://www.intercity.co.nz/travel-info/timetable/lookup/7331)
3) Stay in Keri Keri for the night.
4) Pickup ride with a chap who ferries bikepackers from Keri Keri to Cape Reinga. $20 (I have lost my Tour Aotearoa guide books so don’t have his phone number.)
I’d recommend the Kennett Brothers guide books for this trip. Full of useful information about towns, campsites …
July 29, 2017 at 5:46 pm
Thanks for the information you are a star.
Just six months of training now then😂.
Are you planning any other big trips?
Will defo get the travel guide.
I plan to start riding on jan 14th 2018 which is my 62nd birthday.
Hopefully will get a good price flight from Heathrow.
All the best Clive
July 29, 2017 at 5:59 pm
Always enjoy helping fellow cycle travelers. Having an end goal always helps the training during the winter months. You will most likely already do this, but add weight to your bike when training. I added the same weight in sand as my gear to my panniers that I use for commuting and trained with that. It then wasn’t a shock to get on a fully loaded bike when I got to NZ.
Have a great time and let me know how it goes as I always like to read about other cyclists travels.
July 27, 2017 at 1:57 pm
Hi there, I am planning this trip + diversions to some of the new trails that are available in January 2018. Did you hire your equipment? if so any recommendations. Love the blog it has given me the incentive to just do it. Thanks Clive
July 27, 2017 at 8:29 pm
Hi Clive, thanks for the thumbs up on the blog.
I took my own bike and all my gear and packaged it in a cardboard bike box sourced from the local bike shop. Managed to pack my bike, tent, clothes .. in the box and get the whole lot down to 32kg so it could go as my checked in baggage. I carried my 11 litre rucksack and helmet on board.
I would take / buy everything here in the UK and take it with you. With GBP being so weak buying anything bike related in NZ costs mega bucks!
You can source bike boxes in NZ with ease. I got mine for the home journey from a shop in Queenstown.
Go do it! It was an amazing experience and you’ll have a fab time 🙂
July 28, 2017 at 11:23 pm
Thanks for that I like the sound of your way of doing things so will start to plan.
Still reading the blog it is very informative and fun.
Just trying to get a decent flight price but not that easy.
All the best Clive.
July 29, 2017 at 8:09 am
Taking your own gear is not that much of a headache. You do have to do disassemble a fair few parts, but if you know your way around a bike with a multi tool allen key (which you’ll take with you) then you will be fine.
Flight wise. I booked mine in mid November on Sky Skanner, but I had been looking on and off for a month. Qatar were drip feeding cheap flights in every so often and one evening I was browsing and there were flights with a very short layover for £620 return. Some people say browse in incognito mode so Sky Scanner does not know your search history.