Our site works best with JavaScript enabled.

Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure

Life on the Broken Road Part 2

By Joe Beaumont
09, Mar, 2017

Such a lovely place bro. Continued snapshots from New Zealand

If you've not caught up on Part 1 of Life on the Broken Road then catch up here

But carrying on.... 6 years ago was the last time I felled a tree. Back then it was my business, Beaufell Tree services. Despite it feeling weirdly emotional it also felt 'right' to be back on the saw again, doing what I was trained to do. This isn't a return to the old days, sadly it can't be. My body doesn't allow it. I have to find new things to do that doesn't rely on it. Now I'll have to rely on my brain and personality to get by. A scary prospect!

This is one of my motivations to go on a bikepacking trip, to spend the time seeing the wood for the trees, to work out where I should go now? Not just in a geographical sense but in life now. Incidentally the gum tree was planted for fire wood and I'm helping out with the 'gardening'.

Here's to 2000+km on the South Island. Celebrating and staking my claim in Beaumont. Much like my own head, there's nothing much in Beaumont. This Hotel is like an oasis to a sun beaten cyclist that's battled 35deg heat. I got a private room for $25 and the food was incredible, prepared by the Icelandic owner Gunni

West Coast Wilderness Trail - leading from Greymouth, in persistent rain (which is how I imagine the town got its name in some part). You start along an old rail line hugging the coast, it's not long then you're in the swamps and well planted boarding leads you through km of flax, beech and eucalyptus forest. The noise of Cicadas is deafening and became so normal that it's only when I came out of the other end some kilometres later that it ended and I emitted an audible 'oh thank f@*k'.

Bridges, lakes, little two bit hick towns pass until the climb begins, over gravel tracks, signs for Cowboys paradise start appearing, getting excited by the prospect of the prospecting town. Whilst the paradise it wasn't, the swooping descent was so good I contemplated doing it all over again!

Out of Cowboys Paradise leads to a stunning mountain valley, more fun descending until the valley floor. Getting to Hans Bay DOC site late meant quickly throwing all my clothes on (sandflies!!) and making some food to share with the resident Weka population. Choosing to bivvy on top of the picnic bench away from the Wekas, who's curiosity quickly became bloody annoying. In the morning, a short tarmac effort to Hokitiki and then on to Ross where the trail ends. A cool tiny town with lots of gold mining history. I carried on along state highway 6 until it got late and I got to the stunning Lake Peringa. Sleeping with views over the placid lake over to the mount cook range, and the first sight of snow.

Travelling light means travelling fast. I did the 3/4 day ride in just under 2 days and that was still enough time to soak this lovely little route up. Highly recommend and yet another reason to get off the roads and for me justify these big ass tyres! 

Maximum effort 100% of the time! Sometimes the hardest thing about bikepacking is getting your arse off the comfy chair and swapping it with what feels like a plank of wood.

The Central Otago Rail Trail. When rail trail is mentioned you know it's gonna be flat. 200km of pure flat joy around some stunning scenes, quite towns jammed with lovely folk.

2500km through NZ still wasn't preparation enough for the views over lake pukaki and lake tekapo. I spent nights here sleeping right by the waters edge unable to sleep because the stars were damn bright it was like they were bearing down on me. This is why I sleep in a bivvy bag rather then a tent, I don't want to be closed off to the stars even if that means dealing with the odd mosquito.

My shadow is getting longer on the tarmac. Looking up from the long white line hearing a ute approaching as the sunsets. 

They never fail to toot their horn,wave or raise a nonchalant finger from the steering wheel. 

Friendliness and an appreciation of whatever it is that I'm doing. 

I like to think that they see that cycling through their country is the best way to be part of their country.

Something happens to me as the evening approaches. I kind of think it's like a second wind. A renewed energy in my body. As the heat of the sun gives way to the chill of the stars. I become more sharp. As night approaches my eyes are more fixated on the road just one meter ahead, my ears more tuned in to the environment. This is a dangerous time and I become excited like a child. My goal tonight is Christchurch and the beach. 90km more then what my goal was in the morning. 

This would make a full circle of the South Island, just a few kilometres off 3000.  I'm still amazed of what my body and mind can do when it's on two wheels. More so then any other time. 

This is extreme enjoyment endurance and I am a cyclist and I love it. Journey on to Part 3.

  • Google+

In pictures

1 Comment

Share your thoughts about this article.


Dave Lawes
You meet the strangest of people in some strange places

Hey Joe, great chatting to you yesterday afternoon. I was one of the motorcyclists you meet having a quiet beer on the Taihape road. don't worry I won't tell anyone we saw you pushing your bike up the hill, didn't seem that step from my saddle.haha. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip Joe. Sounds like you're having a great time, probably something we all should do at least once.

Related Deeds

Wild About Argyll
Bikepacking the Wild About Argyll trail
In Daring Deeds
A Serious Undertaking
A stormy start to a Cairngorm loop
In Daring Deeds
16 National Marathons
16 Marathons, 16 days, 16 UK National Parks
In Daring Deeds
Salbit Westgrat - Alpine Training at its Best
Tom Ripley heads to Salbischjen for some E1 fun
In Daring Deeds
Mont Blanc in a day
Anna Wells attempts the ultimate "day hit"
In Daring Deeds

News

Ireland To Asia: A Year On My Bike
Tales from Sean Hoban's journey to Asia
In News
Alpkit Adventure Weekender
Join us in store for an adventure filled weekend
In News
Teuchters on Tour
Fundraising cycle trip
In News
Silk Road Mountain Race
An unsupported bikepacking race in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan
In News
27 Peaks in 77 Days
Jarda Zaoral is taking on Europes 27 peaks
In News

Develop

The Squalline Story
Developing our new run/ride showerproof shell
In Develop
Gripping Developments In Gloves
A whole new glove range: the inside story
In Develop
New UK Made Bikepacking Bag Range
UK-made bike luggage shifts up a cog
In Develop
What’s So Great About Merino Wool?
What's all this fuss about Merino wool?
In Develop
Sonder Evol: Q&A with Bike Guru Neil
Sonder's new 140mm trail bike
In Develop

Spotlight

Layering up for Cycling
Our new Rhythm range, and how to layer for a ride
In Spotlight
Handy Glove Guide
Need a hand finding your way around our new glove range?
In Spotlight
Supporting the Silk Road Race
Watching dots on the Silk Road
In Spotlight
A Lake District Guide to Hike-A-Biking
How and why to hike-a-bike
In Spotlight
6 Ways to Pitch a Tarp
Tarp techniques for camping from the AK Tarpologists
In Spotlight

Kudos

Camping and Caravan Club test the Viso 3
Camping and Caravan Club
-