In part 4 of Frank Burns' End-to-End of New Zealand feature, Frank tells us how he has completed his End-to-End of New Zealand ride for Charity. The fun doesn't end there though as Frank will now be embarking upon a ride from Sydney to Melbourne amassing another 1000km!
A broken frame outside of Queenstown is not a good omen. In fact, I would hazard a guess at suggesting it could be about the worst mechanical news any cyclist could receive.
Action: straight to a bike shop, they puzzled over the problem, a wily mechanic spotted the crack, they dismantled the bottom bracket, I went to find a welder 10km away, he fixed it within 30 minutes, the bike mechanics re-installed the drive-train......and with only a 24 hour delay I was back on the road again! Thank goodness I was riding a steel frame. Any other, more modern material, would have ended up on the rubbish heap.
I did allow myself two days off the bike to enjoy trips up two of the famous Sounds on the west coast, and amazingly I had fine weather for both days (average rainfall is over 8 metres per annum!). But once back on the road, I noticed something very strange...in fact, totally unfamiliar on this trip...I actually had a tailwind blowing from the north!
I had 170km (106 miles) to get to Invercargill, which was going to be a fairly leisurely two day journey, but when I read the forecast for the next day and learned the wind was about to change to the south, I decided to stay in the saddle for the duration. So 170km became my biggest day, and sure enough, the wind did turn to the south and at gale force! So glad I had made that decision.
Invercargill is a hive of journalists. They jump out of bushes to interview any unsuspecting good story. Then I discovered there was a school of journalism in town! I was caught by the roadside by a newspaper journalist, who also offered me a bed for the night; a radio presenter caught me at Bluff having my photos taken under the famous signposts, and he deftly produced a voice recorder, took a ritual photo, and disappeared (he worked for MoreFM); then a local TV network caught up with me, interviewed me outside the studio, then a cameraman followed me on the road to Bluff to take some action shots.
I haven't yet seen the recording, but you might catch it on Cue TV: www.cuetv.co.nz.
I was hosted in Invercargill by some generous people connected with Save the Children, then I headed off on the high-speed catamaran to Stewart Island to chill for 36 hours, enjoying the wonderful bays and beaches, and eating the famous blue cod and battered mussels. The island was full of "trampers" (hikers), hunters and fishermen.
I am now preparing my bike for the flight to Sydney, where I will follow the Princes Highway coastal route to Melbourne, a mere 1000km! NZ was the main course, and Oz is going to be the dessert!
To support the Children in Syria: www.justgiving.com'Frank-Burns1