Regular LoveCycling blogger and a customer of our Grafham Cycling store Frank Burns will be embarking on a 1500 mile bike ride later this month which will see him cycle End-to-End of New Zealand. Here Frank tells us the route he'll be cycling and tells us why this is his most ambitious ride so far...
I am sure readers of the LoveCycling blog have a broad range of interests in the world of cycling. That is one of the beauties of cycling: it is not just one discipline (like some sports) but a whole variety of disciplines. Bikes can be ridden in velodromes, on roads, on mountain tracks, even on and over street furniture and buildings. You can ride bikes that range from the ultra feather-light carbon machines, to cross bikes, mountain bikes, trikes, recumbents and many more. They can be ridden in time trials, road races, BMX competitions, downhills, cross-country or just for pleasure.
I will be cycling End-to-End of New Zealand on this beloved Steel Raleigh bike that I purchased from Rutland Cycling's Grafham store over 20 years ago.
My greatest love in the world of cycling is long-distance, self-sufficient touring, carrying minimal weight and enjoying the sheer freedom that bike travel brings. Over 35 years I have completed dozens of tours, sometimes with students (in my time as a teacher), sometimes with fellow cyclists, but more often as solo expeditions. These tours have ranged from a couple of days to several weeks; from 200 miles to over 1500 miles; from local trips to trans-continental trips. Everyone of them has been special in its own way.
Now, nearly 5 years into retirement, I am about to set off on the most ambitious expedition of my life. Not because of the distance, but more because it will take place on the other side of the world, over terrain and through weather conditions that will be challenging in the extreme. Any of you who knowNew Zealandwill probably know what I mean. But for me, the challenge is the excitement and anticipation of finding out what its really like. The shortest route between Cape Reinga( north of NorthIsland) and Bluff (south of South Island) is about 1500 miles, but it looks as if my chosen route, with diversions and detours, will take me closer to 1800 miles.
Then, as a kind of 'dessert' after the 'main course', I will hop over to Australia and cycle the Princes Highway from Sydney to Melbourne (700 miles), and hope by early March that the raging bush fires will be under control.
If you are a regular reader of Love Cycling, you can follow the ups and downs of my venture via my weekly posts. This, of course, will sometimes depend on 3G connectivity in the remoter parts of New Zealand, and my ability to construct posts using the micro-management available through a smart phone. Stay tuned...
In the meantime, because this is a charity ride, if you would care to support the Children in Syria in their struggle to survive the dreadful civil war, please feel free to donate securely at: www.justgiving.com/Frank-Burns1
NB: All the Expenses of this 1500 mile expedition will be mine meaning every penny of your donation will go to my chosen charity; Children in Syria.
See you up the road!