New gear and preparing for NZ tour

Re: New gear and preparing for NZ tour

Postby RonK » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:41 pm

snafuspyramid wrote:Ha no, I doubt that Eisenhower did.

That's a pretty compelling reason to find some Paraderm Plus. I quick Google search tells me it's not made any more but I'm sure I can find something similar.

It's a useful all around medication - good to have should you get a saddle sore too.

I get lots of hits on Google, and I'd bet your local chemist has it or something similar.
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by BNA » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:46 pm

BNA
 

Re: New gear and preparing for NZ tour

Postby snafuspyramid » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:46 pm

Thanks, I just purchased a generic pharmacy version online for $10.

Is there anything else you recommend taking for NZ conditions particularly? What was the weather like when you were there? I got the impression from your blog that it was fairly clear weather, though I haven't read all of it yet. What do you recommend for sun protection?
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Re: New gear and preparing for NZ tour

Postby RonK » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:15 pm

snafuspyramid wrote:Thanks, I just purchased a generic pharmacy version online for $10.

Is there anything else you recommend taking for NZ conditions particularly? What was the weather like when you were there? I got the impression from your blog that it was fairly clear weather, though I haven't read all of it yet. What do you recommend for sun protection?

Bearing in mind I've toured there twice in spring, i.e. the same time as you will be there.

First tour I got mostly fine weather with only a couple of showery days, and one very wet day at Haast on the west coast where it bucketed down for most of a day, as it is wont to do there. My advice is, keep an eye on the weather forecast, and if they say a front is coming, stay in bed. EnZed Metservice has a great little weather app btw. But I still ended up wearing arm and leg warmers every day on the west coast for protection from the sandflies.

I have brown skin and don't burn easily, so I don't carry any sunscreen. BUT - the ozone is thin in the atmosphere above EnZed, and when the sun shines, it burns. It burns even when it is quite low in the sky, and I was surprised to realise that my face was getting burned, even though I always wear a cap under my helmet. So if you do burn I think you will need maximum protection sunscreen.

On my second tour the weather was the exact opposite, with a series of complex cold fronts arriving from the Antarctic every five days or so. I got frigid wind, rain, sleet, snow. There were only two days when I could shed the arm and leg warmers, and they were on the ride along the Tekapo - Pukaki Canal past Mt Cook, and the next day over the Lindis Pass to Wanaka. As mentioned in another post, a few days later there was 20cm of snow on the pass. Oh, and southerly fronts are often followed by westerly gales - 130kph winds are common. The day I rode from Hakataramea Pass to Lake Tekapo it took me 3 hours to travel the last 10kms into the gale. After that there will be a couple of nice still days before the next cold front arrives.

In these conditions my four season Hilleberg tent was a godsend. Most days I wore bibnicks and a Ground Effect merino short sleeve jersey, a Ground Effect Jetson vest, arm and leg warmers, under gloves and mitts and a Showers Pass Elite 2 jacket. When it was raining I also wore a Taiga helmet hat, Rainlegs and goretex mitts.

PS - when you get to Wanaka, and also in Queenstown if you go that way, make sure you take your wife to Patagonia Chocolates. Get her a hot chocolate and a few truffles, there are a lot of brownie point to be won.

If you would like a copy of the EnZed South Island camping guide, PM me with an email address. One thing I discovered is that in many motor camps (caravan parks), a cabin is only a few dollars more than a camp site and well worth it for a comfortable bed and electricity to recharge batteries etc.
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Re: New gear and preparing for NZ tour

Postby snafuspyramid » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:27 pm

I, on the other hand, burn at the very suggestion of sun. That I've survived to the ripe old age of 25 years under the Australian sun is a surprise in itself. I personally don't like having a peak on my helmet and a cap is too hot for me, even in winter (I use a windbreaker ear cover, which deals with the wind without overheating). So I'm wondering how best to deal with the sun. I'll probably take both arm and leg warmers to cover my limbs, but I'm not so sure about what to use for the back of my neck (which is where I tend to get the most sun exposure cycling). I'll be using sunscreen, too, but covering up is definitely better.

Thanks for the offer of the guide RonK, very kind - I'll PM you shortly. I've been reading your blog and will probably follow your route fairly closely.
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Re: New gear and preparing for NZ tour

Postby RonK » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:11 pm

Maybe a bandana to cover your neck?

I know you said you like cooking, but one of the pleasures of visiting EnZed is the food, particularly the seafood. The fush'n'chups are fantastic - blue cod is the best choice. The mussells and oysters are huge, and you can get a great seafood chowder just about anywhere. It will be whitebait season while you are there - it's a great delicacy and the local go to great lengths to catch it. A whitebait fritter is definitely worth a try. The white wines are pretty good, and so is the pinot noir. The beer is excellent. And it's all at a discount given the favourable exchange rate.
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Re: New gear and preparing for NZ tour

Postby ChristopherD » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:24 pm

Hi

South Island Te Wai Pounamu in November? Well, it'll be great!

Weather wise, expect changeable weather, and expect cold weather. Things are very changeable until early January. If there is a cold snap i.e. a front from Antarctica then it will get nippy. But being a long skinny country, weather patterns don't hang around for long. But pack for changeable and cold weather.

The sun will be intense, so slop daily, even on cloudy days.

Traffic wise, things I hear are pretty reasonable. Expect more traffic in the lead up to Christmas. Over the Christmas break there are three distinct traffic movements. First - people head to family get togethers for Christmas. That happens one to two days before hand. The second movement is for New Years. People relocate to somewhere else to celebrate, so expect heavy traffic one to two days before New Years. The third movement is after New Years as people head to a holiday place to relax. This will occur on the 2nd and 3rd January, so expect heavy traffic then. After that, traffic will be pretty light.

I've not ridden down that way, but hoping to do so this summer break.
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Re: New gear and preparing for NZ tour

Postby jemo27 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:22 am

I'm looking at doing a similar tour around the same time. A few questions.

Where are you flying into and with which airline?

Do you have any routes planned?

What do you plan on doing about mobile phone?

Thanks Joel
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Re: New gear and preparing for NZ tour

Postby RonK » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:28 pm

jemo27 wrote:Where are you flying into and with which airline?

Do you have any routes planned?

What do you plan on doing about mobile phone?

Depending on from where you depart, get a direct return flight to Christchurch to minimise the risk of damage to your bike by baggage handlers. Fly either Virgin or Jetstar - whichever has the best deal. Make sure the fare includes luggage. It's probably easiest to pay for an extra bag, that way you don't have to fuss too much about packing

See my blog and EnZed journals for routes and information.

Buy a local SIMM CARD - if you have a smart phone get a Vodaphone Prepay Smart19Data. It is the best deal and coverage I could find. And easy to top up online if necessary. Use Skype if you need to call home. There is a Vodafone kiosk in the international terminal which is open during normal business hours.

The Luggage Solutions store in the terminal offers secure storage for left luggage also and sells bike boxes and packing. It would probably be smart to contact them for pricing before departure. The terminal has a bike assembly area with racks and a box disposal bin. So you can fly in, assemble your bike, dispose of the box or store a bike bag - whichever you use. Cycle from the airport, and retrieve your bike bag or buy another box on the way back. This may be the best approach as there has been a shortage of accommodation in Chch since the earthquake.

Or you could get a Supershuttle into Chch and assemble the bike later. Some accommodation houses offer left luggage storage, but you'll have to check with them. However most of the CBD remains closed off so there doesn't seem to be much reason to stay in Chch now.
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