By hook or by crook


It’s a good thing this was the last day of cycling and camping for a while.

Snap, this is the sound which froze me while I was disassembling the tent. The shorter of the two aluminium tubes that form the structure of the tent finally gave up the ghost.

You can see from the large picture above, and no doubt you remember my previous lamentations, it had slowly started to succumb to metal fatigue quite some time ago. Well this morning,on the last fold up of New Zealand it decided that it had enough. Part of me thinks this is a very lucky coincidence as I now have a few days in a large city where for sure I’ll be able to source some replacement.

Did not take many pictures on route today, partly a I was going over old ground partly the weather wasn’t really on my side.

This was just the last of a series of breakages that have befallen me in the past week, perhaps it’s a message that my gear it’s sending me, “sooner or later luck runs out”.

Route 3,004,567 – powered by


It started on Monday when an attempt to reposition the bell resulted in it snapping and me left holding it in my hand.

Think bell here before it feel off.
Think bell here before it feel off.

The yesterday afternoon, while I was happily pedalling and listening to music I happened to glance down at the bicycle frame. I noticed that something was wrong and then I realised what it was. Where the water bottle used to be there now was only one half of the bottle holder and no bottle. Obviously it had fallen away on one of the fast descents and, given the other considerable vibrations, I did not notice at all.

This is where the water bottle used to be with the rest of the bottle holder.
This is where the water bottle used to be with the rest of the bottle holder.

Finally the other casualty, although not terminal, is the saltire. During the kauri forest off road with rain section it got completely mudded up and despite some tlc the stains that are there look like they are there to stay.

In addition to that the strong winds of northland have undone the hems on the fa away side and the flapping has started creating a fringe that, while quite character giving, will ultimately destroy the thing.

Saltire has seen better days
Saltire has seen better days
And it got flapped a lot in the wind.
And it got flapped a lot in the wind.

I suspect it will survive long enough for me to make it back to Europe though and that is all it needs to do. After that I have, as part of the summer re-kitting, devised a more permanent solution that will enable me to fly the flag as well as adding a layer of security to my riding that it is at the moment missing.

Anyways, this is in fact the last post from the ride around New Zealand. 3207 miles in 91 days at an average of just below 48 miles per riding day. Cycling in New Zealand has been challenging but also very rewarding and the people I have met have been amazing.

Let me just give you an example that will sum this up. Last night while I was setting up camp a chap (Graham) that was camped further along with his caravan came and had a chat with me. After the story of the cycle trip we got into the subject of sailing and he told me that he was also doing a RYA course at the moment, the day skipper (this is the one I want to do next year). He also told me he had a boat and had friends with boats that he sailed with, sometime him crewing their boat sometime them crewing his. I explained to him that I was keen on coming back next year and get some crewing experience and do the day skipper course on route to buying my own boat and he gave some advice on how to go about finding crewing opportunities.

This morning when i left I did not see him but some 10 miles into my route I saw this pickup truck pull over in front of me and Graham come out and wave me down. I stopped and he said he was so pleased he got me as when he got up I had already gone. He wanted me to have is telephone number so that if I come back next year I can call him and we can go out with his boat. This are what the kiwi are like, try beating that.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Andrew Clowes says:

    Preemo…Graham is sweet as…bro!
    Yes thats what it is like the country over.

    I think we have a new tent here for you?!? Its a box from amazon anyway.

    There are a few good outoor shops in Auckland who, I am sure will be able to source either a replacement or know somewhere that can. Bivouac on Queens street (under a bookshop) is excellent.

  2. cathy says:

    One word….. sugru

  3. Jimmy. says:

    An other countrywide tour completed.Happy days ahead in Australia.
    Best regards,
    Jimmy and Brenda.

  4. Sorry we did not catch up with you again.
    All been reading your nightly writings and enjoying them.
    At least things started to fall to pieces at the end of your journey.
    If you come back to N Z maybe Paul can take you to his favourite places for bike riding.
    And he has now taken up kite surfing still learning but really enjoying it.
    Enjoy Australia

    1. Alex says:

      I’m sorry too that I did not manage to swing by Cambridge on the way up, by the time I got to Napier I was getting worried about running out of time. I will be back to New Zealand probably as soon as next summer to do some sailing and to see people that I’ve met in this year’s travel. When I get there I guarantee you I’ll be in touch and for sure pop over to see you. Kite surfing, wow, that’s something else I have not tried yet 🙂

  5. julca says:

    Mi raccomando ricomponiti per bene e passa delle belle giornate.

  6. Ann Cavie says:

    Enjoyed your blogs Alex
    We’re now back in the UK, planning our next adventure.
    Don’t forget to call in for a beer if you’re our way.
    Simon & Ann

    1. Alex says:

      Good to hear from you, I’m currently in Auckland packing up and I’ll be flying to Melbourne on Friday where I’ll be taking a month to leisurely cycle the coast road to Sydney. I think I’ll be in the UK both in July and in September but it’s more likely I’ll be able to come and see you in the later as the July trip is a short and already busy one. Im sure I’ll see you before you set off but I’m intrigued to know where you’re planning to go next.

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