Why New Zealand?
25 October 2004


It is one of the most common questions I have received since I decided to bike around New Zealand .  For the record, let me state it is not because I liked the movie Lord of the Rings.  Truthfully, there really is not a specific reason as to why I am going to New Zealand as opposed to any other place, except that it works out.  Granted it has been on my list of places to visit for some time, but there are many others also. One of the limiting factors in my decision was the knowledge that I would only be able to take an extended trip such as this one at the end of the year.  Therefore, every possibility was in the southern part of the States, Latin America or the southern hemisphere. 

Considering I have already biked across the US I threw that out quickly.  Soon I began looking at the possibility of mountain biking in Africa .  I read something about that somewhere – of course they went with a group and spoke the language.  After looking into that – briefly - I decided to save that for another time.  The other locations that I considered, Belize , Brazil , Chili , Egypt etc. all had similar challenges. As my desire to go to New Zealand has been growing over time I decided to use it as my first international cycling trip.  The benefits are that the islands are relatively small, the country speaks English, roads are in good shape and are not very busy, and there is a decent exchange rate.  Having made that decision my desire has grown into a passion. So much that I have been mentioning it to people for about two years – it has been a subject of gifts from several people. That obsession all started by stumbling on some web pages as I dreamed of a trip about a year after going across the United States.  At this point I don’t know which pages those were, but it doesn’t matter.  Find any web page with pictures of New Zealand and you’ll understand.

So I started out planning my trip, and until a week ago I had no qualms about going.  In fact everything seemed very surreal.  Despite the fact that tickets had arrived, a going away party was being planned and a practice trip was being executed in seven days, it only seemed to exist in the brief moment before I woke up every morning.  I remembered it as being true, but passed it off as being impossible.  Last week that all changed – upon getting back to my house late Sunday night I realized that in two weeks I would be sleeping in New Zealand.  That caused slight…alright severe to extreme panic.  I promptly began placing items into piles according what I was certain I would need, thought it would be nice to have, and things I knew I had no use for.  At about 1:30 in the morning I determined I had made enough progress to sleep for the night. Unfortunately, my mind raced over the many things I had to do, and questioned why I bothered placing out things I knew I would never take with me.

Since then I have been diligently packing and planning things that I could, and should have done since then.  Once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator.

Ride on -






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