Saturday, April 5, 2014

Flight Canceled

Time to catch up on how this trip started and, really, from whence it came.

I'm in amazing New Zealand right now, after two full days that might really be one or three, depending on how you interpret time and count it depending on how many times its changed the past few days.

I don't want to forget the details of the trip - and if reading this is beneficial for anyone looking at this blog, then all the better.

There are a lot of background details of this trip that I'll save for now. It comes down to this, I'm on an amazing adventure with an amazing person who's totally into riding bikes and going places were no one has ever gone. We've found trails near home that almost no one knows about. And mapping this trip with only the benefit of online resources, he's done it again. Here we are charting some quite unknown territory in a country we know very little about (and neither of us has ever been here before). I am so thrilled to be here, to have this kind of a vacation.

As we were trying to finish up work Wednesday morning, we got emails telling us the flight was canceled for the next day from Boston to SFO that was supposed to leave at 12:30pm Thursday.  After a quick phone call to the airlines, we were able to get seats on a flight at 9:30am. Having 3 more hours to pack/sleep would have been good, but the extra time worked out in our favor. Having a 7+ hour layover in San Fran meant we got to go into the city and spend some time walking around, having a wonderfully tasty lunch in Chinatown and then we got over to the Rapha Cycle Club, too. The photo above is the Rapha Cycle Club. It's a cool place with a nice vibe. We enjoyed well made cappuccinos in the parkelet out front. The cab driver said that was the best day they'd had there in a long time - it was sunny and warm.

I spent most of the ~6hr flight from Boston to SFO sleeping. And most of the 12 hr 40 min flight from SFO to Auckland sleeping, too. I would have liked to catch up on reading, but sleeping really was needed. Easy flights both legs and I thought flying that long would be the hardest part of the trip!

Here's the carpet in Auckland - Ariela, you should get the matching socks.

Both of our bikes are S&S coupled meaning they can be taken apart and flown as normal baggage. The airlines don't charge extra and the bags are far easier to deal with in the rental car (we have a minivan, the space is great - everything fits well).

The bikes made it with no damage by TSA. That was my biggest concern. We arrived in Auckland at 5am - plenty of time to get to the start of our first ride, get the bikes together and log a good 60 miler. No better way to shake out the airplane legs!

Ride #1 - From Raglan, around a large mountain, ride near the ocean and back again. 60 miles. It began from this lovely parking lot and green area. Great place to assemble bikes in the warmth of the sun. Raglan is a surfer town and surfers were all over. Cool little place, but we didn't explore it too much.

The bikes went together very easily. It took a little while, but more because we were taking our time, getting organized, and just enjoying the view.

Here's the view! That's the mountain that we rode around in the background. My Evergreen is all ready to go here. I'd only ridden it twice before the vacation so I was hopeful there wouldn't be any surprises. There weren't! It rode perfectly - like I've ridden it all my life.

Bridal Veil Falls were a great surprise. A nice little off-road trail led us to this incredible view.

More about the ride later. We finished up around 10pm last night. It was absolutely the best ride - there's hardly one single day of riding that can possible compare with what we experienced and saw yesterday.

That being said, it's fall here (hardly noticeable) - people are still dressing for summer and are tanned/fit from summer. (Very odd since everyone is opposite this in Boston right now.) I got too much sun yesterday, but it felt so great to be too warm.

The time changed last night so we *gained* an hour for fall. No sign of jet lag yet...but I have absolutely no idea what time it is back in the US.

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