Sunday, March 31, 2013

Nobody Walks in LA

Three years ago, it seemed kind of silly to get into a car and drive for a half hour (or longer) to go on a walk. [Note for those you do not speak Kiwi: A "walk" is what you would probably call a "hike"; except if it lasts longer than a day, then Kiwis call it a "tramp".] But since we're Kiwis now, we drive all over the country just to go walking; also, Jancie's favourite spot is getting a little boring.

And so we set off for the White Pine Bush Scenic Reserve, once again with Jason and family...and some friends of Jason and family. Asks friend of Jason: "Did you do much walking in the States?" I wasn't sure how to answer that question. Nico and I walked quite a bit: to dinner, around Chicago (or anywhere we were visiting, for that matter). Does city walking count? How long of a conversation do I want to have about walking while walking? So I told him I was from Los Angeles, then sort of described the scene from LA Story where Steve Martin gets in his car and drives next door to Marilu Henner's house. Anyway, I did not take many pictures on the walk, because Jancie would not get in her little piggyback carrier thing and insisted on walking most of the way (1.6 km). Here is a photo I have titled: "Jancie in the Forest".

In other news, Nico, Jancie, and I competed in our very first tandem race. Nico and I have been in plenty of organized tandem rides...and some of them have gotten a little competitive. But we were unprepared for an actual race. Some of the faster teams brought track wheels (with discs) for the time trial stages. We brought Jancie in a trailer. We were over an hour behind the winners in one of the road stages. We sat out the "Two across" stage which teamed up the fastest and slowest teams (and so on) because there was an odd number of bicycles. Here's some footage of the leaders.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

NZ Tandem Tour #3

Some of you may remember that Nico and I used to take these really expensive tandem bicycle tours. Sadly, since moving to New Zealand, airfare (let alone the tours) are well beyond what we can afford. Fortunately, the tour organisers seemed to know we are broke, and have been bringing the tour to us every two years.

One would think I would have a lot of fantastic pictures of biking around Rotorua, the Coromandel, and Waiheke Island...but most of the photos I took were of Jancie, who spent the week finally deciding that walking is the best way to get around.

Although Nico and I were never superb cyclists, we tend to have a definite age advantage over the average tandem rider (or at least the average tandem rider on a Santana vacation), but pulling Jancie around has more than negated our age advantage. We were not quite the slowest bike going uphill; but we were definitely at the back of the pack on the flats and downhills.

FYI: All the pictures in this post were taken on Waiheke Island, which is about a 40 minute ferry ride from Auckland. The Santana Tour does not include Waiheke, and we had been meaning to tandem it for at least three years. The island is far more populated than I would have guessed and a bit hilly, but still pretty tandem friendly. The main attraction has to be the 18 wineries (more if you count those without tasting rooms, though there are also some pretty nice looking beaches scattered about. Anyway, our 3 year NZ anniversary just passed. I am happy that we are still able to find new places to visit.