We’re going to try to speed up the pace of these posts since we are shamefully far behind and long gone from New Zealand. We originally wanted to blog about everyday so that other cyclists could benefit from our experience, but New Zealand is so well covered in guidebooks and on websites that I don’t think we have much light to shed on the subject. There are a lot of people cycling in New Zealand, many taking the same routes, but more daring people doing more difficult sections of road (or non-road as the case may be).
We will say that cycling in New Zealand is not what we expected. It is not as rugged as we thought it would be and in some ways it is not as rewarding as we thought it would be. Looking at all of our photos, it’s impossible to say that it isn’t a beautiful country, but we were looking for a more unique experience with less trodden trails and a more exotic culture. What we found was a very similar culture to our own, but with less of a warm reception than we received in our own country. We both agree that the novelty of cycling in the US makes it more exciting for the cyclist and the people a cyclist meets along the way; in New Zealand, cyclists are like stray cats- they’re everywhere and sometimes people might treat them well, but often they are at best ignored and at worst unwelcome (we have heard horror stories of cyclists being driven off roads, honked at, and verbally or physically attacked by angry motorists).
What follows is a condensed version of the rest of our trip in New Zealand with fewer details about the ride and just a general overview of our route and observations. We met a handful of wonderful people; some are other cyclists and some are locals who took us in and treated us like housecats instead of strays.
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