A week ago Tania and I rode the Otago Central Rail Trail, and since it was a first proper holiday since our wedding 3+ months ago I think it counts as a honeymoon. The rail trail is 150km of old railway track that has been converted for use by bicycles and pedestrians. Because it was built for trains it never gets steeper than 1:50 and that’s quite achievable on a bike. We opted to work together on the long inclines and thus on Monday morning my aunt Janice drove us to Clyde and Altitude Adventures dropped off our rented tandem.
We’ve rented a tandem before and found it was a lot of fun. That time we were riding around a beach suburb in San Diego having to deal with pedestrians, “side walks” and occasionally traffic. This time was lot simpler. Most of the people we saw were heading our way and only one was on foot. Much like the PCT when everyone is on a trail with the same goal and similar traveling style there’s an easy camaraderie between strangers. We all have to deal with the same hills and are all getting sore bottoms (though some to a greater degree, do hardly riding a bike more than 5km for the last 15 years).
We were very lucky with the weather in what has been an unusually wet season. The fields were much greener than normal but we were late enough that the trees has started to change and it wasn’t the still dry air that can sit over the Canterbury plains. I’ve put a selection of photos in a MobileMe gallery page, but you really have to experience in person. I’ll gladly do it again and definitely encourage more people to go by tandem. It’s just so nice to have your other half within arms reach the entire time, a very sweet way to spend a few days in New Zealand.