This ‘Aotearoa New Zealand History in the Making’ ride is being undertaken by New Zealand Wheelman and Captain of the Oamaru Ordinary Cycle Club ( OOCC), Mr David (The Judge) Wilson mounted upon ‘PIONEER SPIRIT’, an 1880s-style, 54 inch high-wheeled penny farthing bicycle replica manufactured in Oamaru, with its elevated centre of gravity, solid rubber tyres, fixed pedal system and primitive “spoon” brake. He will be wearing the breeches and knee high socks of the 1880-era bicyclist, and will be carrying only one change of clothes. He will be travelling alone, relying on his own resources and the kindness of strangers for comfort along the way, and will keep a daily log (blog) of the trip at the end of each days ride. The ride will require surviving such modern hazards as bad weather, hunger, thirst, stray animals, poor roads and encounters with inconsiderate and menacing motorists.
The ride will start on 12th November 2011, is over 2000 kilometres in length and is expected to take until January 2012. A major emphasis is on the promotion of the Victorian Precinct in Oamaru, and anticipated media coverage will be significant, tentatively incorporating Television One, Television 3, National Radio, Newstalk ZB, most local radio and television stations en-route and most daily newspapers. The Oamaru Mail is running a regular feature and report with photos on the ride, and the Tourism Waitaki website www.visitoamaru.co.nz/events/november will carry regular updates.