Pushing Pioneer Spirit up hills has certainly been an important component of this ride. The Catlins, in and out of Dunedin, into Blenheim, up out of Wellington, through the Desert Road, but without doubt the steepest and most arduous has been this last section between Taupo and Tokoroa. Steep and long. Of the 90 kilometre ride, just on four hours has been spent pushing. Most impressive has been the continued warm hospitality received roadside. Three offers of accommodation in just one morning.

Of special mention was arriving into Whakamaru, round half way between Taupo and Tokoroa. It was just on dusk, late to be finding a camp site. With a cold sweet soaked shirt, and an OOCC uniform now badly in need of a wash, I walked into the only establishment open in this tiny forestry, dairying community, a small cafĂ© and pizza shop. Within the hour, I was hosted food and beverage, and within two hours I was settled into a room in a remote farmhouse – all at no cost.

Mentally I am preparing for Auckland. Not so much the ride to get there, more the schedule that awaits with media and meetings. All good promotion for our fantastic town of Oamaru.


Pictures Spoke tuning in Taupo

Decling a truckies kind offer to carry bike and wheelman to the top of the steepest hill

A view from behind – seen by many



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