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My Ride of a Lifetime(15 posts)

My Ride of a LifetimeRyan Oliver
Mar 31, 2003 12:28 PM
I'm planning on my first big cycling trip this year to take place sometime between September and November for a month. I'm looking for ideas on where the best place to travel would be. I'd like to average around 100 km per day (3,000 km - total) and am not too concerned about money. My initial insticts are telling me New Zealand.

Would this be the best trip or would you reccommend somewhere else?

Thanks,
Italy! nmmerckxman
Mar 31, 2003 12:45 PM
second that!jeff27
Mar 31, 2003 12:53 PM
Just went to Italy, and the Cinquaterra to the
Tuscany region was beautiful. Kicking myself the
whole time that I didn't have my bike (wife doesn't
enjoy riding on the road). Have to go again and
next time w/ some riding buddies for a ride/eat/drink
tour across central Italy! Ratings on a 1 - 10;
scenery - 10, the countryside is incredible and the young women really know how to dress,
food - 10, what else can you say,
wine - 12! need i say more.
third thatgtx
Mar 31, 2003 7:10 PM
great roads, drivers give you lots of room, great food, etc.
Switzerland -Italy-Monte Carlo!config
Apr 1, 2003 12:51 AM
During those times you mentioned, should be a great time to ride from the Swiss alps and down to the Tuscany region of Italy and a coastal ride to Monte Carlo and that's only 1/3 of your planned trip! Now that would be a ride of a lifetime!
South America?Lon Norder
Mar 31, 2003 12:47 PM
I did a month long tour there in '97. Lake regions of Chile and Argentina, Chiloe Island, and the Austral Highway down to Puerto Aisen. Enjoyed it a lot.

Check out this web site by a guy who rode the entire continent:

http://www.woodskunk.addr.com/jbj/Bike/bike_intro_page.html
beautiful pics! wow... (nm)jtferraro
Mar 31, 2003 12:50 PM
I'll second South America.,Ecuadorabicirider
Mar 31, 2003 1:33 PM
My ex wife was from Ecuador South America, Have to say it is a beautiful country to ride in Flats, Rolling terrain, major mountain climbs up to volcanoes, just beautiful, roads arent very good, but people are freiendly great place to ride
Go. To. New. Zealand.PseuZQ
Mar 31, 2003 1:30 PM
I did this through Backroads... my only big bike trip ever. Cost some dough, but it was at a time when I had it (unlike today, where I'm trying to find the cheapest motel near a ride start). Now, I am so-so-so-so glad I did it.

I rode the west coast of the south island. Amazing experience.
Go. To. New. Zealand.Caseysdad
Mar 31, 2003 2:40 PM
Could you provide some more details about your trip? I've been considering making a similar N.Z. riding trip and am eager to learn all I can about my options. Specifically, I'd love to be able to somehow combine both road and trail riding, though I don't know if Backroads (or any other tour company) would offer this. Do you know if they have a combined North/South island option? What about options for more/fewer days? Anything you can share would be greatly appreciated!!
New Zealand. 100km = 3 laps around the islandKristin
Mar 31, 2003 2:51 PM
NZ is like a big track. Noooo. Just kidding. I'm gonna send my friend Kerry a link to the thread. He lives in Christchurch and travels all over both islands. Oh, and he's a cyclist.
You should do thispmf1
Apr 1, 2003 5:35 AM
I've done a fair number of cycling vacations in the U.S. Nothing has come close to the Hampsten one I did in Tuscany:

http://www.cinghiale.com/html/start.html

If I could do this again, I would. The amount of cycling was just right. You have to be careful about some of these tours. Many I looked at had 12 mile days. On the Hampsten tour, we'd be done most days by late lunch and then spend the rest of the day seeing the sights at whatever town we were staying in. The longest day was around 70 miles. Most days were closer to 40-50. Its hilly there. Tuscany is to cycling what Maui is to surfing. Italy is a fascinating place. You could spend a year there as a tourist and still not see everything. Plus, the people are friendly and the food is fantastic. I don't think its possible to get a bad meal there. OK, maybe at some of the obvious tourist places, but if you choose them, you probably don't have the best taste to begin with.

As for the tour, Andy ate every meal with us and rode every mile. He's a really nice guy. All but a few meals were included. Accomidations were good and the roads smooth and free of traffic. The group was small. For the price ($2000), I thought it was a very good deal.

e-mail me if you have specific questions (featherpm@yahoo.com). I'd do this over New Zealand anyday. My wife and I did it in early September 2000 -- the weather was perfect.

If I wasn't so computer illiterate, I'd post pictures. How do you do that?
re: My Ride of a Lifetimekezza
Apr 1, 2003 12:19 PM
hey ryan...
kristen send me your post...I would do the south island. it's more beautiful, distance is going to be your only problem. It's about 4000-5000km around the south island. I's start up in picton, go around the top of the south island, down the west coast, over the lewis pass to christchurch, then back over to the west coast via arthurs pass, then down to queenstown and fiordland then back to christchurch.. October/November would be a better time to travel around NZ, it's a bit warmer then, more daylight and doesn't rain as much.
re: My Ride of a LifetimeRyan Oliver
Apr 1, 2003 4:40 PM
Thanks for all the info!! I was looking for the distances, but had trouble finding them Can I contact you for more info in the future as I finalize my plans? I've heard nothing but good things about the people and the scenary. How far is it around the North Island? Is there more rain up there? Is the route that you mentioned 4000-5000 km? Is there any short cuts I could take?

Thanks again!
re: My Ride of a Lifetimekezza
Apr 3, 2003 2:40 AM
Hi Ryan,

the north island is a lot warmer and drier (the west coast of the SI is really wet!) but the south island would be the better of the two to go around, also be prepared to go more than 100 km's in the south island between main stops unless you are planning on taking a tent. Some of the riding especially when crossing the southern alps will be really steep. A friend and I got dropped off at the top of a main pass and rode back...it was a real buzz..

Feel free to email me at kerry.jones@nz.ey.com