All posts by Libby

Wakas, Government and the 1,000 strong haka

The bike ride along stunning coastline to Wellington finished with a big hill, which has become a standard way to finish a big ride here in New Zealand. But that’s ok, because at the top of the huge hill lies my friends’ house, which has a fully-stocked fridge and a bathtub. After raiding the fridge just a little bit (post cycling hungry is a new level of hunger!) and a lovely long soak I made my way down into town for the Waka Odyssey opening to the New Zealand Festival, on the waterfront.

Continue reading Wakas, Government and the 1,000 strong haka

Presenting underwater with my real life heroes

It’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks. I keep thinking this trip can’t get any more wonderful. And then along comes the next adventure to prove me wrong.

Continue reading Presenting underwater with my real life heroes

It’s time, let’s do it!

It really is an exciting and pertinent time to be delving into the world of plastics.  With the incredible Blue Planet 2 series, Sir David Attenborough has once again excelled himself.  In addition to capturing our imagination and interest by bringing the magic of marine animal behaviour into our home, he’s also brought the problem of plastics to our attention.

Continue reading It’s time, let’s do it!

It’s always better when we’re together…

There is no combination of words I could put on the back of a postcard that would sum up the past week.

I’ve just smashed through the 2,000 mark with the number of children I have presented to since starting out on my bike just under 4 weeks ago, which has been an awesome rollercoaster.  But that is not the focus of this little snippet. Continue reading It’s always better when we’re together…

Come join me underwater

When you get under the surface of the sea and share time with amazing creatures, large and small, you come back to land feeling fully recharged.

I was lucky enough to visit the Poor Knights Islands last week with Dive! Tutukaka. Not only did they take us to some of Jacques Cousteau’s favourite dive sites (the stuff of dreams), but they also told us about the history and cultural significance of the islands.  ?❤

Enjoy a couple of minutes of saltwatery  goodness!

Poor Knights Underwater Magic – click here

P Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney

With all the planning, trip admin, bike making, networking and leaving parties that I have recently been doing, I was starting to feel a bit like Dory. There was a hazy memory that I was going somewhere, but I got so caught up in all the jobs I had to do and enjoying my time with friends, that I kept forgetting that I was Sydney-bound.  Continue reading P Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney

I love it when a plan comes together…

It was winter 2016 and it was dark, cold and rainy.  I needed little encouragement to start making travel plans when I walked into the Royal Geographical Society’s Explore weekend. Two days of roaming around historically charged rooms listening to incredible humans share tales of their studies / endeavours / adventures.  Perfect. Continue reading I love it when a plan comes together…

In the beginning, there was bamboo…

Just choose the bamboo that feels right?  Seriously?!

A few short minutes after introductions at the Bamboo Bicycle Club, there we were; handling and choosing the bamboo for our bicycle frames.  Obviously, we were given guidance on the desired circumference and internode measurements.

Step 1: choose the bamboo that ‘feels right’…

This was no casual meander into the world of bamboo.  ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ popped into my head.  The power of choice.  The responsibility of knowing that what I picked will have to carry my belongings and me on lengthy voyages.  Oh, the pressure..

We were snapped out of our wide-eyed reveries and hand-held through what can only be described as one of the most satisfying days I can recall.  It was like being in Santa’s workshop.  Measuring, marking, drilling, filing, sanding, taping… and by the end of day 1, my bamboo was starting to look like a bicycle frame.

End of day 1: time for a bamboo beer

Day 2, in simple summary, consisted of sticking all the bits together with bandage-like strips of hemp soaked in resin.  Wrapping our frame joins, lovingly securing our handcrafted stems; it was creatively cathartic.

Day 2: hemp and resin joins

Days 3 and 4 consisted of hours and hours and hours of sanding.  First with a machine, which already felt intuitive and pleasing.  But then came the numerous hours of finer sanding, blemish-filling and more sanding by hand.  By this point I was getting to know every nook and cranny of my frame.  This is not a feeling you can get from buying a bike off the shelf.  This is an intimate, loving relationship between maker and materials with a wonderfully slow, manual process.

Days 3 & 4: sanding, sanding, more sanding

Although I like the theory of being able to see the raw, natural joins, I wanted the lines of the frame to remain fluid and seamless.  So I had the idea of painting the lugs (the joins) a nice, light shade of yellow, which I might then subtly decorate.

Sanding and ideas of natural decoration

Cue James opening the pot of yellow that he had in stock.  This was the visual equivalent of emptying a bag of sour sweets into your mouth all at once.  WOW… not quite what I had in mind.  After talking around the pros and cons of subtly vs boldly making a statement (and also slightly influenced by impatience and wanting to spray my frame immediately!), I decided to go for the ‘melonengelb’.  Go boldly…

Day 5: wow, that is YELLOW!

Days 6, 7 and 8 were spent pimping my ride.  The plain bikes look fine and all, magnificent even, but I have a bit of an arty heart.  And if this bike is going to be my home, my adventure companion and a huge part of my world, then I want something just a little bit different that reflects what’s important to me.  (And I want some words of encouragement for when the hills are tough…)

Sun, seeds, plants, plankton, magnificent marine creatures, the oceans, mountainous lands, towering trees…
Don’t stop until you’re proud – the top tube
Today is going to be super duper
I want to see what happens if I don’t give up
Ready for parts!

So for now, I’m eagerly awaiting the call to tell me that all the parts have arrived and I can once again delve into the magical world of the Bamboo Bicycle Club workshop.  Until then I have to busy myself with destination research and route planning…