Arnie said it, I’ve said it… and now I am, I’m back. Continue reading I’m baaaaack!
It seems like a lifetime ago, yet was actually only 4 weeks ago, that I rocked up in Yeovil to Tri UK to collect the Focus bicycle that we were kindly donated by Tri UK for the Africa coast to coast trip. Continue reading The Africa coast to coast adventure so far…
How did we get into this single-use plastic mess? Continue reading Tips for avoiding single-use plastic
Three minutes around New Zealand on a bamboo bike…
I’ve had post trip blues before. Not recently, I admit, because usually I am so excited to be back, see family and friends, I am making plans for the next chapter, trying to find work, or I am simply amazed by having full time electricity, access to a fridge and the ability to drink clean, fresh water directly from the tap. Continue reading Post trip blues come and go
I have been lucky enough to have many reunions with dear friends during this visit to New Zealand. But one stood out in my heart more than the others. Continue reading One reunion to rule them all
I lived in New Zealand for 4 years and have felt enough earthquakes to last me a lifetime. Continue reading The Land of Quakes
When I was younger I sent off lots of competition entry forms from the back of wildlife magazines. One day, out of the blue, I was gobsmacked to actually receive a prize in the post; Continue reading A whale of a time in Kaikoura
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.
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.
The places you’ll go are certainly all rather magical. But for me, it’s also about the people you meet along the way.
I am making a weird and wonderful journey. An anti-single-use-plastic bamboo bike mission. It’s not your everyday sort of bike ride. Continue reading I see superheroes, everywhere!
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.
I have sinned. And I don’t even really seek forgiveness. I am ok with what I have done and I might even do it again. My crime… well, it is considered gaspworthy cheating in bicycle touring circles…
I mentioned that I went to see (and met) Jack Johnson right?! ? Whilst there at the
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…
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!
Arohanui – it is Maori for much love / deep affection, but goes deeper than just those words. It’s right inside your soul. I can’t think of a better way to describe the start of my plastic kaupapa (principles calling me to action) trip around New Zealand. Continue reading The Force is strong here
Join us on a visit to Nurdle Beach… OK, it was not really called Nurdle Beach. It’s called Mangawhai Heads. But take 5, grab a cuppa and find out about the nurdleyness…
Imagine growing up in a place known as Curly, with a beach that looks like this…
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
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…
3 days worth of doodling in 90 seconds… simples!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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…)
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…