Yesterday I checked out the score with hiring/buying a mountain bike here. Queenstown has some of the best mountain biking on the planet, and I don’t want to miss the opportunity while I’m here. I tried out another 29er bike – the shop is very clever in what they do – they give you a bike for free, take you into the hills with a bunch of folk, even giving you a free uplift and send you down an outrageously fun track with a view to buying the bike. I couldn’t help but ask ‘So, how many bikes have you managed to sell by taking folk down this track then?’ to which the answer was ‘Oh, a few’. Once back in town I put my sensible head on said I’d have a think about it. It’s hard enough getting around NZ with one bike and all my clobber, let alone two. I’m thinking I’ll just hire instead – I went round the shops comparing the deals they would do on long term hiring rates (I do have the Scottish ‘deep pockets, short arms’ stereotype to uphold after all). I got a blinder of a deal from one of the shops where the guy in charge was there for the love of the sport, not to make money. I went out on one of the many tracks here, and caught up with 3 Americans who were also hiring for the day, one of whom was 61 years old, has had 2 knee replacements (are knees replaceable?), as well as a hip replacement. It wasn’t a simple jolly either, it was a 4 hour marathon with some serious hills.
I’ve just booked tickets to see the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra a week from now, which may or may not be as grand as it sounds. It does boast ‘the world’s best ukulele soloist’, James Hill though. Is there a world ukulele championship every year? If so, it sounds awesome!!.
This morning I managed to sleep in until 9.30am, which was a great change – I’m normally up at the crack of dawn with somewhere else to cycle. I think my body needs the rest to be honest. Though ’m still cycling almost daily, this is the longest I’ve stayed in the same place since I left home in November which is fantastic and allows me to slow down somewhat.