In Search of Families In Search of Adventure
A Family on a Bike Tour: New Zealand, Samoa, USA and Canada 2004/2005

Finally On A Bike

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From:       Kirstie, Stuart, Matthew and Cameron
Subject:   Finally on a Bike
  Date:        15th November 2004
     Invercargill, New Zealand


Invercargill city has a good recycling scheme. Just as well for inside our 3 giant clingfilm covered, mattress sized cardboard boxes we smuggled in 2 x 75m rolls of 12mm bubble wrap, one month of back issues of The Times and seven rolls of bargain box gaffer tape. All this we kindly donated to Marion and Russell when we transformed their garden into what looked like an enormous garage sale.

Warmed by the early summer sun we reassembled the bikes, helped and hindered by the kids who squealed excitedly at the sight of their buggies reappearing the other side of the world.

After 24 hours of unpacking, sorting and reassembling.....

As our hosts watched with interest, the scale of our venture began to dawn on them. They knew a story when they saw one and being well connected people picked up the phone to alert the press.

The summer sun took off on its' own holiday as we began ours. We left Invercargill with wind, rain and a local TV crew in our faces. As we left the 'Friendly City', people waved, pointed, stared or honked (their car horns) in encouragement, recognising us as the celebrity cyclists from page two of their morning paper.

... The Family on a Bike finally get on their bikes

On the way to Stewart Island, the starting point for our end to end tour of New Zealand, we had our first puncture and our first accident; Kirstie was blown away not by the view but by the wind. On a day of firsts, we had our first argument at Bluff in a debate over which way was South.

Stirling Point, Bluff. The end of the road but the beginning of our journey

After celebratory coffee, muffins and whipped cream to mark the start of our journey, it was our turn for honking on the Foveaux ferry to Stewart Island buffetted by the wild Southern Sea. The kids slept soundly.



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