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Slartidbartfast does the South Island (New Zealand)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by slartidbartfast, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
    13,186
    Location:
    Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
    This was on the wall in a Kebab trailer by the Christchurch cathedral
    [​IMG]
    :D
  2. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Just went through all my fuel receipts and over the 2570 miles, the weestrom burned through a total of 188 litres of regular, at a total cost of just over US$250

    Average fuel consumption was 51.5 mpg (US), 62 mpg (UK), or 4.6 l/100Km. It's also worth noting that the consumption varied by less than a couple of mpg either side of that, despite some tanks being consumed at higher speeds or with a more aggressive wrist than others.

    The furthest I went on a single tank was 247 miles, at which point the lowest bar on the fuel gauge was flashing and I put in 18.5 litres. Still around a gallon short of using up the supposed 22 litres capacity (assuming you can actually get that much in there. Would be interested in hearing from weestrom owners who have pushed it to the limit.
  3. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    I wasn't overloaded but, as usual, probably overpacked. On the bike, the Givi panniers held all my important stuff without too much struggle, including a small backpack, laptop and charger, etc. I carried my big camera, a security cable, sunglasses, etc., in the small Joe Rocket magnetic tank bag I brought with me. Strapped on the back was a cheap waterproof stuff-sack that I used to carry food and a Dry-Sack containing a bivvy bag and sleeping bag which I never even opened for the entire trip.

    For the flights, all of this stuff went in a medium-sized duffel, except for the laptop and GPS which went into the backpack. The Dry sack went inside the stuff sack and I checked them (as I figured I could do without them if push came to shove). I ended up carrying three items on the plane: The duffel, backpack, and a helmet bag (which had gloves and some other small clothing items stuffed inside it). I was pleasantly surprised that the airline and airport security people had no problems with so many bags, although they were all fairly small so maybe that's why. I wore my jacket and boots on the plane.

    When I picked the bike up, I left the duffel at the rental place and transferred everything else to the bike.

    Stuff I should not have bothered taking:
    • Guide book - People told me it was unnecessary but I felt I had to have it with me - Shouldn't even have purchased it as I only opened the cover a few times and didn't need it even then. GPS POI database had a good list of accommodation, etc.
    • Sleeping bag/Bivvy bag
    • Heated jacket liner (maybe better to have it and not need it but I reckon I could have done just fine without it anyway)
    These things accounted for at least 1/4 of the total weight and volume I carried about unnecessarily. Would not bring any of it again.

    Stuff I carried but didn't need:
    • Medicines, pills and potions. I never go anywhere without at least ibuprofen and immodium but as a frequent traveller to "strange" places, I usually carry a lot more than this. I brought my normal kit but it all fits into a small bag though so worth it IMO
    • Waterproof pants liner and thermal underwear. Could have used the pants liner one evening but survived without bothering to stop and put it in. They are light and pack small, so worth carrying I think.
    • Sweatshirts - a couple of extra layers I might have needed had it got cold or if I got soaked more than once or twice in succession - which never happened. Could have done laundry every day if I had to and several items never got worn.
  4. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Would not change much if I were to do it again. The route I took worked out just about perfect for the time I had available. I got lucky with the weather but could have modified things a bit if I had encountered prolonged nastiness on the West Coast for instance.

    Two weeks is nowhere near enough and I would have loved to have spent a month or more. I only had two weeks though so that had to do. I do regret not spending another day at the glaciers to do a full day hike onto the ice. - Just another reason to go back again! :evil

    Chatting with Warewolf, I really got smitten with the idea of doing some off-road riding. Not sure how this would work out with rental bikes although I believe there are some places renting out Yamaha dirt bikes and others so maybe that's a possibility. Where I went in the time available worked out fine for this trip however.

    Equipment:
    • On future trips, I will almost certainly junk the old, slow laptop in favor of a smaller, lighter, faster, cheap netbook - Or leave it at home and forgo the day-by-day ride report and ability to back up photos each day (unlikely but there were reasonably-priced internet terminals in every YHA with DVD burning capabilities, etc. so it might work ok)
    • The bike rental folks warned me that the panniers might not be waterproof. They were fine, but next time I would bring along liners of some sort just in case.
    • I brought a small mp3 player which I wore around my neck and used occasionally. I would like a smaller, lighter GPS which had mp3 functionality and hi-fi bluetooth capability built in. Bluetooth speakers in the helmet would be cool to go with this. However, all that's a lot of $$$ and something I'd like for any riding, not just on a trip like this.
    • A couple of times wished I had a water bladder with me. If I would have left some other junk behind it would have been easy to bring one along, probably combined with a small backpack.
  5. themobb

    themobb Is this thing on???

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Oddometer:
    504
    Location:
    Hooksett, NH
    Great ride and pic's!

    Brings back a lot of memories. I spent three years in and out of Christchurch courtesy of the US Navy and National Science Foundation.

    You didn't mention anywhere (maybe I missed it) about driving on the other side of the road. It was weird in a car, but maybe not so bad on a bike?

    The Kiwi's have got Great Beer! Man, how many times have I wanted a DB...

    And Oh... The cuisine!

    [​IMG]

    I would love to go back!

    Thanks,


    Lance
  6. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Thanks for the compliment.

    Yeah - Driving on the left. There are reminder arrows all over the place (especially whenever there is a parking area by the highway) - Sensible folk these Kiwis - help the tourists to remember which side of the road to stay on.

    As I swap back and forth between various countries with different conventions on a regular basis, I didn't give it much thought. The bike I rented had a mph speedo, however, which is at odds with all the road signs, so I was glad of the GPS readout in Km/h.

    The pint of "Twisted Ankle" I had in Christchurch ranks right up there with the best beers I've ever tasted. Had more than a couple of bottles of Montleith's Black too. Yet more good reason to return :beer
  7. ChubbyThumper

    ChubbyThumper Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Co.Antrim, N.Ireland
    Very inspiring report, thanks.:thumb :thumb
  8. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Thanks!

    Still intend to explain about the GPS maps I used. Really need to get back to finishing the report from the Alps last June as well. Also would like to be planning and daydreaming about the next trip. Don't have enough time to do any of those things at present :umph
  9. wildmagna

    wildmagna Adventurer

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    Aug 26, 2008
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    Location:
    Malaysia
    2 thumbs up for NZ! i wish i can ride there on day!:clap
  10. RallyRat

    RallyRat Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Queanbeyan, Australia
    I am heading off shortly for a quick lap (7 days) of the South Island (bottom half), so I really appreciated your report.

    As I have never been I especially appreciated your post ride review of the gear you took, where you stayed and your descriptions of the weather.

    At the moment I have my "to take gear" spread out on a large table and I am thinking about what do I really need to take, so all your comments were of interest to me.

    Thanks for putting in the effort to write the RR. Those of us that were at home reading your report were able to share in your adventure. Even if this reading took place months later. A wonderful gift. Thank you. Ride safe my friend.
  11. Mileater

    Mileater Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    380
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    RallyRat, make sure that you have very good waterproof gear and warm under-garments. The season has turned cool and wet after a very pleasant run of warm weather. The South and West are currently getting a solid soaking (up to 500mm a day) - enjoy! :)

    Take care and ride safe,
    Cheers :freaky
    Allan
  12. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    The locals were all commenting on the unusually nice spell of weather that I encountered - especially on the West Coast. If you are prepared for riding in the rain, you won't be disappointed (in the island) and I'm sure you'll have a great time.

    If I had been warned to EXPECT wetter weather than usual or if I was planning a May trip, then I might also consider buying a simple waterproof camera (they are not too pricey these days) - My nice little Samsung got a water spot somewhere inside it while hanging round my neck riding from Te Anau to Queenstown through a steady downpour.

    Have fun!
  13. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    Dec 31, 2008
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    3,617
    Location:
    Wellington,New Zealand
    we are now nearly in winter so temps will be down a bit and rain will be more frequent than slardi had.The SI can get COLD,esp for those used to warmer temps.make sure your bike or rental has heated grips ,they can make a real difference
  14. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Terrible to see what happened to the city and people of Christchurch not much more than 12 months after my visit. It's not going to put me off at all however, and I hope to go back within the next couple of years.

    On my trip:
    [​IMG]

    Quake damage:
    [​IMG]
  15. T.O. Eagle

    T.O. Eagle n00b

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    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Great White North
    Hi Slarty, great ride report and pics!

    SWMBO and myself just returned from a tour of the South Island over a very similar route. I'm starting to think of ways to make it happen again. A fabulous country with great people.

    We left Christchurch two days before the big quake struck, boy were we lucky! Sure hope they can rebuild without any more disruption.

    Cheers!
  16. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    Yup! Hasn't put me off wanting to go back either. Next time I think I'll try to see a bit of the N. Island too.
  17. Truenorth2005

    Truenorth2005 Been here awhile

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Western Manitoba
    Great Ride Report. Most enjoyable but now I'll have to add it to the "Bucket List". Gotta stop reading all these great RR's. The bucket can't hold anymore. Oh well I didn't need to see South America anyway.
  18. halmc

    halmc Turkey T*urd

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    Location:
    Tallahassee, Florida -- home of good ideas
    Do you have .gppx files of the routes you rode?
  19. Arek Kontrol

    Arek Kontrol Been here awhile

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    Ex-pat Poles in Adelaide Hills, South Australia
    Great report!:clap
  20. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    I'm afraid I don't. However, there are so few major roads that you could almost certainly sit down with a map and work out almost exactly which roads I followed.

    I set out having done a lot of on-line research to find places I might want to go and play with a few possible routes. I also created a load of favorites with particular landmarks I wanted to visit and hostels I might be able to stay at. Once I arrived, however, I was loosely planning each day the night before. As it worked out, the good weather allowed me to execute my plans most days but I left plenty of flexibility - It was a vacation after all.

    I took a gps and downloaded some excellent free maps with POI data. However, navigation is not at all difficult so you could probably do just fine with a map in a tankbag and a highlighter. I picked up some really good free maps in the airport - There were MANY poor ones available though - I think the good ones were from the New Zealand Automobile Association. You could probably request some to be mailed to you for a small fee. You can't beat poring over a good map as a route-planning tool.