Beyond all the accolades and beyond the amazing support received, let’s quickly reflect on my overall journey and the adventure on this amazing bike ride I have been on this Winter.
Just to recap, during this July I took on the challenge to ride the length of the North Island of New Zealand, roughly 1100km in distance and taking seven days to complete. The ride itself took off from Wellington, headed north through Whanganui, New Plymouth, Hamilton and Auckland. After a days rest and a lovely massage in Auckland I continued along the East coast via Takapuna, Waiwera, The Brynderwyn’s, Whangarei, Kawakawa, and then north through the Mangamuka hill ranges and finally down into Kaitaia.
For many hours along the trip, I found myself reflecting on what I would say here in this post. It was never really clear how to portray the whole seven days and every amazing thing seen along the way and the intense beauty of New Zealand. I couldn’t really wrap things up without giving it the full respect and admiration that it deserves.
So instead I’ll try to anecdotally reflect on what my trip was actually like in one short story…
On day four I biked past a little place called Taupiri on my way to Auckland from Hamilton. As the road became narrower I decided to use the pathway to avoid any close calls next to speeding traffic. I tried to cut through a really sharp and mossy corner but my wheel slid out beneath me causing me to fall to the ground. After having a few sharp ended words, brushing myself off I noticed that there were cars tooting their horns. But they weren’t tooting at me.
Maunga Taupiri. The word Maunga meaning Mountain translated from Te Reo Maori into English. At first, I thought it was really strange that all of these cars were tooting at nothing but then I noticed that there was a cemetery across the road. Only then did I figure that they were acknowledging their loved ones who had passed away and were resting in that cemetery.
I guess the reason I’m telling you this is because it was one of the biggest wake-up calls for me that I can remember. The tightening grip of culture and the strength of the local community was something particularly special and it made me think about how lucky and fortunate I am to not only be able to witness it but to actually be lucky enough to have such an awesome family and have those blessings pass down through whakapapa. That standing on the side of the road, dizzy and dazed by crashing, for five minutes to watch 25-30 cars toot as they went past the cemetery really does go to show how much aroha or love so many people still hold for those who have come before them.
To put it frankly this bike ride was a humbling experience. To learn that so many people still withhold the significance of their ancestors and their loved ones. To understand the incredible support people are willing to give you to push you across that line is truly something special.
I’ll sign off on that note and say an enormous thank you again to everyone who supported this ride. I’m not ruling out another one during summer so definitely keep an eye out for that! But until then…
Thanks for checking in!