The best biking book for Christmas

The best biking book for ChristmasI bet I’m not the only person who spends the wet short days of winter fantasising about summer bike touring around New Zealand. And in the past year, I’ve expanded my dreamfields to the Pacific Islands and Europe. As the days lengthen and the sun becomes more reliable, the urge to grab my best bike buddies and take to the road becomes overwhelming. I confess this year we got a cycling ‘fix’ in July by escaping to Samoa in July to circumnavigate Savai’i by bike. We returned gloriously tanned, relaxed, well fed and fitter and vowing to return to ride the main island of Upolo. The Kennett Brothers have become …
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Curious about cycle touring? Act on it with ACTA!

Curious about cycle touring? Act on it with ACTA!In late spring heading towards a glorious summer, our thoughts naturally turn to long leisurely bike rides. Oh, the places you can go on two wheels, all around the world. And locally. ACTA – the Auckland Cycle Touring Club – has been leading cycle tours out of Auckland for over half a century! Here’s a quick introduction to this venerable bike group, still going stronger than ever. (Words and photos courtesy of Sarah Ley and John McKillop.) “I have seen parts of Auckland that I have never seen before!” “There are so many great places to cycle I never knew existed!” These are just some of the comments we hear from people on our rides …
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Guest blog: New Year, new horizons – and a promise to keep

Guest blog: New Year, new horizons - and a promise to keepChris Owens is moving from Toronto to Auckland in the New Year to pursue postgraduate studies in the sociology of urban cycling. He also finds himself unexpectedly following in his father’s footsteps, and fulfilling a lifelong dream deferred…  It’s very easy to let oneself settle. To find a comfortable groove, work the grind, and make a bit of hay. And why not? Life can be pretty chaotic and uncertain at times, so it’s only natural to yearn for a little stability. And yet, even after finding something solid to hold on to, for some of us, we begin to feel a twitch. The mundane life we sometimes strive for can also make many of …
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Oh, the places you’ll go: a guide for the aspiring cycle tourist

Oh, the places you'll go: a guide for the aspiring cycle touristEver fancied being a tourist on two wheels, seeing it all from the seat of a bicycle? Christopher Dempsey recently made a dream-come-true trip through Argentina on a bike. Here, he shares what he’s learned when it comes to cycle touring… The Bike Despite claims that you can tour on almost any bike (and theoretically, you can – there is a guy currently doing a world tour on a unicycle), the practicalities of doing a tour mean you need a few critical things. A ‘relaxed’ frame to enable you to pedal for 2, 3, 4 hours without a problem (having mini-breaks along the way). A steel-based frame to provide you with a sense of …
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Tears of the Moon, Sweat of the Sun: A Cycle Tour of Northern Argentina

Tears of the Moon, Sweat of the Sun: A Cycle Tour of Northern ArgentinaChristopher Dempsey made good this year on a long-held dream – to bike through South America. Here he shares the ups and downs of his solo trip over Andean passes and through sleepy little towns… and tells us how it all began.   Canada, the mid-1990s: a cold winter’s day, snow on the ground, -20 outside with windchill of -30. On TV, Jack Pizzey introduces the latest instalment of his documentary series about South America: ‘Sweat of the Sun, Tears of the Moon’. The continent was thousands of kilometres south of where I sat in my Montréal living room… but a dream of travelling there took sudden hold, and wouldn’t let go. It would take three attempts and nearly twenty …
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Speed, bonny bike, like a bird on the wing – Jane rides the Outer Hebrides

Speed, bonny bike, like a bird on the wing – Jane rides the Outer HebridesIf you’re a paid-up member of Cycle Action, you’ll have received friendly emails from Jane Admore, our cherished membership secretary. She’s also an intrepid bike tourist, and is currently pedalling around the British Isles while waiting for a grandchild to arrive. Here’s her report from the Outer Hebrides…. We’ve only been away for 3 weeks, and yet it feels like we’ve had about 3 months of bombardments of new experiences. Barra, the largest southerly island of the Western Isles (or Outer Hebrides) is a gem. You arrive by ferry at Castlebay, a small town with – true to its name – a ruined castle in the harbour. It’s a day’s …
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Around Savai’i on a ‘uila’ – a biking holiday in Samoa

Around Savai'i on a 'uila' - a biking holiday in SamoaIf you want a warm break in winter, enjoy cycling, and only have a week to spare, then consider circumnavigating Savai’i – ‘the big island’ of Samoa. Bruce and Karen Yarnton did, and shared their experience with us… Our plan was to cycle five of the six full days in Samoa, leaving one day for lounging on the coral sand and snorkelling in the lagoon. We traveled in June, when the average temperature was a high of 31deg C, so we planned to start early each morning and have the day’s cycling over with before the heat really set in. Circumnavigating Savai’i is a trip of approx 220km around the perimeter road, and the daily distances we …
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