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Published: October 14th 2009
Outside Ponsonby home - and just 7 km away from the first baggage handling problem!
The odometer had just ticked over 7km when the first pannier fell off. There was a thump and a couple of bounces, and it was gone. I could hardly believe it - but there was suddenly a big gap on the front rack where moments ago the pannier had been attached - the one with all my clothes in it.
Slammed on ther brakes, propped the bike against the wire netting that seperated the cyclepath from the motorway and walked back. I clipped the pannier back on, figuring I couldn't have fastened it properly to begin with. A couple of hundred metres later, the one on the front left fell off - this time the one with my sleeping bag in it.
And so it continued, until I tied them on. Just the front ones, not the rear. Eventually I figured a piece of metal on the rack was stopping the clips on the panniers from closing properly, so I found a garage, scrounged a file and attacked the clips - filing them down to provide a little clearance.
Safely on the way again, I'd only gone a few hundred metres before they started falling off again. This
North West Cycle Path out of Auckland
For weeks a finger of concrete had beckoned to me, as I whizzed down Newton Gully on my way to work by bike. Today, I crossed over four lanes of traffic, and snapped this photo as I set off into new territory.
time, it happened alongside what appeared to be an abandoned car on a quiet stretch of road. As I tried for the umpteenth time to secure my load, a young, powerful looking dude came running up and asked what I was doing with the car. Maybe he thought I was trying to nick it. He said it belonged to a relative and had broken down and he'd been sent to check on it. When he saw a muesli bar had spilled from the pannier, he asked if he could have it. Figuring he was younger and stronger than me, it was obvious the best course of action was that of least resistance. I nodded, he snatched it up, threw the wrapper on the ground, devoured the contents and shook my hand.
"My name's Leon, No 2 Road, Kaitaia. Remember that, No 2 Road. You get there, I'll make you a cup of coffee".
With that he was gone, running back the way he'd come.
And I tried shockcord this time. That and the string and I seemed to be in business. But my problems weren't entirely over. The cycleway ran out at one point and I became
End of Day One - Muriwai
With Merran, Tony and dog Nico at their Muriwai home. A scrumptious dinner, two beers and I was ready for a big kip.
lost.But after asking directions eventually I popped out on SH 16 - heading north towards Helensville. Along the way I find a cycleshop and took some advice on the panniers, visited Two Dollar Shop and bought $3.90 worth of cable ties. Later, I locked the clips in place with the cable ties, ensuring nothing could come undone.
At the turnoff to Muriwai, I headed west to stay the night with my daughter, Merran, her boyfriend Tony and their border collie, Nico. A shower, two beers and the world came right in a rush. Daily total 51.12 kilomteres, according to the GPS I'd brought along to check the accuracy of the odometer.
Tot: 0.213s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 15; qc: 45; dbt: 0.0187s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb