11/09/18 – Hobbits

Since I installed pedal straps on my Brompton, I discovered the power of upstroke and today I was pedaling like a robot: one-two, up-down. I made it to Matamata in no time; a flat road, of course, helped. Nearby there is the so-called Hobbiton, the film set where The Lord of the Rings was shot. It’s a two-hour guided tour but I neither had time nor interest towards it. I read one of Tolkien’s books when I was learning English and skipped the movie saga all together. The closest I got to Hobbits was at I-Site where they sell tickets.

I was heading to Arapuni for the night. But when I got there I still had my legs and at on the spur of the moment I decided to go to Mangakino, tomorrow’s destination. I was on a roll and reached the 100km mark by 2pm. Then it got a bit harder: more hills, less power in my legs. I still finished the ride before 4pm.

At Mangakino I met a fellow cyclist from Canada who is doing the same thing: going the length of New Zealand, on a touring bike though. We discussed which way to go tomorrow: I want to go the way Tour Aotearoa suggests, he doesn’t want to get in the mud.
Then there was a theological discussion between him, a Mormon, our campground neighbor, a Jehovah’s witness, and yours truly, who was brought up in the Soviet Union where religion was “the opium for the masses”. I only interjected humorous remarks but the two other guys were going at each other with a knowledge on the matter.
Tomorrow I need to make a decision – if I go through the woods, I won’t be able to turn off into a highway, only back track, which I don’t want to do. It will depend on my mood, which will depend on the weather.

Today in numbers:

124 km – distance cycled
23145 – verses in the Old Testament