The morning of Sunday 10 October dawned clear and bright with not a
breath of wind, perfect for a quick cycle over the hill to Dunedin and
back ... YEAH RIGHT!!!
Motivated, enthusiastic, rugged-up cyclists which included Paul
(unicyclist), Virginia, Julia, Scott and myself (unicyclists with a
training wheel) meet in the pouring rain at the Waitati Hall to embark
on a journey to Dunedin and back without the use of fossil fuels, as
part of the climate change hikoi 10.10.10.
Arrogantly believing that two wheels would be faster than one we sent
Paul off an hour before the bicyclists in order that we would all
arrive into Dunedin at the same time. So, at 10.30 the four bicyclists
set off (surrounded by thunderous applause from the Waitati walkers)
in hot pursuit of the long legged, one wheeled wonder.
Deciding it was not a day for the grunt of Shortcut Road, we meandered
past Waitati School warming up our legs for the climb ahead. Amazingly
oblivious to the weather and the gradient (due I am sure to the fine
conversation being had) we quickly made it to the warm, welcoming
VOLCO farm house where we were fed hot tea, biscuits and waffles!
Hearing from these lovely ladies that Paul was already more than half
an hour ahead of us we set off in hot pursuit once again, pinning our
hopes on the weight of the waffles in our tummies aiding our descent
into Dunedin. Alas, we rounded the corner on the downward approach to
be met with a malicious head wind and our dreams of land speed records
were dashed as we found ourselves pedalling downhill!!
Shortly before the scheduled arrival time of 1pm we finally caught up
with the long legged, one wheeled wonder relaxing at Dunedin North
Intermeditate where he had been waiting for us for an hour already. We
believe Paul may be the first person crazy enough to unicycle from
Waitati to Dunedin; a huge achievement especially if you consider you
cannot free wheel on a unicycle so it involves not only pedalling up
the hill, but pedalling down the hill, too.
We rested in the warmth of the DNI hall, eating our lunches made from
locally sourced ingredients, listening to speeches on climate change
and being entertained by a wonderful story teller.
As three o'clock approached we realised we would need to head back
over the hill pretty soon to get back to the Waitati Hall to join in
with the festivities. The long legged, one wheeled wonder was bundled
into a car with his ginormous wheel for a well deserved ride home and
the remaining hardy bicyclists pointed our noses northwards. Aided by
the now friendly tail wind, we whipped back over the hill in
record-breaking time for the party.
At the party Virginnia launched Blueskin Low Oil Commuters (BLOC)
which aims to bring together people interested in making their daily
commute to Dunedin less reliant on fossil fuels. If this sounds like
you and you have not signed up, email Virginia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
.The first 10 people to subscribe to BLOC will receive a $20 Bicycle
Workshop Voucher, courtesy of Browns Avanti Plus. Only a few left, get
in quick and sign up to the BLOC.
So, a wonderful experience and a wonderful day, slightly hampered by
the weather but perhaps more affected by the Dunedin City Council who
advised us it was unsafe to bike on the Mt Cargill Road into Dunedin
even though ironically it is the official cycle route into the city.
Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
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