The plan was to try and rendezvous with Mark Beaumont (who is cycling Around the World in 80 Days) as he approached Auckland Airport. But plans…
I headed out from home on a nice sunny Saturday morning. I had been following Mark’s impressive progress north, from Taupo this day, and he was on target to meet an evening departure from Auckland Airport to Alaska.
Instead of my usual scenic route I cut through the industrial area near the airport, taking the opportunity get a photo of RocketLab’s Electron launch vehicle display. A carbon rocket makes quite a good carbon bike stand!
After a short stop at the Airport Observation point I decided to head a bit further South. At this stage Mark’s live tracker (which turned out to be not so ‘live’) showed him heading up Great South Rd but still well away from Auckland.
The weather deteriorated rapidly; torrential rain, then hail, thunder and lightning! I stopped off at the Z station (orange circle on map below) in Wiri for a coffee while the worst of the weather passed over. I should have stayed there…
Mark was still coming up Gt South Rd so I went to the corner of Weymouth and Gt South (blue circle) to cover both the main routes North. It wasn’t until I saw Mark’s update disappear from spot 1 and appear at 2 that I realised he’d cut through Mahia Rd (red line) to head North up Rosscommon Rd. I should have stayed where I had stopped for coffee!
I did a sprint back to the airport and, although unable to catch him riding, did get to say hello and wish him well as he headed for the flight check in.
Pretty remarkable to think he arrived in Auckland just 49 days after leaving Paris via Moscow, Beijing, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Invercargill, Wellington & Taupo. A massive push in Australia and New Zealand meant he arrived a whole day ahead of schedule!
As I write this Mark is halfway across America (Day 63, 14,222 miles ridden) and still on track for the record. You can follow his progress and support OrkidStudio — the education health charity he is riding for — at www.artemisworldcycle.com
I took the scenic route home from the airport and (typical Auckland) the weather cleared to make it a nice evening. I used the CX capability of the new bike to take to the tracks around the Manukau, near Ambury Park (photo below) as much nicer than riding through the industrial area!
By the time I got home I had ridden 108km. Less than a third the distance Mark had ridden the same day, about a quarter of his typical 400km/day on this challenge!