It was a strange start for me. It is my eighth trip with Adventure South but the first time my holiday hadn't started with a pack and dash to the airport. All the South Island trips began with a flight to Christchurch, one to Ho Chi Minh City!
I met the rest of the group at their Auckland City accommodation with just the bike bits I was taking — seat, pedals & helmet. Seemed odd not having all my luggage but today’s agenda was just a short ride around Tamaki Drive. That is very familiar territory for me, part of our Sunday weekly ride, but a good chance to get used to the bike and sort any adjustments.
I had chosen a supplied bike, rather than my own, as it is easier for the guides and meant any mechanical problems would be covered. Although my bike isn't exotic, actually not as good as the Adventure South Trek road bikes, you can bet it would some impossible to replace part which failed, if any.
Although familiar the view from Achilles Point, past St Heliers at the end of Tamaki Drive, is worth the ride. I didn’t have a real camera but these iPhone photos auto-stitched into a panoramic shot by Windows Live Photo Gallery came out alright. Just overlap the photos when you take them, dump into Photo Gallery, click “Create Panorama” and it’s done.
After the ride I shot home to finish packing and came back into town for the first tour dinner at Portofino, in the Viaduct. I had nice tender Calamari and Auckland turned on a still, calm relatively warm (almost summer) evening. After than it was home for the night ready for the serious cycling to begin on Wednesday morning.