Mid-winter 2002, on a bleak wet Sunday, I channel surfed into an episode of the Australian 'Getaway' TV travel show. It featured a supported cycle tour in the South Island of New Zealand shot the previous summer; perfect weather, glorious scenery and what looked like a fun time. It was decades since I had done a proper cycle tour and this looked like a very pleasant way to get back on the road with a comfortable bed, hot shower and dining sorted each day!
In February 2003 I did that trip, my first with Adventure South NZ, and had a wonderful time. They even arranged superb weather resulting in photos (like the one below) which looked like they'd been lifted from a travel brochure. It proved their "Small Groups, Great Guides, Superb Holiday" tagline was not marketing hype.
A few days ago, I discovered the NZ Pedal On Podcast which focuses on adventure cycling. Episode 7 features one of the founders of Adventure South; Geoff Gabites. To date I have done ten more trips with Adventure South—venturing as far as Vietnam & Tibet/Nepal in addition to exploring most of NZ. Because he was 'running the business' although I met Geoff most departures, at the depot or pre/post-trip dinners, I've not yet toured with him. Although I have road cycled the South Island West Coast several times there are some new(ish) cycle trails down there I have yet to explore; maybe a chance to rectify that!
It is great to hear Geoff's story (both before and after Adventure South), his view of the cycle trail related adventure travel boom and a bit about his recent Tour Aotearoa brevet ride the length of NZ. An insight into one of the great pioneers of NZ adventure travel who, along with his awesome team, over the years is responsible for many of my best travel experiences and many lasting friendships. Thanks mate!
Cycle Journeys: | www.cyclejourneys.co.nz (Geoff's current venture discussed in the podcast)