Firstly, apologies at the radio silence… I have been absolutely Wifucked so far and if there is one thing that DN needs more than water and air to survive, its Wifi… I’m a Wijunkie and pretty much everything that needs to happen to hit the daily report requires those sweet magical beams of goodness. I’ve also been busy trying to unwrap Christmas presents, unfortunately, no V10c under the tree:
It’s been a whirlwind, but I am finally in NZ! In a true example of poor planning and late bookings, it was back from Perth to the Global hub and then BANG, to NZ to start the next leg of the DN Summer Tour.
Along the way, I got to experience the best and worst of what is usually my Favourite Airline, SQ… There I was kicking it in the lounge in Perth trying to drink as many free Solo’s as my small bladder would allow (still one of the few lemon drinks that can rival Schwepps Bitter Lemon) when I was called to the desk… Usually this is a bad sign, especially when the girl on the desk looked at my boarding pass, rolled her eyes and said “Oh great…”, she then apologised and passed me a Business Class upgrade boarding pass! BOOM! Yes, the airline that never upgrades, upgraded me. Apparently they had got word that the DN was in the HOUSE and clearly I needed an upgrade. To be fair I have flown about 150,000km’s with them this year, so about time mofo’s!
After a quick dash to the Wonderful Wolf’s Wheel emporium of goodness to pick up the new Mavic ENDURO wheels to replace the pooched Reynolds shithoops and it was back to the Global blast off point. However, this time I was massively pushing my luck:
Yes, I was undertaking something never before attempted: Travelling with two bikes. Logically, probably avoidable if I was prepared to compromise, BUT, this IS summer we are talking about and I was loathe to leave the best weaponry rotting in humidity when it could be put to proper use at the bottom of the world.
However, with one hand SQ giveth, the other hand they taketh away… I had anticipated that the usual rule of the first 16kg’s counting as 6 for bikes, so with 2 bikes a free 20kg’s. Yes, well, that policy was changed in late November (that would be the e-mail I deleted as corporate propaganda), just in time for the holiday season! As such, it was REAMING time. I employed all my usual tactics, being nice, being cunty, calling for the supervisor etc etc, but ultimately I had to succumb to a $580 charge (talked down from $680) for my, er, 67kg’s of Nomad accessories, no shit, I really DID pack as light as possible.
The other reasons I will never travel solo with 2 bikes again? Well, to be fair it’s awkward:
And… Aside from everyone staring at you and constantly running into people, then there’s the slight issue of getting around. Yes, here is a good lesson people and a DN travel advisory – Rental cars massively sell out in NZ around Christmas time, so if you need something bigger than a Toyota Corolla, then chances are you may end up in this position:
Yip… Holy fucking shit… It’s a BUS. It was either this or cycle touring, which I didn’t fancy in the slightest, so I had to park my ego and all sense of style and load up my Dirty Bus to hit the road… At least if I see a Swedish Girls Volleyball team hitchhiking I can pick them all up (Yes, its an 11 seater), always a silver lining.
Right… Time for some riding! Stay tuned…