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Biking in New Zealand: Queenstown
(Part 1)

Jack’s Point on Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New Zealand

There are trips that are so grand that they just overwhelm your ability to process them with words. You try to jot one word down after another to describe what the place is like, but then you realize that you’ve used up your vocabulary of hyperboles and expletives on lesser experiences. You pause and try to reimagine things. This is what our backpacking trip to Queenstown, New Zealand was like. This is also why it took me so long to write this down.

Queenstown is New Zealand’s premiere adventure town. Some describe it as the adventure capital of the world, and it’s not hard to see why. Along its streets are shops upon shops of adventure outfitters ready to take you on almost every imaginable outdoor adrenaline fix. Alpine mountaineering, rock climbing, rappelling, skydiving, bungee jumping, canyoning, rafting, skiing, snowboarding, and yes… mountain biking.

People here like to point out that the ridiculous postmodern sport of bungee jumping was invented here. Why would anyone want to strap ropes around their ankles and jump from a bridge? I seriously don’t know. I guess for the Kiwis here, the need for a different kind of rush is just overpowering.

But I didn’t come here for the bungee (although my wife who has tried it before in Macau was disturbingly considering it), I came here for the biking. Just the biking–because as much as I would’ve loved to try out all these other adventure sports, the spirit was willing but the wallet was weak, so to speak. Read more [+]

7 great tips for cycling enthusiasts travelling abroad

What better way to experience the world than riding it on two wheels? Here are seven essential tips if you’re planning to cycle your way through your travels.

Prepare for the weather

Depending on where you’re headed, there’s going to be weather conditions that you may not be accustomed to, and they become a whole new challenge when cycling. Hot weather can tire you out much quicker than usual and leave you dehydrated and tired, whereas storms and even snow in some locations pose a threat to your safety. Make sure you’re aware of the local climate, and work your day around it. Consider going for a ride early in the morning to avoid the hottest part of the day.

Read more [+]