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For the purposes of this entry, recent birthdays notwithstanding, I shall continue to refer to myself as a girl. And because sometime, somewhere, I’ll get the chance to take off and bike somewhere fabulous again, I’m listing both what I needed/brought on my trip and brought/didn’t need on the biking portion of my New Zealand trip. I pedalled a bit over a thousand kilometers on the South Island, some of them to get to the next stop, and some just because I thought it would be pretty. And it always was.

an actual picture of me on the trip

This is one of the many people who asked to pose with me for a picture, but one of the only pics I actually have a copy of. Ellie, from Taiwan. We walked in Franz Joseph (town/glacier) together. You can sort of make out most of the gear on the bike.

Back to gear, trip description to follow in a few days.

First, I left Chile with a backpack. It’s a very spiffy Arcteryx pack, certainly the most comfortable pack I’ve ever had, the most technical, the most perfect (the most expensive), etc. It also stayed in a locker in Christchurch for all of the bikeride days. I flew out of Santiago (and then into Buenos Aires, and then into Auckland and then into Christchurch) with my two waterproof Novara panniers tucked inside my backpack, and then spread all my stuff in the hallway of my hostel and made the final decisions about what would stay in Christchurch and what would stay behind. What came with me was the two panniers, a blue avocado grocery bag, two sea to summit extralight dry bags and a mountainsmith camerabag with waterproof cover.

Brought/needed + commentary

bottoms (cycle gear):
1 pair shebeest ¾ length capri riding tights with chamois still attached (pictured)
1 pair shebeest ¾ length capri riding tights with chamois removed by force after a blowout that caused me to write the customer service people and get nary a response
1 pair shortie cannondale cycling shorts to be worn under above

bottoms (off the bike)
1 pair soft loose brown capri pants, brand unknown, worn to death
1 pair REI zip-off convertible pants which I seldom wore
a few pairs of unmentionables
1 pair of running shorts with liner, used for hottubs/pools
1 pair fleece leggings for lounging and/or chill (probably excessive, but I loved them both times I wore them) Yoga pants would have been fine instead, but these dry faster and are warmer.

tops (cycle gear)
1 long-sleeve Columbia shirt with sun protection and a short turtleneck. I wore this nearly every day, because it was warmer than I’d anticipated and my other jersey was too warm for most days. It washes easily, dries quickly and doesn’t smell too bad. Plus it’s not bad looking. (pictured)
1 shebeest long sleeve S style jersey (with flowers!) Wore this just a couple of times. It’s very comfortable/flattering, but was too warm for most days
two different styles of sports bras

tops (non cycle gear)
2 t shirts
1 tank top
1 silk long underwear top
1 long sleeve merino wool shirt
1 quick-drying shelf bra tank.
1 swimsuit top
1 regular bra
1 thigh-length sleep thing

shoes n socks

1 pair specialized spd shoes with cleats (pictured)
1 pair merrell mesh hiking shoes
1 pair wright socks
1 pair defeet socks (pictured)
1 pair smartwool crew socks

1 Marmot goretex rain jacket
1 Northland jacket warm/water resistant


1 cloth buff
1 scarf bought at an import store, with fringes and silvery threads
bike gloves

Cosmetiquero contents

90 SPF Neutrogena dry touch sunscreen
face lotion
2 kinds of lip balm (blistex and one from LUSH)
various antiinflammatories (almost completely untaken)
face soap
nail brush
travel towel

bike-specific whatnot and tools (because Hal reminded me, thanks Hal!)

patch kit
2 tire plastics
1 replacement tube
1 multitool
1 emergency chain link
pump (all above supplied by bike rental company)

cellphone (bought 2 degrees SIM card for $2 in NZ)
cellphone wall charger
Nikon D40x camera
Nikkor 18-200 lens
Sigma 10-20 (wide angle) lens
camera accessories (torpedo thing to clean the camera, filters, lens cloth)
Camera battery charger
Extra camera battery
oakley M frame sunglasses with the second-darkest lenses available
penguin baseball hat
helmet (purchased in NZ)

Extra things that I brought and should have left in Christchurch or left home:

Laptop (what was I thinking!)
Point and shoot camera
2 Short sleeved shirts for cycling
Two additional pairs of wool socks
Arm warmers (cycling geekery)
Waterproof gloves
Fleece hat

Performer standouts:

Third place:
Novara waterproof panniers. No complaints. They click on the bike and don’t fall off, were waterproof, etc.

Second place:
Columbia SPF shirt. I think we became one. Loose enough in the armpits to not smell like death, quick drying, reasonably attractive

Far and away couldn’t be swayed mega super first place (and they are not paying me to say this, though if they would like to I would probably be amenable)
Mountainsmith Tour FX Lumbar Photo Bag

I loved this bag for many reasons. It can go from waist pack to shoulder in an instant, and I was also able to use it as a handlebar bag, which made me look like a dork but kept my camera available at all times (there was a front rack, not sure if this affected my ability to do this, used the shoulder strap (minus padding) to click it on). Enough pockets for everything, but not enough to make you crazy, and very convenient waterproof cover. Well constructed. The only sign of wear is a wacked out zipper pull, which could well be my fault. Oh, and a little callous on my hand from constant zipping and unzipping, which is definitely my fault. I have last year’s version, with a grey lining and no water bottle carry. Also looks like they changed the zipper pulls, maybe due to the callouses and wackedoutedness. I own a Lowe camera backpack and a 7-million-dollar-home shoulder bag and they’re both going to get dusty and lonely. This bag blows them both out of the water for comfort/convenience, though it makes me look like a gringo par excellence.

That’s it for gear. Tune in soon for less shop talk (though I’ll talk about who rented me the bike etc) and more photos. Clever clickers will find more photos on flickr, while the rest of you will wait.