Chapter 4: Queenstown

Despite the incredibly strong winds at the end of chapter 3, when we got up the next morning it was quite still. After we packed up, our first stop was in town at a very nice bakery that we had been to the previous day; they had really yummy cream cakes. Apparently I have a sweet tooth, or at least that’s what other people say. Our plan was to ride to Queenstown over another Big Hill near Cardrona. Then we had planned to spend a day in Queenstown. While we were sheltering from the wind in Wanaka we had found out some information about a cruise at Doubtful Sound, which departed from Queenstown, so that was what we had planned for our rest day. After Queenstown we were planning to ride to Clyde and the start of the Central Otago rail trail, which we were looking forward to. It was, however, 90 km from Queenstown to Cyde, and even though Dad kept saying “it’s all downhill except for the uphill out of Queenstown” Mum and Vera were a little concerned about that day. Continue reading “Chapter 4: Queenstown”

Putting Photos on the Internet

Some of you may have heard terms like “web quality” being bandied around with regard to images, carrying the implication that photos on websites are generally of an inferior quality (which is often true) compared to what comes straight out of your camera. It was only recently that I found out what the best practice is for preparing photos for a web site, so I decided to share it with you and perhaps you will be able to improve your page load time. Continue reading “Putting Photos on the Internet”

Chapter 3: Wanaka and Antihistamines

The top
The top

Leaving Haast was a day that my parents and Vera had been stressing out about, because it was the Day of the Big Hill (capitals added by me for emphasis). The plan was to ride over Haast Pass, ending the day at a dot on the map called Makarora, which is about 70 km from Haast. Mum was concerned about us not making it, so as a contingency plan we bought “emergency food” in Haast as well as stuff for lunch and snacks and so on. The emergency food was some of those rice instant meals, and the idea was that if we had to put up our tents by the side of the road in pouring rain or snow or whatever, we would have something to eat, even if it wasn’t particularly appealing. In the event that we did make it to Makarora, the emergency food was non perishable, so it could stay squashed down the bottom of a pannier more or less indefinitely. Continue reading “Chapter 3: Wanaka and Antihistamines”

Dynamo hub overhaul

This is based on an article that I wrote for Spokenotes, my bike club’s newsletter, but reworded and with more pictures. Pictures and diagrams are actually a very powerful learning tool for engineering; as an example, I learned how a 14 speed gear hub works primarily from a book that is written in German. I can’t read or speak German at all, but I could understand the pictures and diagrams in the book, and even spotted a mistake in one of them. But I digress. Hopefully from this article you will not only learn how to pull a dynamo hub apart, but you will also get a good idea of how they actually work. Having a background in physics would probably be useful for the latter, but hey, it’s not like it’s general relativity; I learned about electrical generators in high school. Continue reading “Dynamo hub overhaul”

Chapter 2: Glaciers and Sandflies

The adventure continues.

We had planned to have a sort-of-rest-day at Franz Josef, because there is a glacier there among other things that we could do. It wasn’t intended to be a full rest day though, because the plan was to cycle 25 km to Fox (and another glacier) in the afternoon. Now if you happen to live in Canada or Alaska or maybe the Himalaya you might think “A glacier? big deal”, but from our perspective living in Australia where snow is quite an unusual phenomenon, a glacier is a major attraction.

Continue reading “Chapter 2: Glaciers and Sandflies”

Chapter 1: Wet coast?

This year, we once again spent a few weeks cycling around New Zealand, but this time we went to the South Island.

It seemed like it was ages before we actually did any cycling though (apart from riding from the airport to the YHA when we flew into Christchurch; into the most horrendous headwind by the way). The day after we arrived we spent in Christchurch, as intended, and we visited the museum and Antarctic center, which were both very interesting. Continue reading “Chapter 1: Wet coast?”

Setting up this blog

Well, it has taken a couple of days but I’m quite happy with the progress I’ve made on this site.

As it happens, there are loads of web hosting companies out there who sell domain names and hosting for quite modest prices. A domain name is something that I don’t yet have, but hopefully that will change quite soon; an IP address is not terribly easy to remember. So the logic of the situation is that any sane, rational person would opt for a hosting package, as they are cheap and user friendly. Continue reading “Setting up this blog”

Test Post

Here is another test post to see how QTM goes with my self hosted WordPress blog. I found that the GNOME blog entry poster did work, but it is incredibly clumsy, and also quite dangerous in that when I closed the window with an unsaved post, it didn’t prompt me to save my changes. The reviews in Ubuntu software center describing it as being “simple to the point of being unusable” were dead right.

Having sasid all that, when I tried to set up my account in QTM, it kept on saying that there was some error and to check that I had entered the right password (I know I had), so I kind of want to make sure that QTM is able to actually post something.

Here goes…..