Braynes’ Tandem Tour of Aotearoa New Zealand – Jutta’s final stoker view looking back

DSC02522.JPGAs we watch the South Island fade into the distance, swaying with the Bluebridge ferry’s wave-riding, my thoughts float back over our rich, smooth and eventful 2900-kilometre tandem journey the length of New Zealand from the very North to the very South, with thanks to the Weather Gods and what must be a chorus of angels that watched over us and Katie and Mela these past seven weeks.

And thanks too to all those who supported or accompanied us, or rooted for us, or donated to the Rory Peck Trust to make this journey so incredible and enjoyable.

My own huge thanks to Mark, who organised all and every step of the way, blogging determinedly as we progressed.


Mark blogging furiously outside one of NZ’s many public libraries, all with free and fast WiFi

He took the lion’s share of manhandling the tandem and our 30kg+ of baggage up excessively steep stretches and through the narrowest of gates and tracks, fixing and refixing Daisy2 lovingly and successfully as we went. Continue reading

#TandemTA Tour of Aotearoa/New Zealand officially over, with 2900km on the clock

Safely arrived at Stirling Point in Bluff, just in time to catch the last of the evening light.

Safely arrived just after seven on Tuesday March 22 at Stirling Point in Bluff, just in time to catch the last of the evening light.

So this looks like being Mark’s last post (Jutta’s is still to come) from our Tandem Tour Aotearoa of New Zealand, with warm thanks to those who’ve followed our progress these past six and a bit weeks, a most rewarding 2900 kilometres from Cape Reinga in the far North to Bluff in the far South.

We’ve raised more than £1700 for the Rory Peck Trust, to support the important work they do for freelance journalists and their families.

Translated into Kiwi dollars at just over two to the pound sterling (quick accounting trick), that’s nicely over the 3000 mark we set ourselves as a target. Continue reading

We made it!


We made it! Hard, hard day’s 140km final ride to Bluff from Mossburn for Daisy, Jutta and skipper, but after very nearly 3000 km,  the #TandemTA #Touraotearoa is done, and we’re celebrating at the oyster restaurant overlooking the Bluff signpost at the very bottom on New Zealand.

What a journey,  six weeks and a bit from Cape Reinga at the very top. And so, so many thanks to Katie Brayne and Carmela Snooks, and very especially to the best partner, spouse and stoker I could ever have wished for, Jutta Brayne,  for the inspiration to do this amazing journey.

Full report shortly!

Wanaka to Queenstown, and the 3500-foot Crown Range.


Were we pleased with the ride down from the Crown Range? Or is the Pope a Catholic? A stonking ride up, and an exhilarating ride down, with a LOT of braking, as the bends needed a lot of respect. I’d told Jutta it was just 3000 feet. Turned out to be 3500 feet, and a hard, hard push to get to the top. So worth it. — with Jutta Brayne, Katie Brayne and Carmela Snooks at Crown Range Pass.

So, Daisy’s first full day seriously cycling with the girls was just amazing – 90 km over the Crown Range from Wanaka to Queenstown (a cool 3500 foot pass, scaled with elegance and ease, and a bit of pushing) and some of the most amazing views of the trip so far.

Lovely to be pedalling with Katie Brayne and Carmela Snooks for the first time properly since they set off from Cape Reinga 27 days ago and we did two weeks before that. Continue reading

Braynes/Snooks reunited. Milford Sound, and a Week’s Downtime for Daisy in Wanaka.


Tour Aotearoa 2016 team Brayne/Snooks reunited at last. After 35 days cycling and 2500km for Mark and Jutta, and 25 days/2600km or so for the girls.

YAY! as the girls would say.

They made it, and we had a magical reunion moment yesterday, Friday, 51km out of Wanaka back along the road to the Haast Pass almost exactly where Daisy broke down last Sunday.
Continue reading

Why the Rory Peck Trust


Rory Peck

As we approach – amazingly – the end segment of our Tandem Tour of Aotearoa/New Zealand, with some  2400km behind us from Cape Reinga and only 400+ to go to Bluff in the south, some words on why Jutta and I are raising money for the Rory Peck Trust.

And with those words an encouragement to readers to dip into their pockets to sponsor us, if not already done, as we make the final push towards the 3000km mark (though we will end up a few km short of that figure) and its sister £3000 target (where we don’t at all want to end up short.) Continue reading