Monthly Archives: November 2023

Back on the Track Again: Latest Biking Adventure in Otago/Southland

Posted by Katie Pinfold at Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Hello, everyone. I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the spring season. As a busy accountant, I know how important it is to balance work and life, and to find some time to relax and recharge. That’s why I decided to take a break from the office earlier this month and go on a biking adventure with my cousin Pirie (right hand guy in the photo) in the Otago/Southland area of New Zealand.

We chose to cycle the Around the Mountains trail, which is one of the 22 Great Rides that make up the New Zealand Cycle Trail. It is a 180-kilometre journey that takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the country, from the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the rolling farmland of Northern Southland. Along the way, you can enjoy the views of majestic mountains, rocky outcrops, and snow-capped peaks. You can also explore the rich history and culture of the region, from the gold mining heritage to the Maori legends.

We also cycled the Dunstan Trail, which is a 38-kilometre loop around Lake Dunstan, a man-made lake formed by the Clyde Dam. This trail offers a different perspective of the landscape, as you ride along the lake edge, past vineyards, orchards, and historic sites. The lake was sparkling in the sun, and the reflections of the surrounding hills were breathtaking.

We were lucky to have good weather for most of our trip, although it was cloudy and cool at times, and there was some snow on the tops. We also went early in the biking season, so we didn’t encounter many other cyclists on the trails. It felt like we had the whole place to ourselves, which added to the sense of adventure and freedom.

We used high-quality heavy Scott e-mountain bikes, which were great machines. They had powerful batteries and motors that helped us tackle the hills and the distances with ease. They also had comfortable seats and suspension that made the ride smooth and enjoyable.

One of the big highlights of our trip was meeting the friendly and hospitable people who live and work in the small towns along the route. The Great Rides cycle trails have added life to these places, as they attract tourists and visitors who are looking for a unique and memorable experience. We were impressed by the small businesses that sprang up to service the mountain biking tourists, such as cafes, pubs, accommodation, and transport.

We were especially impressed with our hosts in the Southland town of Mossburn, Tom and Vicki Law. They operate Wheels and Reels, which incorporates the local pub and accommodation and shuttle services for travelers like ourselves. They went out of their way to assist us, feed us, take us to the track starts and pick us up at the end of the day, and give us lots of local advice. They employ a great team of staff who are also very helpful and cheerful. We met Tom (middle guy in the photo) first, who mentioned his wife was Vicki. When we met Vicki, we said, “Oh, so you are Tom’s wife.” She playfully rolled her eyes and said, “I get that all the time. Why can’t Tom be referred to as Vicki’s husband?” Good call, Vicki!

I think there is a parallel between the biking that we did and the enterprise of small businesses in the area that take advantage of the business opportunities from having biking tourists in the area. Both require passion, perseverance, and creativity. Both also offer rewards that go beyond the financial, such as satisfaction, joy, and connection. I admire the people who have chosen to pursue their dreams and make a living out of what they love.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my latest biking adventure. If you are looking for a way to escape the stress and routine of everyday life, I highly recommend giving it a try. You won’t regret it. And if you need any help with your accounting needs, you know where to find me. Cheers!