King is from Malaysia. He’s the guy in the yellow shirt.
Our first stop is New Zealand. We have 10 weeks to ride from Dunedin at the bottom of the South Island to Auckland at the top of the North Island, with a few hikes thrown in for good measure.
When I was 13, I informed my mother that I was going to ride my Schwinn 10 speed for 150 miles on a small mountain road over the river and through the woods to my grandmother’s house on the coast. I managed to convince my best friend Chuck and my brother Paul that this was a worthy plan. She indulged us by following along in a station wagon full of sisters. They would set up camp and spend the day swimming in the river until we arrived exhausted, late each afternoon.
Forward to 17 when I wrote to The National Geographic Society outlining detailed plans for a bicycle trip from Moscow to Beijing via the Stans and requested funding. This was during the Soviet years. They sent back a polite letter declining.
Time flows, and after slowly drifting down the river at a Silicon Valley company for 20 years, it brings me to now. I’ve decided that it’s time for a grand adventure, and I’ve somehow managed to convince King that I have a worthy plan. Because Kiwis drive on the wrong side of the road, my mother politely declined to follow along in the car. Also, it would be problematic fitting the sisters and their husbands into a station wagon.
And so, our trip begins…