I arrived back in Auckland on Tuesday. This is my first visit to New Zealand in 4 years, and the last time I cycled here was 1993 (on an old steel Avanti frame). I assembled my Ridley on Tuesday afternoon because I had plans to meet The Colombian Sensation, Alejandro Jimenez, on Wednesday.
Alejandro and his wife, Lina, are Colombians who spent the last 2 years living in Melbourne. I know many of their friends in Medellin, and it was Alejandro who initially gave me a lot of information about cycling in Colombia when I began researching my trip in 2010.
We met early on Wednesday morning in Mission Bay on Auckland's waterfront. Our ride was a 100km loop to Devonport, East Coast Bays, a 400 meter climb in the Waitakeres, and then back to downtown and Mission Bay. Day 2 was an easier 50km ride on the North Shore and Albany. It was my first time on many of these roads since I left Auckland in 1998. So much has changed that I even got lost trying to find Albany.