Brent & Claire Ruru

T.I.M.E. Habits • Minimalists • Travel Enthusiasts ... while the bodies still can and we still have our marbles!

Tag: #cycle (page 1 of 7)

21/6/17 Find Your Purpose …

Training has started with a blat on the Fatty 29 tandem last Saturday and a blat on the mountain bikes on the Sunday.

It’s been a while since butts rode in tandem … all the technique was still there, yay!

And what better way to be inspired when we stopped for a rest, to be reminded of why we do the adventuring before dementia!

Sunday, minus 2 degrees celcius … the smiles say it all.

Find your purpose, your ‘why’ … and magnetise towards that.  Plus 4 degrees in the sun was enough to magnetise toward, ahem!

25/3/17 The Blind Leading the Sighted

A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to speak at a Mentee/Mentors evening for The Blind Foundation.

The contact there had heard us speak a month earlier whereby we shared some tools around goal setting and how that contributed to our adventure before dementia travel lifestyle – especially the tandem ride across Canada.  She wanted us to share our dream it, design it and do it 3-3-5-3 Best Year Ever tool to help participants focus on their dreams they want to realize.  Excuse the pun but they have an amazing sense of humour when able sighted folk mistakenly refer to anything to do with the ability to see things and they can’t!

There was no point in showing our power point image presentation.   Instead, we adjusted our narrative to use more descriptive words and worked hard to describe the illustrations we wanted them to picture in their minds.  It went well.

Whilst mingling with them and their guide dogs afterwards, we learnt volunteers take some of the group for cycle rides on the back of tandems.  This resonated with us somewhat and how easy was it for us to sign up to be a volunteer a couple of mornings a month.

One couple present had a tandem.  With Chris (fully sighted) on the front and Nicola (visually impaired) the stoker on the back, Chris was not confident on sharing the tar seal with other traffic.  With a goal to travel around New Zealand to ride as many of the off-road mountain tracks as possible, they hadn’t yet taken to some of the mountain bike tracks in our own back yard, Christchurch.

We arranged that we would chaperone them around McLean’s Island mountain bike track and give them some coaching on manoeuvring a tandem with all the bells and whistles of staying up right; negotiating an incline and/or decline; navigate sharp bends; and slalom the natural obstacles of a protruding rock or tree root or stump.  Nicola warned that coarse language is sometimes necessary to remind the fella on the front of the pillion passenger on the back.

The experience was one of the blind leading the sighted.

Their tenacity to get out and blat the ten kilometres was beautiful.  And with only one swear word moment!

They have a re-kindled enthusiasm to get on with their training because they took the leap of faith.  In us.  But more so in themselves.

Our reward, to watch Chris and Nicola achieve something they have procrastinated in doing for however long.  We couldn’t but help rouse the ducts to well up and weep a smidgeon.

Damn those tears of happiness.  Now we had impaired vision!

Well done Chris and Nicola.  The New Zealand mountain bike trails beckon.

21/11/16 Waipapakauri to Ahipara – 14 kms: Games On … 2018.

As we walked back out onto the beach off the ramp, a glance to the right in silence with a nod to the skies and under the breath, safe journey today Lasse was spoken.



We met another trekker staying at the camp from Auckland, James.  His encounter of 90 Mile Beach was similar with getting a lift after the 30 km stretch.  Again, just physically hard.  Then there were a number of instances whilst walking along the high tide mark where an incoming wave reached above his waist nearly dragging him out to sea.  He came close to flipping the button on his personal location beacon he was that fearful.

When caught short like James was, there isn’t a foot hold to grab onto.  Once fully coned sand dunes, some of them are now cliffs due to sea erosion.  Alive clumps of grasses lay on the beach where they have tumbled from and tree roots stick out from the face.  Fence posts and wire hang like tight ropes along large parts of the coastline to.  If you think the oceans aren’t rising, come walk this part of the country and check it out for yourself.





It was a further 14 kms of beach walking before arriving at Ahipara.  A clear sky and open sea with a slight on shore wind had gliding sea gulls patrolling from above.  Traffic was busier as houses became more detailed.  The landscape rose up too.  We were too fast for the tide sometimes chasing our feet even though our walking was more of a plod.  Coming off the ramp, there was a group hug of achievement.

Just before that though, another glance down the beach in silence.


Ashley, Meg and John headed for the camping ground with arrangements made to catch up with our trekking family tomorrow.  For us we had touched base with someone we first met ten years ago, in Ahipara when we cycled the length of New Zealand in the opposite direction – Kerry Rolleston.  Her invitation to stay was sincerely accepted and greatly appreciated.

Removing the socks revealed bottoms of feet that weren’t pretty.  The raw flesh under the rotting was so sore, a re-think of strategy going forward was on the cards.



For Sale – back pack with full trekking gear (tent with ripped seam; two cooking stoves; sleeping mats and bags; metal pots and water filter; with sundries), boots and poles.  Used but in happy condition to a motivated idiot not knowing what the hell they get themselves into.  Owners going overseas to lie on a tropical beach as soon as sold.  All offers considered!

But the evening conversation had with Kerry over a lovely home cooked meal allowed minds to wander in thought and forget the aches below the table.  Ten summers of swapping toasting and roasting stories all ending up with the hatching of perhaps re-walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage walk in Spain.

We know of two people who would be keen (Sharon Meredith and Mark Hogan).  And now three (Kerry Rolleston).


Games on … 2018.

And for the record, it wasn’t wine talk!

The strategy for where to from here regarding the TA, two more nights of wine bottles to be corked.

Something will eventuate we are sure!

3/10/16 New Jersey: Everything Was Going Well Until We Heard The Screech & Clunk.


Our eyes were affixed to the mobile phone trying to determine which direction to go to find the streets we drove through last evening.  Kevin had sourced us some bikes and we had taken off on them for a blat, the first since we disembarked Fatty 29 (our tandem!).



dsc07458-1280x853Just like the good old times, bum on bike seat, rotating knees, firm grip of handle bars, head scanning the ground infront for smooth terra firma, and no weight being towed.  Or in Claire’s case, being pushed!  Everything was going well until we heard the screech and clunk to look up and see another cyclist in a heap on the road having been knocked off by the car now stationary.

We scrambled.  Lifting the bike off the chap groaning underneath was the easy part.  Shouting my name and so he was conscious of who I was, it was a flood of A-B-C first aid administration simultaneiously as Claire directed traffic that had slowed to gawk and the driver calling the ambulance.

Once calmed down, the externals were grazes with some claret.  His breathing became more regular and every effort was made to try to have him remain lying down to no avail.  He got up and rubbed his leg to limp over to his bike now with a buckled front wheel and pleading with the fella to wait for the ambulance went on deaf ears.

He just wobbled up the street litterally, pushing his bike that also had a wobble!  Huh … and the driver was dumb founded!

A Police car showed up and we pointed in the direction of the cyclist so off they went in pursuit; then the ambulance and the same thing; and then two more Police cars to question us.  Because we didn’t actually see the accident, no statement was taken.

The cop pointed us in the direction we were googling for earlier, we got back on the bikes and pedalled off.







Old photographs along the Ocean Avenue boardwalk intermingled with modern day art.  Being a week day, the crowds were sparse and no one was roller blading the boardwalk in stubbie shorts with top off jiggling to the music being played in big ear phone ear muffs!  I’ve watched too many movies!!

A lovely time from a bike seat, where city meets the sand and the future has been crafted from the past.  It was cool.

Police escort and all.






20/9/16 Bridgewater to Lunenburg: A Lazy Routine Is Lethal.

It’s been +14 days since we disembarked the tandem. Hard to beleive if you say, “it is was just under half a month ago!”

As equally as there has been lot’s of reflection of what was; there has been lot’s of daydreaming on what is to be. The resting of bodies merged into a little lethargy purely because the routine of cycling has gone. The 6-7 hours spent rotating a pedal, poof! Sure it’s been filled up with tiki touring, new friendships and conversations however, we are creatures of movement under our own steam.

Expanding the gut or losing the fitness creeps in and before you know it, plump! A lazy routine is lethal.

We know our inside reflects our outside therefore our mind pictures have had to be reinvigorated with our motto – dream it; design it; and do it.


Walking down the hill was the easy bit as was along the footpath dodging workmen busily doing road construction and pavement construction. The puffy bit was the climb up to our accommodation. And that wasn’t carrying any weight!

It was the motivation we needed to re-frame habits going forward, more movement with perspiration.

The ‘no beer and chips’ has been firmed up in writing with an Accountability Coach. Only for three months as a start as it’s about taking small steps to create a more permanent habit. A tattoo of a french fry or stubbie bottle would not go with one of a hamburger!

Our tourist visit to Lunenburg had movement – park the car up on a hillside out of town and walk; cups of tea versus a coffee + two sugars; and find a nice spot in the drizzle to eat our prepared cut lunch (in the car looking at the dashboard was kind of okay, we had to walk up to it).

dsc06723-1280x853Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home port to the Bluenose II – a tall ship. Although out to sea today, we did get up close to some other pirate ships docked wharfside. Wandering the quaint shops was relaxing and eventful. Our accent continues to solicit conversations and meeting a mother who back packed New Zealand to discover she was pregnant down under had us spend a hour syncronising experiences. No, we are not pregnant here!






The road sign with New Zealand on it had us pull up to stop and stare.


It was a sign! Except, there is no going back.

Off to find some of that gel that burns bum cheeks for the legs! It’s been 12+ hours since the puff this morning.

19/9/16 Halifax to Bridgewater: Certainly A Treat To See It’s Population At Play.


Mahone Bay greeted us with scare crow like mannequins affixed to a road barrier. Some of them resembled ‘Chucky’ from the horror movie.

dsc06617-1280x853However, as we drove into the township itself, front doors, front porches and front lawns had heaps of them on display. It took us a while before we saw a real person to confirm the place was indeed inhabited.






Huge oval and round orange pumpkins adorned a shop roof. They have been harvested for both pumpkin pie or to be carved up with eyes, nose and a squared toothed mouth in readiness for Halloween night.


Yep, shops have stocked up on all the paraphenalia you could possibly imagine to rob you of your hard earnt dollar for the one night show case, Halloween. Sadly it’s gradually taken hold in New Zealand, it’s something we chose to ignore.


I remember once when we owned and operated our childcare business from our residence, all the kids who attended thought we would be an easy sweet or three when they came knocking. Giving them a bunch of silver beet vegetable had looks of bewilderment on faces at the time … grins on ours naturally. We never had as many kids knocks on the door the following year!

What was first a trick arriving into Mahone was certainly a treat to see it’s population at play.

Anyone ever eaten pumpkin pie?

Makes one crave for a good ole fashioned mince and cheese one.





18/9/16 Halifax Home Stay Day3: A Balance Of Purpose With Humourous Sisterhood Banter.


Our homestay hosts had us join a luncheon with an all women motor cyclist group called ‘Motor Maids.’

We got to again meet up with Cheryl (a previous homestay in Moncton) and Pearl.

The MM’s parked up chariots were impressive and their camaraderie a balance of purpose with humourous sisterhood banter.


How we have ended up here was because of a conversation with a fellow Motor Maid Christine we met back in Marathon. She advertised that the Rurus were cycling across the continent and if anyone wished to avale a bed and feed, that would be awesome.

That one interaction ripple effect has exposed us to folk with huge hearts who have.

To meet the extended group of Motor Maids was a bonus of being at the right place at the right time. They are certainly a cool bunch of women in leathers.

For our homestay hosts Sandra and Denise, another fantastic experience of hospitality we are most certainly humbled by.


A huge THANK YOU from us.

When you come visit us in New Zealand, let us take you for a blat across our landscape the Rurus style, on a tandem.

It’ll be a blast.

Everyone gets to peddal!


19/9/16 Halifax Home Stay Day 2: In Idil Spit For Filk To Sing Lidly!

Fall is coming and nearly came faster!



The wetness underfoot as I stepped out onto the deck nearly had me fall down the steps and into the covered pool … thank goodness that there was a fence in-between the pool and pond if I had or I could have ended up with the ducks lazily rippling the surface water where steam was rising from the pond!


Crimson’s tinge the trees, their journey to winter hibernation has begun. Sandra and Denise have a lovely spot where swimmers now lay folded in drawers and skates are now at the ready for when the water turns to ice. What happens to life below? How do they keep warm to survive the encasement?


dsc06529-1280x853It was back into downtown Halifax for some chores before Sandra took us onto the Peninsula to Peggy’s Cove. It’s a real tourist haven destination and photo bombing couldn’t be avoided! The Lighthouse was once a Post Office, on a good weather day everything went by sea; on a bad weather day everything went by air. Being reminded to stay off the black rocks so as not to become fish fodder was frequent, both in signage and from instruction from Sandra.








We drove passed a memorial monument where 229 names are etched into stone. They were passengers on Swissair Flight 111 that smashed into the shallows killing all on board back in 1998. The force of the crash made houses tremble on shore, a sombre part of the landscape history.dsc06566-1280x853

Marinating a chicken by sticking a can of beer up it’s butt was a first for us. It was all in preparation for Sandra and Denise’s friends who rocked up to join us for a dinner party and ukulele jam session. They were good … so was the beer butt plugged marinated chicken!


Pronouncing the word “deck” with our New Zealand accent sounded like “dick” to them. “Let’s go stand out on the slippery dick” they teased me with taking the piss out of me pronounciation!

All part of the ridicule one got for being the only male being present as more tunes echoed around the pond lake mist rising.

In idil spit for filk to sing lidly!

16/9/16 St John’s, Newfoundland to Halifax, Nova Scotia: We Must Go Ahead And See For Ourselves.


The wind abated making for a smooth jettison off Newfoundland under the cover of darkness. Only the hum of the propellors could be heard as we watched in silence the sun rise on the horizon and witness the puzzle configuration between land and sea take form.


Jacque Cousteau once said, “We must go ahead and see for ourselves.” We have.

It was absolutely beautiful. The magnitude of what we have accomplished became more surreal. More silence as the ball rose up to soon be descending onto the tarmac in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


To meet us was another homestay host, Sandra. Her tiki-tour by car of the city downtown had us identify destinations to visit on foot as we had the whole day as a tourist.







During the period of the Acadian Deportion, 1755 to 1762, Acadians were detained on George Island in the middle of the harbour prior to them being shipped off to other British Colonies; we stood at the Citidel to hear the cannon blast off a boom to signal mid-day and then stand at a ground zero plaque that spoke about the largest man-made explosion prior to the first atomic bomb; Pier 21 was where over 1.25 million immigrants since WWII landed so as to be indoctrinated as Canadian residents.



We met a couple from the UK who had just finished their cycle across Canada. It looked a lonely existence as they sat there with no one to share their achievement till we introduced ourselves. We spent an hour with them so they could share their story, to watch the glow of thier finish exude and make their accomplishment more surreal. It gave us goosebumps too, especially when they freedom camped 99% of the distance!



We met up with Sandra and her wife Denise for a beer to continue rapport formalities. Our meeting resulted from another ‘Motor Maids’ connection. They live half an hour out of downtown Halifax; to climb into a bed after the car experience straigtened out skeletal crookedness and everything else just moulded into the mattress fabric.

We knew this was going to be an entertaining homestay … no more chips and beer for a year … there is another day to start tomorrow.


15/9/16 Carbanear to St John’s – 164.5 km: Like A Baby Cradle Being Rocked.

dsc06382-1280x853We arrived back into down town St John’s to a howling wind and celcius just above the 5 degrees.




The text from our friend in the US to inform us that our rig had arrived was met with both a peace of mind feeling and one of it being missed.

We were in no-man’s land! One where we were treading water waiting for our flight off the island and one where questions were aroused as to whether we should have continued on with more riding to the US?


Ken our cyclist friend had departed St John’s this morning, cycling back to Agentia to catch the ferry. Poor bugger had to do it with a head wind and moisture. Our other cyclist friend Marcus had also arrived back into St John’s also today after doing a massive tour of Newfoundland by car – his daily minimum kilometerage was over 600 kms per day! Now he was preparing to depart back to the mainland also.

One last meal with Marcus signaled a handshake and hug farewell. This time it was going to be more permanent. Just like Ken’s a week or so back.

Our flight was at 5.40 am tomorrow morning so we decided not to book any accommodation.

Instead, we drove to the car rental car park and with the wind battering our little roller skate and like a baby cradle being rocked, it helped us doze off to sleep.

Wish we could say the same about sleeping like a baby!


Newfoundland Was First To:
Respond to Titanic SOS.
Vaccine for smallpox.
Have wireless communication in the world.

They have the oldest rock in the world.
Most pubs per square foot in Canada.
A Newfoundler invented the gas mask.
They are the most sexually active people in Canada.

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